I have recently moved house and my new dining room was the wrong shape for my current dining table so I decided to make my own. My current table I would then recycle in to a bathroom sink unit.
I thought of a few design ideas as I wanted something a little different, but while looking at costing wood up I noticed that the wood shop had some brown oak which was at a reasonable price and sounded interesting. Basically the oak has been attacked by a fungus which turns the oak a deep brown colour, once it has been cut and dried the fungus attack stops. The resulting oak can have different patterns within a single plank making it perfect for a different looking table.
I made some speaker stands not long ago so decided to make the legs similar to these as they turned out quite funky!
I bought about 20m (65ft) of 200mm * 25mm (8" x 1") brown oak
I used about 2m (6.5ft) of 200mm * 25mm (8" x 1") sapele
Biscuits (approx 50)
Stretcher plates (12No)
Step 1: Work Out Plank Order for Table Top
In total I had 9 planks which I spent going through a massive pile of oak planks at the wood shop. The planks were all about 2200mm (7.2ft) long and the table top was going to measure 1300mm x 1300mm (4.2ft x 4.2ft) so I knew I could get all the wood for the legs out of the offcuts of the table top planks.
I needed 7 planks in total to get the correct width of the table top so I arranged all 9 planks on my living room floor and arranged the best 7 planks in to the order I wanted. Once happy I marked the order and position of the planks by drawing a big V across the final configuration.
Step 2: Plane and Clamp Table Top Boards
The planks came as squared on two edges so all I needed to do was to square the other thin edge and thickness all the planks to make them all the same.
I didn't fancy clamping all seven boards all at once so i decided to clamp them in threes and then clamp an extra board to make a four and a three. Once these were both dry I cleaned the joints and got rid of any small steps between the boards with a card scraper, chopped them to a similar size and marked the last biscuit joint positions.
The final table top was far too large to clamp together in my workshop and to use my conventional clamps. I had bought four sash clamp heads that you can bolt to 1" thick wood so I used the boards that would eventually be the aprons to the table.
The only place that was big enough to clamp was on top of the existing table so I transferred the two bits to my dining room and clamped the final two pieces.
Step 3: Table Legs
I wanted to have quite funky legs so I made them with three main columns separated by smaller bits at the top and bottom, with a small curve to the front.
After chopping all the main bits to length, approx. 750mm (30"), I marked out a curve on one of the sections and cut the curve out with a band saw. I then used this to transfer the curve on to the other leg bits and cut these out with the band saw. Before gluing up I sanded all the inside faces to 240 grit as I wouldn't be able to get to these easily later on.
I decided to glue these in parts as well to make the glue up a little easier and more of the bits would be lined up a little better.
I them made a foot for each leg which was just a rectangle with a 45 degree chamfer to each edge which I then bolted to the legs using a nut insert in the leg base.
I then sanded the remaining unsanded faces and applied a hard wax oil finish.
Step 4: Aprons and Finialising the Table Frame
As I wanted the legs to be at 45 degrees to the table edges I needed a was of fixing the apron to the legs. After thinking of loads of different ways I decided to cut a 'V' in the top of each leg so I could use pocket screws to fix the frame together.
Once I had cut all the legs and cut two pocket holes in each end of all the aprons I too them all to the dining room and screwed them all together.
I was pleasantly surprised at how rigid the frame ended up so I think I made a good decision!
Step 5: Cut to Size and Fill Holes
Now the top was fixed together I cut to size, using a circular saw, noting the positions of the biscuits so I didn't have any showing on the exposed edges. I then cleaned the edge up with a straight bit in a router.
As it was a dining table I needed to fill the holes with epoxy resin so they wouldn't get full of food etc. Once the epoxy was dried I cleaned it up with a card scraped and a plane for the larger bits.
Step 6: Fit Top, Sand and Oil
I then sand and oiled the underside of the top to 180 grit and fitted the base as it was upside down already. I used stretcher plates which have slotted holes in to accommodate movement of the top.
I then spent a few hours sanding the table top making sure it was sanded perfectly using 80, 120, 180, 240, 320 and 400 grit.
Once it was sanded the final thing was to oil. i used Osmo polyx which is a hard wax oil and had very good reviews. The finish looks very good, it was easy to apply and only need two coats.
Step 7: All Finished
The table turned out much better than I originally thought and ended up pretty flat and table looking...so very happy.
If you enjoyed my instructable or found it helpful (or both) please vote for me on the furniture contest. Thanks!