Picture of Minimalist Table from Reclaimed Floor Boards
Having tried my hand at refinishing an old piece of furniture, I figured I might have a go at creating a piece from scratch.  I was in the market for a small kitchen table, and liked the minimalist look.  I had seen many examples (here, here, and here) of the type of table that I wanted but they were all really expensive, ranging from around $500 to over $2000.  This was just too far out of my budget range, especially because the hairpin legs I wanted to use could be had for a fairly reasonable price online.  After that it was simply finding some nice looking wood that would handle the minimalist design well.  I also really like the idea of using reclaimed wood for several reasons.  So I went to my favorite purveyor of used construction materials, Construction Junction, and was able to find some lovely old floor boards and reclaimed slats all for under $20 in lumber.

I am entering this instructable in the "I could make that" contest, so if you like what you see, please vote!

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Step 1: Gathering Materials

Picture of Gathering Materials
At first the boards don't seem like much to look at... just dusty, worn, old floor boards.  But to me, they looked like a kitchen table.  I thought the grain was pretty and because they were old and seasoned, they weren't likely to warp or split.  Plus they already had a tongue-and-groove which made fitting them together especially convenient.

Ingredients for this Project:

-Reclaimed floor boards
-Reclaimed slats from a bed
-30in hairpin legs from
-1-1/2 inch woods screws
-Wood glue


-Belt sander
-Orbital sander
-Screw gun
-Sand paper
DoloresB127 days ago

Did you put down new floorboards and take out the old ones? I don't plan on replacing my floorboards for a long time. I think I'm just going to get a few boards of wood from the store, because I really want to try this, but I don't want to ruin my floorboards.

A suggestion about the chisels: Even the finest chisels need to be honed before use. Get a moderately priced set from a woodworker's store, or on-line, and learn how to sharpen. It's not difficult, and doesn't need to be a precise as the on-line instructions might lead you to believe. Once you've learned how to sharpen, you'll never need to buy another set of chisels.

Also second the wax-paper. Put some between the glue-up and your weights, and/or clamps, and you'll never have to worry about gluing them together again.
I have some old oak floor boards that you gave me an idea of what to do with them.
Nice job. With those legs give it a clean modern look I might have eased over the top edges but that might not work so well with the hard edge minimal look.
I always worry about solid wood movement ever since I heard a small library table split its top when it started to shrink as it was drying out from getting damp. I see that you have fasteners in each board that should keep the joints even when they move sealing all sides can minimize the movement. The traditional solution is slotted holes in the stretchers or braces across the grain to allow for the top to move.
love that minimal look!
uncle frogy
Tazmjm691 year ago
The table turned out great, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who swears while building things!!
TorBoy91 year ago
This is a very nice table and well constructed. You might want to invest in a chop saw, as you stated, because the cuts are more accurate, especially with narrow wood. When you are gluing up and adding your clamps and heavy items on top you could use wax paper in between the clamp and the wood. Some clamps, especially black pipe clamps can leave marks on the wood due to the water in the glue. Wax paper helps prevent the glue from sticking to your clamps and heavy items.

Your table should last a very long time, and can be easily resurfaced at any time.
Branebot (author)  TorBoy91 year ago
Love the wax paper idea. That certainly would've worked better than the paper towels. Thanks for the tip!
Branebot (author) 1 year ago
Thanks for all the lovely comments and encouragement, folks. I really appreciate your feedback!
Instead of chisels why not use a hand plane or jointer? I know not everyone has these tools but a simple block plane would do this job (and MANY more) much better than chisels at about the same price.
ladybgood1 year ago
beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
dflare1 year ago
Beautiful results! Well done. :)
Geedox1 year ago
Fond Memories! Some 60 years ago my dad bougth about six four-piece sets of hairpin legs at a garage sale in San Tome, Venezuela! Four of the sets were coffee-table height and the other two standard table height! He built a small table just like yours as my desk and upon growing It ended as a hobby worktable. The top was decommisioned about 30 years ago, And I still keep all the legs!! The only mod he did to the legs was welding a large (about 2-1/2in) steel washer at the hairpin so rubber pads or rug/carpet protectors could be affixed! Good design doesn't die! I wish your work will hold up as much as my dad's did!!!!
lrtburkett1 year ago
I love the table and the dog! She looks like my own Bambers!
Wolfgar771 year ago
Thanks for the post. You've given me some great ideas!
fav'd, good tutorial (for saving money) but how much is wiener dog in chihuahuas?
Branebot (author)  jonneburger1 year ago
I think the conversion to chihuahuas is 2.3, but someone will have to check my math on that one. So it should be rated for at least 23 chihuahuas (assuming average size).
That seems about good. This goes to buildlist
I'm from PGH too. I love construction junction
bob30301 year ago
Very nice. I like that you used repurposed lumber. I also liked the idea of nipping the 1 1/2 inch screws to best fit your project. Thanks for posting.
wow, this came out great - what a good idea.