Introduction: From Dining Chair to Table

I was asked by a friend at work to make a desk for his son, all that was required was that it had a space for his XBOX and it was cheap! I had some old dining chairs lying around and had the idea of using these in the design. At first I was going to strip all the wood and make a complete new frame but looking at the curved frame I decided to try and use them as they were.

Step 1: Strip the Chairs

First step is to get two dining chairs and remove the covers, this can be done in a variety of ways. I used a combination of flat head screwdriver and pliers to remove the staples from the underside of the chair where the fabric had been attached to the frame. This is time consuming but you need to get all of the staples out. When this is done the black bottom covering and seat covers will come off easily. You can then remove the foam. You then need to remove more staples that hold the seat support fabric in place until all of these are removed. When everything is removed you should be left with a nice wooden frame.

Next step is to remove the diagonal wooden support which would block the use of a shelf. This was gently persuaded with a hammer!

Part of the reason these chairs had been thrown out was because the frame had become loose, so the next step is to re-glue the frame using either PVA or expanding glue depending upon how loose the frame has become. I used PVA and clamped it whilst setting.

Whilst this was setting, I filled the larger holes where the staples had been, with some PVA and saw dust mixture.

Do the above for 2 chairs

Step 2: Test Height

So when both frames were strengthened I clamped them together upside down. I worked out how high the table needed to be based on an office chair height and other tables but also considering how much space I needed for the shelves to allow an Xbox.

Once I was happy, I marked on the chair legs (which are upside down and at top of table) and cut with a tenon saw.

Finally placed a flat piece of wood on top to test the height of the table and make sure its was level.

Step 3: Sand Frames

So the next step is to sand both chairs down, I used a combination of electric sanders and hand sanding.

Step 4: Assemble Base for Table

Clamp the two chairs together in the desired position (chairs should be facing each other) and fasten together. I screwed these together for ease and as the screws will not be seen. I also added extra pieces of wood, which were cut from the offcuts, which attach the shortened legs together and will also be used to attach the table top, see pic. These were drilled, glued and screwed from the back. This was done to both sets of front legs.

Step 5: Shelf

Now the table base is assembled we need to make a shelf for each side. The shelf will be supported by the original supports that are in the chair, these used to support the seat. To make the shelf I made a template from scrap card because it is a complex shape and simple traced around this onto some scrap melamine faced hardboard that I had. Cut this out using your preferred method. I used a jigsaw. Then lightly sand edges. You can use other materials depending what you have. I made this a tight fit, glued the supports and pushed into place. Repeat for both sides.

Step 6: Add a Table Top

The table top you use is up to you depending upon what you have available. I was lucky enough to be given some uneven oak which was slightly bowed. I dowel jointed the separate lengths together, keeping its un-even character, gluing and clamping it. I then sanded away the old varnish levelling the edges of the boards.

Using the diagonal chair supports that I removed earlier, I measured and cut two supports for each side of the table, gluing and screwing them to the top of the cut down old chair legs. I then attached the table top, because of the wavy boards this was not as easy as it could have been and needed small adjustments to the supporting area of the frame to make sure the top sat level. The top was attached by screws, countersunk from the underside of the supports that I added. You could attach the top with dowels or other methods, I used screws to allow for the top to be removed for transportation.

Step 7: Final Sand and Finish

Lightly sand the frame and finish the wood in your preferred method. I used lacquer, 2 coats then a coat of wax.

That is the table finished with two shelves made from two old dining chairs! ………………………………………UNTIL...…………Rule one of making furniture NEVER SHOW YOUR WIFE!!!!!

Ok so now she seen the table she want ones, start again!

Step 8: Add Drawers

Ok so as I am now making another table for my wife, I change the frame slightly just for aesthetic purposes really and decided to add drawers. To do this I made some simple plywood boxes but with angled fronts. Added some more melamine faced hardboard to the front of the boxes and the sides of table frame from the inside. For the drawer handles I used the angled chair supports, I removed at the start to open up the shelf. These were sanded and oiled and attached from the back of the drawer.

Step 9: Finish

So the second table has a beech table top which I set further back to allow easy access to the drawers but the process was the same. Have a go see what you come up with! thanks for reading

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