A Table From Discarded Wood Flooring




Introduction: A Table From Discarded Wood Flooring

About: woodworker, welder, crafter, maker, youtuber www.youtube.com/c/ChadMakesIt

A friend of mine grabbed some old wood floor planks that were being thrown out. They were from a local historic building that was being remodeled. He asked me to make a table top from them. He gave me the dimensions he wanted and said he wanted it framed in something black and to keep the original finish on the floors. ... the rest was up to me.

I liked the idea of a black pipe base to compliment the framing on top. So I went to work

You can see a video of this project by clicking here.

Step 1: Cut to Length & Clean Up the Grooves

I cut the flooring down on a miter saw to just shy of the dimensions that were requested for the table top. I knew I would have to add some sort of black framing around it, so I allowed for some extra space to be added.

After my boards were cut I had to clean out the tongue and groove fittings with a wire brush so everything could fit snug again. The building was built in 1933, so there were years and years of crud built up between the pieces.

Step 2: Glue Up & Adding a Base

After a my grooves were cleaned, I started arranging and gluing up each piece of flooring. I used a pair of pipe clamps to hold everything together tight. I then cut out a piece of OSB as a backer board to add some stability. I glued it on and then used a brad nailer to secure it.

Step 3: The Outer Framework

After the glue was dry, I started to frame everything in using red oak. I cut each piece to length on the miter saw. Everything was cut at 90 degrees to make simple butt joints. I then used a biscuit joiner to cut some slots for attaching the framework.

I then started to tape off the table top to protect it using a combination of duct tap ( yes, duct tape), masking tape, and wax paper.

I then glued everything up on the sides and inserted the biscuits . I clamped everything together for a secure fit.

Step 4: Ebonizing the Red Oak Frame

After the glue was dry, I lightly and carefully sanded the red oak frame. After doing some research on the ebonizing process, I came up with a 2 oz. bottle of Speedball Super Black India Ink. It seemed to be the most popular route to go. I applied 2 light coats about 20 minutes apart with a sponge brush.

After drying overnight, I applied a couple of light coats Deft Semi-Gloss Wood Finish.

Step 5: Pipe Base Assembly & Finishing

It's good to have an assortment of fitting sizes when assembling a plumbing pipe table base. Even with an assortment, it's a bit of a puzzle. None of the identical fittings tighten to the same point on the threads, so there is a lot of trial and error.

The pipe flanges are a must for mounting onto the base of a table and I think they look nice as a foot to the legs of the table.

When you have the base figured out to best compliment the table top, It is important to clean the pipes. They will be coated in a petroleum based grease to keep them from rusting. The best and most efficient solution is acetone. I recommend using some rubber gloves and paper towels in this process.

After everything is cleaned off, I applied some Deft Satin Lacquer to it to protect it and keep it from rusting. Three light coats should be enough.

Step 6: Final Assembly & Finishing Up

I painted the OSB board under the table top black to give everything a more uniform appearance. I then mounted the base to the table with some screws into the pipe flanges. Since I was asked to keep the original floor finish, I just cleaned it up the top with some Murphy's Oil Soap.

Thanks for checking it out. This was my first experience using pipe and ebonizing wood. I learned a lot in the process. Hopefully this will help inspire you to try something new or different also.


Trash to Treasure Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017



    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest

    17 Discussions

    Beautiful job...nicely presented...Id like to try it myself

    1 reply

    If you have an Artist supply near you it may be possible to find the ink there. A lot of artists use India Ink for their pen and ink drawing because of its PERMANENT nature. Don't wear your white-go-to meeting shit while applying this. What ever it touches its there. Great for certain projects though. Loved the look of this project.

    1 reply

    This is gorgeous! I had hoped to do something similar with flooring. Question - is there a reason to black the frame after putting it on rather than before (when there would be no fear of getting the ink on the planking that you so carefully masked out)? I'm nervous about not being as careful as you.

    2 replies

    I normally would have painted or stained something like the frame before assembly. But, I was concerned about having glue run off when I clamped the framework on. And it did run out a bit. I was able to wipe it off and sand it down before applying the india ink. Having 2 separate finishes on a table top was tricky to figure out.

    Thanks! I think I can manage glue more readily than ink, just because I'm more familiar with working with glue and wood. Hope to give it a go this spring. I'll post the results. Thanks for the inspiration.

    One more thing, do you think it would have been easier to put the pipes together if you had of used some pipe union connectors. I think I might try using a total of 3 unions on the cross pieces. I have access to a pipe cutter and threader so I could cut and thread pieces that connect together with a union.

    1 reply

    This was my first experience with pipe, If I had access to a threader I might have done it like that too. I just bought a bunch of random sizes hoping I could make it work for the base dimensions. It didn't work perfectly, but It came together eventually.
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Chad, very nice job on that table. It looks very good and I may build something similar. Only problem I have is I have new flooring boards and they won't have the look and character that you got. Maybe I'll do something to try and artificially age my boards.

    I have one question, I have never seen the product you used to age the oak band. Where do I get Speedball Super Black India Ink?


    1 reply

    Thank you, I bought it on ebay for around 5 or 6 bucks. They also sell it on Amazon and in alot of craft stores.

    nice job! you could also use automotive brake cleaner spray to clean the oil off the pipes. I guess you could use the flanges on the feet to adjust the height of each leg so it's level and doesn't wobble once it's put in its final place. probably doesn't matter on carpet if they're close, but may need some adjustment on hard flooring. thanks for posting.

    3 replies

    Thank You. It was very tricky to get it level. I added a little super glue to the pipe threads when I get them just right.

    You might want to leave them adjustable. Not all floors are level and this would allow you to adjust as necessary. Sometimes a floor tile can be slightly higher than the one the leg on the opposite corner of the table is sitting on.

    The guy I made it for was putting it on new carpet in a newly built home. Otherwise, I would have left them adjustable. I knew it would be a really flat and forgiving surface.

    lovely, clear steps and great video ... what is the type/exact product you used as glue?

    1 reply

    Thank you. I used Titebond Original Wood Glue