Build a Rustic Table, Part 2: Tabletop Build a Rustic Table, Part 2: Tabletop

What You'll Need
A Large piece of wood such as walnut or old wood panels
Other pieces of wood
Sandpaper
Acrylic wood treatment
Saw
Screws for wood
Screwdriver
Drill
Safety goggles
Work gloves

Making a rustic table tabletop is perhaps one of the easiest things that you can do with a piece of long wood. Even beginners can cut and shape a rustic table, and a rustic tabletop will require no intricate carvings or patterning which can be a struggle for the novice furniture maker. Rustic table design is very basic, so while it is always possible to make a more elaborate table with complex joints, the basic rustic table can be made by anyone. For those who are keen on preserving a green, or sustainable, way of life, you can gather sycamore or ash branches and twigs.

Step 1 - Preparing the Wood

Prepare the wood by making sure that it is even, without too many holes in the surface you intend to use. As the wood will be used to make a rustic table, do not be too anxious about making the pieces even, but do use sandpaper to remove any possible splinters, or marks of mold. If you are using natural wood, then you should also use this time to cover the wood in acrylic wood treatment oil.

If you have bought pieces of old wood panel, make sure they are not affected by woodworm or termites, and that any varnish used is not cracked. You may wish to use a second coat of varnish if you have any doubts.

Step 2 - Cutting the Wood

You will need to cut the wood to a suitable length. Do this by carefully measuring the length that you wish the rustic table to be, and then saw the wood to suit. Experts recommend cutting coffee tables to 2 by 3 feet, 4 by 3 feet for an outside table, and 6 by 3 feet for a dining or breakfast table. After the wood has been cut, use sandpaper to smooth along the edges, taking care to remove any possible splinters.

If you are using old wooden panels, calculate how many you will need to make your table, and join the panels together by laying the boards face-down in a row, placing wooden boards on top, and then joining them together using screws. Try to aim for 2 to 3 screws for each board.

Step 3 - Marking the Wood

After you have completed the cutting you will need to turn the tabletop upside-down, and mark a square or circle where you intend the legs to be fitted. Using the drill, dig out the circle or square you have marked, and sand down the holes: you can fit the wooden legs onto it later. Apply a coat of acrylic wood treatment to all of the exposed areas of the wood, then leave to dry.

Step 4 - Finishing the Wood

A rustic table will not need too much decoration or design features added after the tabletop has been cut. You can choose to varnish the finished product if you wish: varnishing will make the table more durable, and will avoid the wood becoming permanently stained.

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