Instructables

Natural Wood Tables

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Picture of Natural Wood Tables
I love woodworking, and I have been making these tables for many years. They are not hard to make, but they look gorgeous when they are done.

My instructable will show you how to make your own a one of a kind table like this, without a lot of fancy tools. You only need access to either drift wood or some fallen trees, and a little imagination!

This is my first Instructable and also my entry into the Shop Bot and Furniture Contests. So if you like this project, I would really appreciate your votes!

I have included pictures of some of the other tables I've made. I hope you like them!
 
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Step 1: Materials & Tools

Selecting Pieces of Wood:

For this project I used a piece of cut Cedar for the table top and base and a piece of Juniper for the table leg; but you don't have to use these types of wood! Almost ANY kind of wood can be used.

The table will be more interesting and beautiful if it has some nice bends and color, so use your imagination when you select pieces to use. Look for fallen trees from storms, or from an old logging area, or find driftwood from a lake side.

The pieces don't have to be perfect. If there are some rotten areas, I will show you how to transform the wood into a gorgeous table!

I am using a base that is about 1 1/2 inches thick and a table top that is about 2 inches thick. Make your pieces however thick you want, just leave it thick enough for strength. These tables are not very heavy when they are done.

Note: Make sure your wood pieces are fully dry before you make your table. 

Various Rocks (to fill any rotten areas of the wood)

You don't have to pick any special kind of rocks, just look for pieces that have nice color and shine when they are wet. Some of the rocks I used are called Mica, but use what you are able to find. If the pieces are big you can break them down with a hammer or large rock. Wear safety glasses!

Varnish

When your table is done, you'll have to finish it with Varnish. The product I used (see photo) is very thick and works GREAT for this project. It makes a varnish layer that is 50 times thicker than regular varnish. You might want to try looking for it online, or buy a similar product where you live. If you must use regular Varnish, simply add enough coats to ensure the wood is well protected and sealed.

Tools & Additional Supplies
  • Hand saw or chain saw to cut the wood pieces to take home and to cut later to size.
  • Sander & Sandpaper (Electric is faster, but you can use a sandpaper block)
  • Planer (if your wood is cut too uneven for a sander)
  • Chisel or other sharp tool (to clean away loose and rotten areas of wood)
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Drill & Drill bit (to cut dowel holes)
  • Pre-made dowels to attach table top (Available at most home improvement stores, or you can make them.)
  • Wood glue
  • A few screws (to attach the base to the table leg)
  • Disposable dish to mix your varnish
  • Paintbrushes to apply your varnish
  • Propane Torch (to heat the varnish and remove any air bubbles. Also recommended by the Varnish I used.)
  • Strong Wide Tape (used on wood edges where rocks are used as a filler, to keep rocks from falling out.)
  • Work bench & some clamps (to secure your wood pieces during sanding).
  • Tape Measure
Varnish can make a mess, so you might also want to use a drop cloth or a large scrap piece of cardboard to protect your work area.

Note: Make sure you use safety glasses, and any ear protection, as needed when using power tools! 
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canucksgirl2 years ago
This project was made by my dad! I hope you all love it as much as I do. We have been so lucky to have all gotten tables like these for Christmas, and now you can make one yourself. The instructions are very easy to follow, and there are lots of pictures.

Great job Dad!!!
mrlunna131 year ago
Magnificent work!!
mrlunna131 year ago
Absolutely gorgeous!! Thank you for posting this great instructable!!
Jesse M.
WUVIE2 years ago
Absolutely beautiful! I can see where Canucksgirl gets her eye for all things wonderful!
Wow these are really nice!

Attmos2 years ago
I really love your work. you have inspired me and i think i'll have to try this. thanks.
RetiredFinn (author)  Attmos2 years ago

I thank you.If you find interesting pieces of wood,the results will be pleasing to see.Will you vote for me?
Vote for you? I already did. I have an entry aswell, but its not nearly as artistic. Nice work.
RetiredFinn (author)  Attmos2 years ago

Thank you for voting .Your entries are interesting,keep those ideas coming!
iceng2 years ago
Verrrry Impressive, putting rocks into woody scars, Wow, great idea.

Iv a large desk with a serious ruined spot that I'm going to try this on
and embed a NIB magnet with epoxy to hold it down under a thin rock :-) 

Beautiful work !

A
Hey Alex, Thanks for commenting on my dad's instructable. :)
You should really give the rock treatment a try. My dad has made MANY of these tables, and they look gorgeous when they are done. If you can find some really cool looking, shiny rocks, they work the best, but anything you find interesting will work. - Liisa
Your welcome Liisa.
I do terrible things to rocks.
Grind them, slice them and sometimes polish and drill them.
It might make a neat ible some day when I can display it properly :-)

A
lol.. then, this project will definitely work for you. :)
You should post an ible when you get time about what you've done with rocks. Sounds interesting. (I always wanted a rock tumbler when I was younger!).
Same rock different light
RLRA6.jpgRUA3.jpgRWA5.jpg
Very cool. :) - What are they?
Over here in rock shops you can buy 3 baseball sized geodes for $6
really? I've never seen them like that before. Over here you can apparently find them (in some locations), but they look like dinosaur eggs with the crystals and such on the inside. So you have to cut or break them open. But wow, 3 for $6 for these... thats great. You could probably make a lot with them. :)
RetiredFinn (author)  iceng2 years ago
thank you
XoneDaGnome2 years ago
I've always wanted to do this!! Thank you for sharing!

Now on the lookout for wood....
RetiredFinn (author)  XoneDaGnome2 years ago

thanks;happy hunting for the wood,that is half of the fun!
cjf2 years ago
Beautiful! I have been collecting manzanita burls out of the river, now I know what to do with them! Love the rock fill idea, lots of mica, garnet, and serpentine around here that will look great. Thanks for posting this great instructable!
RetiredFinn (author)  cjf2 years ago


thank you;your materials sound good
Very nice! I like how you explained how to get everything level. I made a very clunky version of this in 1978 and it tends to tip over unless braced against a wall or piece of furniture. I had minimal skills and even more minimal tools at the time.
RetiredFinn (author)  CatTrampoline2 years ago

thank you,if my project was any help,thats good
Beauceron2 years ago
I love natural wood. Beautiful work, sir! I'm voting for this project but the stars aren't showing up so I can't rate it. Sorry.
There has been an intermitted issue with the rating stars... hopefully they get it fixed soon.

Very nice comment btw, I'm sure my dad is grateful. Thanks. :D
Wow these are great!
wow this is just amazing! i'm looking at making a small shed for a writing hut and this is the kinda table i want in it!! its really nice!
RetiredFinn (author)  AussieAnglerGal2 years ago


Thank you,happy writings!
thanks! if i make it i'll post some pictures!
Make sure you do. We'd love to see it in some different kinds of wood. :D
cool! after floods we get heaps of awesome wood shapes washed up from further upstream so it should look cool!
Absolutely. The more character and color in the wood the better. :D
cool, i'm even getting ideas for a lamp holder....
It's going to take me some time cause all we have is field trees which are boring trees and not big trees.
No problem. This instructable isn't going anywhere. :D

Happy hunting!
build522 years ago
awesome! I am going do this tell your dad great project!
RetiredFinn (author)  build522 years ago


Thanks a lot,good luck
faisalch2 years ago
Wow, these tables are amazingly beautiful and enchanting. Infact I think these are not only decorative but also useable. Mr. Finn You have got a fantastic idea. I have been impressed a lot.
RetiredFinn (author)  faisalch2 years ago

Thank you,tables are very useful in my home.
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