My Beautiful DIY Dining Table (FINALLY!)
Guys. This is THE project I've been waiting to do. The reason I got into woodworking in the first place.
I asked for a Kreg Jig for Christmas 5 years ago and have been dying to build a table ever since. It just never was the right time. The dining room at our old house was too small, we didn't have the space in the garage, I didn't have all the right tools, etc.
But the stars finally aligned and I had the chance to build my table!!
This was our old dining room table. I bought it for $20 at a Goodwill right after Ben and I got married. I refinished it and it's been a great little table for us for 5 years! I still really love it but it's just not big enough for us anymore.
I'm not going to give you super detailed instructions on the new table because I used these plans to build it from Shanty2Chic (and they go into plenty of detail). But I will go through and show you some general phases of the process!
Getting the wood! The plans say to use framing lumber but our neighbor (who has built a few tables) told me to get kiln-dried wood because it won't warp when it dries (like framing lumber can). So that was super helpful tip! It was definitely much straighter and nicer looking, too!
Once you get it, cut it to the right sizes (obviously).
The table top.
The most important tool in building a table (I think) is a Kreg Jig! It creates pocket holes so you can join the planks and legs together without big screws sticking out everywhere.
Then you screw pocket screws into the pocket holes to keep the tabletop planks together! I also used wood glue between the blanks to help everything stay together.
I was having a hard time keeping the boards straight (our garage floor isn't super straight) so I used some heavy weights to hold everything down while I screwed them together. It worked pretty well!
I let the glue dry for a couple hours and then voila, you have a tabletop!
The base. More pocket holes and wood glue to put the legs together!
I added the fancy "V" detail with wood glue and nails and then I screwed in the stretchers with regular wood screws!
I put the tabletop on in my garage (it's not screwed in- which is why it's so off-center) and realized it wouldn't fit through the door, so I decided to stain the top and the base separately then attach them once we got them in the dining room.
I used Minwax Jacobean (the same as the chairs I refinished in my previous post).
I wanted a really good protective coat since this was going to be used all day every day by a toddler for the foreseeable future. The girls that wrote the plans I used swear by Varthan Triple Thick, so I thought I'd give it a try.
And it worked great! It really is super thick and seems like it will protect the wood from most bumps and scratches and make it easy to clean. Leo really likes to hit things on our table, so I used two coats just to cover my bases.
We brought the pieces in to the dining room separately, laid the top upside down (on a blanket just to make sure) then the base on top of that (also upside down) and screwed it in!
And that's it!! You flip it over and have a brand new dining room table!
I absolutely LOVE my new table! I put off making it for awhile because I was so intimidated. This is a big project, and if I screwed it up I wasted $100 worth of wood. But I'm so glad I finally went for it. It came out better than I ever expected. It's definitely not perfect. The top planks aren't completely even, the V doesn't match up exactly in the corners, but for my first try I am super proud of this table!
Plus it was SO much cheaper than buying a brand new one! New tables are like, $1000! That's insane to me. With everything, from wood to stain to other random bits and pieces, this cost less than $200. So all in all, totally worth it.