The kitchen in our home is sort of awkwardly narrow. Our old kitchen table wasn't even an option when we first moved in, so my wife started looking for a new one. She found one she really liked from a high-end retailer. It was rustic, counter-top height and priced at over fifteen hundred dollars. I was like, "That's (expletive) ridiculous. I can build a table just like that for a tenth of the cost." And I did. The original kitchen table was a re-purposed tool bench from Home Depot that I'd tweaked and refined. It looked pretty good and it served it's purpose for 2+ years, but it was a little too big and the surface boards were uneven - my daughter complained that she couldn't do her homework on it. So, it was time for a new one.
Step 1: Finding the Materials
I wasn't in a rush to piece something together like I was when we first moved in, so I didn't go out and actively seek materials. I had a vague idea of what I was looking for and eventually came across these two items, both of which came from the maintenance garage at work. The first was the pallet-like monstrosity in the picture. I have no idea what shipped in it, but it was big & heavy. The second was an old chest, or armoire, with shelves. It was laying on the floor in an unused corner of the building with a bunch of other junk. The back of it was water damaged and rotting, but the door was in good shape; the wood felt solid and more importantly, it was flat & level. I couldn't tell you how old the chest was, but it was built using regular, flat head screws so my guess would be sometime prior to WW2.
Step 2: Tools and Supplies
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the work in progress. The pictures in the following steps are after the fact. I was originally going to take the wood from the shipping crate and build 2 end tables, so this picture is the door sitting on one of the bases I'd built for them. As it turned out, the dimensions I'd sketched out were too big for an end table, but just about right for a kitchen table... except the height. A happy accident.
Here are the tools and supplies I used.
2" drywall screws
white chalk paint (I made a DIY recipe I found on-line using flat white paint and baking soda.)
Step 3: Door / Table Top
Once I figured out the proper dimensions, I treated the table top and bottom as two separate pieces. The door / table top definitely took the longest to prepare. Even though it's technically a "door," it was really just 2 boards joined together by 3 slightly shorter boards, so I'd think it would be fairly simple to duplicate.
The 2 table top boards are: 10 1/2" wide, 50" long, 3/4" high - 21"x 50" total (pic 1)
The 3 cross boards joining them are: 2 1/2" wide, 19 1/2" long, 3/4" high, spaced at 5 1/2" in from the sides, and one right down the middle. (pic 2)
The door had at least 5 coats of paint on it, if not more. I used three rounds of paint stripper and a hand sander with coarse grit sandpaper on it until all traces of the paint were gone. Then I sanded it more with progressively finer grits of sandpaper until it was smooth. It took 3 different colors of stain before I got the color and effect I wanted, and when I finally had that locked in, I coated it with polyurethane.
Step 4: Base
I didn't spend nearly as much time with the pallet pieces for the legs and braces as I did the table top. I initially washed them down with some left-over deck cleaner I had laying around, then did a rough sanding on them.
Here are the measurements for the table base. I wanted the table to be counter-top height which is typically 35 inches, so I knocked an inch off of the legs to compensate for the height of the table top.
The legs (4) are 2x4's at 34 inches long (pic 1)
The lower end braces (2) are 2x4's at 15 inches long (pic 2)
The upper braces on the ends (2) are 1x6's at 15 inches long (pic 3)
The upper braces on the sides (2) are 1x6's at 32 inches long (pic 4)
The foot rest boards underneath (2) are 1x6's at 27 1/2" (pic 5)
I made the end pieces first with the lower brace on the inside and the upper brace (or skirt) on the outside. Then I joined them together with the sides, and foot rest boards. The foot rests are secured to the top of lower braces. Everything was assembled using 2 inch dry wall screws. I put two screws in wherever boards met. After that, I painted the completed base with the homemade chalk paint, scuffed it up a bit and then coated it with semi-gloss polyurethane.
Step 5: The Finished Product
And here's the finished table, joined together with the original hinges from the door. I think my wife was a little skeptical of my abilities at first, but she seems to love the table now. And that's the important thing, right? Well, that and I didn't have to spend a zillion dollars.
Thanks for taking a look.