Instructables

Patio Tabletop Made From Reclaimed Deck Wood

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TakingOutNails.jpg
I should first start out by saying that although this is somewhat of a "step-by-step" instructable, I'm not really going into complete detail on all the exact dimensions.  Not because I'm lazy, but because I customized this table top to fit on an existing patio table frame that I currently have (at least for now....I will, one day, create legs out of the same reclaimed wood).  So, if you are looking to create something like this for yourself, use whatever dimensions that work for you.

***I also decided to add a photo that captured my 10 ft bear sculpture in the background....maybe that will get me a few more votes at the end of the day*** :)

So now....on to the story.....

I've had an outdoor patio table with a tile top that I got years ago for cheap at the grocery store.  It was nothing special, but I could at least change out the tiles when I got sick of the look, and wanted to change it up a bit.  The existing tile table top did it's job, but I wanted to test my abilities on making my first  table top made out of 100% reclaimed wood (well, 99%).

I picked up a truck bed full of pressure treated 2x4's, 2x6's, 2x8's, and 4x4's off Craigslist for free that use to be a deck.  From the photos that were posted on the ad, the wood looked great.  However, upon my arrival, I realized the lady just knew how to take good photos!  The wood was in pretty bad shape (tons of nails, some not even salvageable, etc) but I'm a sucker, and still took it off the hands of the sweet old lady who was having her sisters coming in town that weekend.....which was the reason she needed them gone ASAP.  She was so happy that I took the wood, she even snapped a photo of me by my truck with all the wood in the bed. 

When I got back to the house, I picked out a wide variety of pieces, and started to square them up w/ the jointer and plane them down with the planer.  To my surprise, after about an 1/8 of an inch taken off on each side, the wood was looking pretty good.
 
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HollyMann2 years ago
ALSO, I hope you win this contest - you deserve it - and that table is so Beautiful!
HunterTX81 (author)  HollyMann2 years ago
Holly, that's very nice of you! You got my vote as well! :)
Thanks but you really deserve to win! :)) Are you working on any new projects for instructables?
HunterTX81 (author)  HollyMann2 years ago
I'm always working on something around the house, but don't have anything for instructables right now.....I am dying for a good idea though....so let me know if you have any :)
Hmm...I have lots of ideas...not sure what you like to make or have around though :) I would like to make some type of hanging outdoor chair..not really a hammock..something more creative...this one here is kind of boring - http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/furniture/by_type/outdoortablesseating/chairs/PRD~676920/Algoma+Reversible+Cushioned+Hanging+Chair.jsp...this is awesome but too huge http://pinterest.com/pin/51791464434976718/ ...and probably not manly enough! ;) I'm not sure...don't know much about wood working or building..but I def. LOVE the table you made
Loveruby2 years ago
Beautiful...
Hunter,
That table is beautiful. I am working on a table from scratch that has a top of tile, and the middle of the table is cut at 45's to accommodate a smaller center tile. The legs are 4x4's that are cut, sanded off the rough edges to make them partially round, decorative molding around the edges to hide the grout and it is around 36-40 inches high. A second shelf is placed below at the half point of the height. I will add photos when I am done. Again, you have inspired me and that is a great looking table. Craigslist has so much free things to build with!!!
HunterTX81 (author)  irishwarrior19582 years ago
Thanks for the kinds words, and definitely wanna see photos when you're done!
PepperMill2 years ago
Very nice, but......

Be careful of cross-grain construction:

Wood expands and contracts through the seasons. Table tops shrink width-wise during the dry winters due to loss of moisture, and expand during the summer when it reabsorbs moisture. Lengthwise there no expansion or contraction due to the way the wood cells are aligned.

Attaching a board along the endgrain end, with the wood grain at 90 degrees to the table wood, means the end piece will not expand and contract in unison to the table, and will eventually seperate from the end pieces.

You also have to be careful of how you attach the table to the base. Again, if you don't allow for the expansion and contraction, cracks will appear in the top.
Very cool and nice work on it, well done
techway2 years ago
The table is interesting and looks good from the pics, but treated wood?? Older treated woods are deadly, but even newer treated wood can be linked to possible ailments. I worked as a bio-chemical researcher and we found the chemicals still present even years later. Even newer treated woods have a dozen warnings, just take a walk through Lowe's or Home Depot and you'll see signs prompting you to wash your hands after touching their treated lumber (and that's the newer/safer stuff). I'm no lambasting, just thinking out loud and considering...what if someone sit down to eat or drink at the table on a breezy afternoon.
HunterTX81 (author)  techway2 years ago
@techway - I see where you are coming from, but think you are digging a bit deep on this one. Just a bit of background, I made sure to pick out the "lighter" pieces of wood when I started this project. As you probably already know, PT wood is substantially heavier than a regular ol 2x4. By doing that, I made sure to use the pieces that had either dried out completely, or weren't pressure treated as well as the others from the start. Although these pieces will most certainly still have traces of the chemicals after 7 years, they wouldn't have nearly as much as the ones you are walking past at Lowe's or Home Depot. The most dangerous part when dealing with pressure treated wood is when you are cutting or sanding the material (unless the wood is still "wet" that is). I did all this outside, with a heavy duty mask on.

Now for your last comment/question....it has 2 coats of stain, and 3 heavy coats of poly, so the layer that you are eating/drinking off of isn't even the actual wood. I very much doubt a breeze will kill you :)
breeanna2 years ago
Beautiful!
HollyMann2 years ago
Good job! This table looks beautiful!!!! I wish I had those skills!
HunterTX81 (author)  HollyMann2 years ago
Thanks Holly! I love the "suitcase pet bed"...great idea!!

"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."
Thanks Hunter! :) I LOVE that quote too!!! And that is how I feel when I am creating things - which some people look at me and think I'm nuts for attempting, I feel I know I can do it...even if it ends up taking me so much more time than I could have imagined....I've then learned something new... Anything is possible! :)
revjim50002 years ago
Beautiful table, and that was a great idea to use the existing frame. Bravo, sir!
Please be careful with old treated wood.
It was mostly made with chromated copper arsenate (known as CCA).
So you have to protect yourself, especially when sanding, as you really do not want to breathe it.
And if you're using it for a table you'll eat from, you do want to seal it very well. Which you did.
But the point is, CCA was made to kill things like fungus and rot, so you need to take care of yourself when you're around it.
Don't take my word for it. Google it.
HunterTX81 (author)  Ricardo Furioso2 years ago
Thanks for the heads up Ricardo. I have heard this before about pressure treated wood, and definitely made sure to be protected when I was planing/sanding these down. Better to be safe, than sorry!! :)
bruce50002 years ago
outstanding
tema1372 years ago
Nice work!
HunterTX81 (author)  tema1372 years ago
Thanks tema137!!