I built a dining room table with my free time this summer and finished it with a high gloss clear epoxy system. The project took me about two weeks to finish, and only requires average woodworking skills along with some basic woodworking equipment.
I picked up some scrap wood (2" x 7" in various lengths) from a local
pallet company for free, and bought a 9" x 3" x 5' piece of white ash for the legs. I used eight 5" long 3/8" bolts to secure the legs to the table. The power tools I had available were:
- Hand drill
- Circular Saw
- Router and table
- Table Saw
- Hand Sander
- Hand Grinder
I also used an assortment of manual tools, some of which are visible in the pictures. The dimension of the table is 4' x 6' (I picked this dimension because it would fit perfectly into the back of my pickup).
Step 1: Raw Materials, Table Top Assembly
The first step was to prep the planks for the table top. I cut them to length and sanded all sides smooth. To join the planks I hand drilled three 1/2" holes for a total of 15 dowels. I bought two 30" dowel rods that I cut into 3" dowels. I glued planks together in pairs first before putting all three pairs together. The weird tire setup in the picture was to correct a bend in the table (due to the hand drilling of the holes).
Step 2: Legs, Planing, and Assembly
The legs are 3" x 3" x 30" with 3" x 1.5" x 9" mounts. The legs are married to the mounts using four 4" long wood screws and some wood glue. The mounts have two holes drilled into the center of each adjoining square. The legs are then bolted on from the top of the table.
In the second picture I am hand planing the bottom of the table to get rid of any uneven edges. I didn't necessarily want the table to be perfectly level, rather just smooth to the touch. I did not plane the top of the table smooth because the concept for leveling the top was to create a high edge and let the epoxy self level itself.
I also routed the corners of the legs and put on a polyurethane finish.
Step 3: Copper Siding
For a cool look I bought some copper pipe then formed it to cover the sides. I cut the pipe using the table saw and hand flattened it using a hammer, anvil, and pliers (this was the hardest part of the whole project). I bought 1" diameter pipe to cover the entire side and have a 90 degree bend to cover approximately an inch on the top.
I nailed the copper on with 1" steel tacks (there was no pattern for the tacks, I just put them where they were needed). I then took a grinder to the sides and added some more flavor with a butane torch.
Step 4: Epoxy Finish
I bought 2 gallons of a two part 1:1 table top epoxy resin system off of amazon. To fill the various cracks and holes in the table I used clear caulk.
Because the legs are bolted on, the tops of the bolts are visible on the top side. I didn't like the way this looked so I counter-sunk the heads, and put some heat treated copper pieces on top of them. I made sure to fill the gaps around the head of the bolt with epoxy before putting the copper pieces on. You will not be able to get to the bolt heads once the epoxy is on so filling in the gaps ensures that you can fasten the legs on firmly.