A friend of mine grabbed some old wood floor planks that were being thrown out. They were from a local historic building that was being remodeled. He asked me to make a table top from them. He gave me the dimensions he wanted and said he wanted it framed in something black and to keep the original finish on the floors. ... the rest was up to me.
I liked the idea of a black pipe base to compliment the framing on top. So I went to work
Step 1: Cut to Length & Clean Up the Grooves
I cut the flooring down on a miter saw to just shy of the dimensions that were requested for the table top. I knew I would have to add some sort of black framing around it, so I allowed for some extra space to be added.
After my boards were cut I had to clean out the tongue and groove fittings with a wire brush so everything could fit snug again. The building was built in 1933, so there were years and years of crud built up between the pieces.
Step 2: Glue Up & Adding a Base
After a my grooves were cleaned, I started arranging and gluing up each piece of flooring. I used a pair of pipe clamps to hold everything together tight. I then cut out a piece of OSB as a backer board to add some stability. I glued it on and then used a brad nailer to secure it.
Step 3: The Outer Framework
After the glue was dry, I started to frame everything in using red oak. I cut each piece to length on the miter saw. Everything was cut at 90 degrees to make simple butt joints. I then used a biscuit joiner to cut some slots for attaching the framework.
I then started to tape off the table top to protect it using a combination of duct tap ( yes, duct tape), masking tape, and wax paper.
I then glued everything up on the sides and inserted the biscuits . I clamped everything together for a secure fit.
Step 4: Ebonizing the Red Oak Frame
After the glue was dry, I lightly and carefully sanded the red oak frame. After doing some research on the ebonizing process, I came up with a 2 oz. bottle of Speedball Super Black India Ink. It seemed to be the most popular route to go. I applied 2 light coats about 20 minutes apart with a sponge brush.
After drying overnight, I applied a couple of light coats Deft Semi-Gloss Wood Finish.
Step 5: Pipe Base Assembly & Finishing
It's good to have an assortment of fitting sizes when assembling a plumbing pipe table base. Even with an assortment, it's a bit of a puzzle. None of the identical fittings tighten to the same point on the threads, so there is a lot of trial and error.
The pipe flanges are a must for mounting onto the base of a table and I think they look nice as a foot to the legs of the table.
When you have the base figured out to best compliment the table top, It is important to clean the pipes. They will be coated in a petroleum based grease to keep them from rusting. The best and most efficient solution is acetone. I recommend using some rubber gloves and paper towels in this process.
After everything is cleaned off, I applied some Deft Satin Lacquer to it to protect it and keep it from rusting. Three light coats should be enough.
Step 6: Final Assembly & Finishing Up
I painted the OSB board under the table top black to give everything a more uniform appearance. I then mounted the base to the table with some screws into the pipe flanges. Since I was asked to keep the original floor finish, I just cleaned it up the top with some Murphy's Oil Soap.
Thanks for checking it out. This was my first experience using pipe and ebonizing wood. I learned a lot in the process. Hopefully this will help inspire you to try something new or different also.