***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.
I also used some extra pieces of cedar I had hanging around from my old 40 year old arbor I took down in my back yard to give it a bit more contrast. Two of the pieces of cedar were cut with the nails still in them. I knew that from the get go, and although it's not the best thing for your blade, I thought it would give the table a cool touch, and make sure everyone knew it was reclaimed material.
For the edges, I used some old pine 4x4's I stored away after taking down a deck at a rental I own. After I cut the 4x4's down to 1 1/4 inch planks, I realized that the grain in these pieces were very unique looking....the grain was very tight, and something you rarely see these days at your normal home improvement store. The pine was also not pressure treated like the deck wood, so it sanded down much lighter than the rest of the table top.
I still go back and forth on if I made the right choice or not, because some of the pieces looked great...but at the end of the day, I thought the pressure treated "green" showed too much, so I decided to use a walnut stain. I first taped off the cedar pieces, as well as the pine border, (because I wanted to keep these natural looking) and started staining. After two coats, I was happy with the color, and decided to finish off the pine border.
Although I wasn't thrilled with the purchased pine, I was getting ancy to finish this thing, so I decided to go forward and install the lip. I let it dry over night, and came back with another 100 grit/220 grit finish on the edges, while rounding off the corners of the lip. I then finished off the table top edges with a router. I'm certainly not an expert with the router, but over all, it came out pretty good.
After that, I put on 3 coats of poly and called it a day! It's not perfect, but overall, I really like how it turned out.
Thanks for reading, and I would greatly appreciate your vote in the Woodworking Contest!!!