How to Make a Dining Room Table out of Reclaimed Wood (pt. 2 of 3) How to Make a Dining Room Table out of Reclaimed Wood (pt. 2 of 3)
In building a table from reclaimed wood, once you've decided the style you prefer, and once you've decided the type of old wood you'll be using, you can begin cutting and shaping the various table pieces you'll need to assemble.
Step 1 – Making Your Table Underskirt
If you plan to use an existing table frame, you'll need to make your underskirt to fit your frame. Measure the frame, and make a note of its outside dimensions. Using your table saw and jointer, cut 2 pieces of your 1x4-inch wood that will match the length dimensions of your frame, then cut 2 pieces that will match the width dimensions. From each of these, deduct 1 inch.
If you plan to build your frame from scratch, decide how long and wide you'll want your table top. Let's say it will be 40 inches. From this width, subtract 4 inches for each of your 4 table sides, then make a note of these dimensions. Cut four 1x4-inch pieces for your skirt to match your table dimensions. After cutting these pieces, plane 1/8-inch off each edge.
Step 2 – Making Your Tabletop Pieces
If you plan to make your tabletop out of planks, plan to make your table 41 inches wide. This will allow you to use 7 planks, each 6 inches wide. If you want your table top finished and smooth, be sure each plank is planed and smooth on its top surface. Using your jointer, plane 1/8-inch each off each plank's inside and out side edges.
Step 3 – Making Your Table Legs
For rounded, custom shaped legs for your table, first plan the pattern you'll make with your wood lathe. Each leg should have the identical pattern as the other three legs. The most accurate way to do this is to use a template mounted on your tool rest. Shape your pattern on each leg post. Begin by using the rough gorge to create your basic cylinder, leaving the top section of your stock or post that will attach flat onto your table skirt. To create valleys in each leg, use a lathe parting tool, measuring each cut to be sure the depth is the same on all legs. If you plan to use the legs as they come, without shaping, be sure to plane each leg smooth.
Step 4 – Cutting Your Table Leg Support Pieces
To add support to each of your table legs you'll need to attach 2 support pieces to each leg near the leg top where it connects to the skirt. Make 2 support pieces from one square piece of 1x4x4-inch wood. To do this, use a straightedge and mark a diagonal line from one corner to another corner on the wood piece. Then cut the piece through this line. This will make a 45-degree cut on each of the 8 pieces. Be sure the edges on the pieces are smooth enough to fit flat against its leg and table skirt when you attach them.