How to Make a Rustic Walnut Dining Table



About: Hi Everyone, I'm Jeremy Hoffpauir. I write instructables about unique DIY woodworking and home improvement projects. I use unique design elements with a rustic coastal style in my creations such as epoxy...

In this instructable, learn how to build a DIY Walnut Dining Table. Additionally, learn various woodworking skills such as wood joinery options, sanding techniques, and my favorite wood table finish.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law recently completed a major renovation to their home. Essentially, they tore down their existing home and built a new one in the same location.
So, they asked me to make a walnut dining table and matching walnut barn doors. Ultimately, I agreed to do build this for them.

They sent me the pictures of the unfinished space along with measurements and I started the project.

Tools & Material Used

Digital Plans

Miter Saw

Festool Track Saw

Guide Rail Connector

Combination Square

MFT3Tape Measure

Festool Domino

Alternate: Dowel Jig

Alternate: Biscuit Jointer

CT-SYS Vacuum

Wood Glue Dispenser


Glue Applicator

Bar Clamps

Rubber Mallet

Rotex Sander

40 grit

60 grit

80 grit

100 grit

120 grit

220 grit

320 grit

Soft Sanding Pad

Trim Router

1/4" roundover bit

Rubio Monocoat

Rubber Gloves

Dust Mask

Lint Free Rags

Buffing Pad for Sander

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Step 1: Find Walnut Wood

First, I contacted my buddy Charles at Riverside Lumber in New Orleans, LA. and gave him the amount of lumber I needed in board feet.

I sold my planer, so I needed S2S (Surface 2 Sides) Walnut wood. Also, I used 8/4 (2" thick) for the DIY Walnut Dining Table and 4/4 (1" thick) for the DIY Walnut Sliding Barn Doors.

Step 2: Mill Wood

First, I trimmed roughly 1/2" off each side of Walnut wood.

Next, I used my track saw to trim roughly 1/8" off each side of the 8/4 Walnut. This track saw does a great job of joining 2 boards together.
In fact, it takes the place of a jointer in my workshop.

The festool TS75 track saw combined with my MFT3 for cross cutting prompted me to sell my table saw.
Ultimately, it takes slightly longer for me to cut wood; however, this minor inconvenience is heavily outweighed by the space I gained in my shop.

Step 3: Table Top Joinery

I used my festool domino as the joinery method for this walnut table top.

Additionally, biscuits or dowels work as well. First, I aligned the boards how I wanted them and stretched my tape measure from one end to the other. Next, I made a pencil mark roughly every 12" and approximately 4" from each end.

Then, I aligned my festool domino with y pencil marks and cut a mortise.

Step 4: Glue Up

After I cut each mortise, I spread glue liberally along each side of Walnut.

Next, I inserted the dominos.

Step 5: Clamping Tips for Table Top

I used my parallel clamps to secure 2 boards together.

While working quickly, I gradually tightened the clamps from one side to the other. Once 2 boards are securely tightened and level, I loosen the clamps and attach the other 2 boards.

Then, I used a wood caul to keep the DIY walnut dining table level before I applied the final clamping pressure. I wrapped the bottom of the wood caul with packing tape to prevent the glue from sticking.

Step 6: Sanding Wood for a Professional Finish

While I realize sanding is boring, it is vital to wood table projects.

After watching many hours of instructional video, testing different sanders, sandpaper, and grits - I finally found the best combination which works consistently for me. The main component of my sanding wood procedure is the Festool RO125. Ultimately, this tool improved my quality and production more than any other tool in my shop. Moreover, it is worth its weight in gold.

Wood Sanding Grit Sequence

First, I only use my sander in rotary mode for hardwoods. Next, I sand the surface with the following grits: 40 grit, 60 grit, 80 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit, and 320 grit. At times, I go up to 800 grit and 1500 grit depending on the finish I use.

Step 7: Wood Sanding Technique

My simple wood sanding technique consists of working in a 24" x 24" section at a time.

First, I sand from right to left beginning at the bottom. I work my way to the top of the section.

Next, I sand the same section from top to bottom.

Ultimately, it reminds me of a tic-tac-toe pattern.

Step 8: Raise Grain for Smoother Surface

I use a damp rag to clean the surface and raise the grain. I sand the surface with 320 grit sandpaper again.

Step 9: Cross Cut Table to Size

After I'm done sanding, I trim each end of the table to size.

Step 10:

First, I used my trim router with a 1/4" roundover bit to roundover the DIY walnut dining table.

Step 11: Favorite Finish for Wood Table

First, I chose Rubio Monocoat pure to finish this walnut dining table build. I've watched numerous videos rubio monocoat application and it seems like it performs well.

Additionally, I liked the idea of only applying 1 coat.

Step 12: Apply Finish

First, I mixed the 2 parts according to the instructions: 2 parts A to 1 part B.

Next, I poured the finish and spread it across the table with a plastic spreader. I didn't pour too much in order to avoid waste.

Then, I poured a little more on the opposite end of the table and repeated the process.

To cover the edges, I let a bead drip over the edge and spread it before it dripped.

Step 13: Buffing Table

It is vital to not leave any material on the table, so I used a lint free rag to wipe off the visible excess.

Next, I used my festool RO125 with a buffing pad to remove the remaining material. I buffed the table for about 10 minutes.

Step 14: Table Bottom

My brother-in-law hired a professional welder to build the table bottom. The welder is my brother-in-law's close friend as well.

Although this is a skill I want to learn very soon, I don't know how to weld as of now nor do I own a welder. As can be seen in the picture below, he did a fantastic job.

Step 15: Conclusion

I hope this project provided you with value.

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Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions. I'm happy to help!

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