Introduction: Dining Room Table From Reclaimed Wall Studs

I recently moved out of an apartment and into a house with a dining room. While I was excited to finally have a dedicated dining room, I wasn't too keen on spending thousands of dollars on a dining set. By building it myself with mostly recycled materials, I was able to spend less than $200 on the table and only $360 on the chairs.

This project took about 2 weeks to complete.

Materials:

Tools:

  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Thickness planer
  • Wood clamps
  • CNC or handheld planer
  • Drill
  • Router
  • Hammer
  • Misc. hand tools

Many thanks to the LVL1 Hacker Space for supplying much of the tools and expertise needed for this project.

Step 1: Find Wood

While renovating our home, we tore down a wall between our dining room and kitchen. The home was built in 1937 and I was really impressed with the quality of the pine studs used as I was ripping them out. I carefully removed each one to avoid damage the the studs.

After removing the 13 studs from the former wall, a lot of time was spent removing the remaining plaster and nails. A large nail pry-bar worked wonders here. It's important to remove all nails before you begin cutting the wood.

Step 2: Cut and Plane

Once the studs were clear of debris, I cut the 9' studs down to random lengths between 1' and 5' with a miter saw. The random lengths give the final table top a more diverse look with various joints and grain patterns.

Once the studs were cut down, I ripped them in half down the center with a table saw.

Next use a thickness planer to smooth down the rough edges and ensure each stick is uniformly square. This took a really long time running each stick through on at least 3 of the 4 sides.

Step 3: Glue It All Together

Next I laid the sticks out in a random pattern that looked good to me. It took a lot of time to decide on the preferred grain side and match the pieces together in a way that I liked best. It's a fun puzzle to put together.

After I laid everything out, I turned each stick a quarter turn and began gluing down the length. Make sure to also glue the butt joints between sticks. I decided to only use glue to hold the table top together. I tested the glue on several pieces first and found that the wood broke under pressure before the wood glue joints would give.

After rolling the stick a quarter turn back and pressing them together, I used wood clamps to hold everything together. I found it easier to clamp the two halves separately. After each half was dry, I glued the middle and clamped the two halves together.

Let it dry overnight before planing.

Step 4: Plane It Down

Hand planing is not fun. I spent about a half hour scraping with a hand planer before I gave up and went hi-tech.

Luckily my local hacker space, LVL1, has a CNC Shopbot. We set the CNC to cut a giant rectangle that was larger than the table top at a constant depth. Be sure to test the depth on some scrap wood first.

This method saved a lot of energy, but was definitely not quicker. It took the CNC about 6 hours with a 3/4" bit.

Step 5: Fill and Sand

Since the wood studs were reclaimed, there were a lot of gaps and nail holes in the wood. I went over the entire table top with a putty knife and wood filler. After sanding down the wood glue, double check again for any spots you may have missed. I repeated this process twice to ensure I had filled all the gaps.

Use a random orbit sander to smooth down the wood. I started with 80 grit to quickly sand through the rough stuff and worked my way up to 220 grit. Take your time with this as any spots you miss will show up and bug you forever.

Step 6: Build Subframe Supports

While I was confident in the wood glue, I wanted to make sure the table was indestructible and would never warp or twist. I grabbed some cheap 2"x3" pine from the home store and added some supports under the table top.

Make sure to pre-drill all the holes and use proper wood screws to avoid splitting the wood. In addition the the screws, I also glued each of them down.

Step 7: Route the Edges

I used a Bosch router and a 3/4" round over bit to create a nice and classic edge. This was quick and easy.

Then sand again and make sure everything is perfect!

Step 8: Paint & Install the Legs

I purchased 4 - 28" hairpin legs from Hairpinlegs.com. When they arrived they were raw steel. I used a degreaser spray to clean and prep each leg for paint.

After the legs are clean and dry, I used standard black spray paint and applied 3 solid coats.

When installing the legs, make sure to once again pre-drill the holes in the underside of the table top and use good wood screws. The legs have a nice leveler built in and are really high quality.

Step 9: Coat With Poly

I used Minwax oil modified clear satin poly to coat the table. The only reason I picked that type was because I had about a half gallon left over from refinishing the hardwood floors. It is a nice poly that dries quickly, but just about any poly or lacquer will do that suits your preference.

Wait 2 hours after each coat and sand lightly with a +220 grit sand paper. I applied a total of 8 coats, which might be overkill, but I wanted to protect the wood as much as I could.

After the final coat, I waited 24 hours hours before using to ensure the poly was fully dry.

Then just add chairs, food, people and dine away!

Comments

author
JohnC430 made it!(author)2016-08-18

Chairs are very expensive but i did not see that in your post. You did a great job of the table top, but you could have bought for a small cost.

If u were not working it is a great idea. if you are working how much is your time worth? if it was quick and easy I'd say yeah ok but this tabletop took the life out of you. at that point i would say it was not worth the effort. i know anyone reading this will start haranguing me for this post but sorry that is my frank opinion.

author
cbailey31 made it!(author)2016-08-24

Chairs were mentioned in the post. I even included the link to the amazon page I purchased them from. They were $360 total.

I made the table in my spare time as a hobby. It was fun, enjoyable and low cost!

Cheers!

author
JohnC430 made it!(author)2016-08-30

sorry for my negative comment. u did a great job on it. I also enjoy wood working which is why I opened ur link. thanks for sharing

author
BarefootDancer made it!(author)2016-08-19

If you don't enjoy woodworking then no it is not worth the effort. This guy obviously enjoys woodwork and has the kit. While quick and easy is sometimes necessary, I personally think projects that aren't quick and easy are often the most fulfilling ones.

author
freddamnrock made it!(author)2016-08-18

By the look of his work space I don't think its a stretch to say this is a hobby of his or his line of work. Woodworking is just a hobby for me and I take scrap wood to make new projects all the time, especially when my handmade product is more rewarding and better quality than the store bought product.

author
DylanD581 made it!(author)2016-08-16

Awesome. I love the idea of having a table from reclaimed wood. Using the wood from your house makes a great story!

author
cbailey31 made it!(author)2016-08-24

Thanks; it makes for a great story.

author
MeganL50 made it!(author)2016-08-15

This is stunning! Well done!

author
cbailey31 made it!(author)2016-08-24

Thanks!

author
JeffM15 made it!(author)2016-08-18

Nice!!

author
arnoldomata made it!(author)2016-08-18

Wow. Excellent work and a great explanation with enough detail to make it clear.

author
robbiesrestorations made it!(author)2016-08-17

Very nice.

author
tomatoskins made it!(author)2016-08-15

Wow! I just published a table with a top very similar to yours. Your's turned out beautifully! I love the idea of using reclaimed studs. It gives the table so much more history and meaning!

author
cbailey31 made it!(author)2016-08-16

Thank you! Great work on your bench as well!

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