Modern Table




About: I like making stuff.

I recently graduated from Art School in June. At my school we had a final portfolio show for potential employers. The school provided everyone with a foldable table and a black table cloth. I wanted to stand out from my fellow classmates so I decided to make a modern table to showcase my work.

The table is made of poplar boards and stained a walnut color. I attached some hair pin legs to the table to give it that modern feel. Overall, I love how it came out and it is now my new desk.

I have included a video in case you are a visual learner.

Step 1: Tools & Materials.

1. Wood (I used Poplar)

2. Glue

3. Dowling jig (optional)

4. Clamps

5. Hair pin table legs (I got mine on sale at Rockler)

This table cost me a total of $120

Step 2: Cutting the Wood.

The total length that the table could be was 60". So I went to Home Depot and picked out 5 poplar boards that had an interesting grain pattern. I had the guys at Home Depot cut the boards to length since I was running short on time. I made this table about a week and a half before my portfolio show, so i was pressed for time.

You can easily make this table out of any kind of wood and it would work. I took a few mins to rearrange the boards in a pattern that I thought would look cool. Once I figured out how I wanted it, I flushed up one side and started making lines for the dowels to line up.

Step 3: Dowling Jig.

The jig that I used in my last instructable and this one was one I got from Rockler. I love it and it is so easy to use.

What you do is line up the middle line of the jig to the line you drew on your board then you drill the hole. I decided to clamp mine down so that all my holes lined up in the end. This specific jig works with 3/4 inch wood.

Step 4: Glue Up.

Glue was a little tricky since my table was so big. I joined the boards in sections and then clamped it all at the same time with some bar clamps.

I pounded in the dowels and joined the first two boards and just repeated that process. I let the table clamped for a little over 24 hours. I wanted to make sure it was strong. Once the boards were glued together I took some scraps and glued a small boarder all around the table to hide the table legs a bit.

Step 5: Staining & Finishing.

I really wanted my table to look like Walnut wood but didn't have the budget to buy actual walnut wood. So I used Waco Walnut Danish Oil to stain the table. The oil made this thing look incredible!!!!!! In my opinion it made it look more modern. For the table being so big it didn't take much oil, only took two coats.

For a finish I used polyacrylic varnish to give it a nice coat of protection since I knew I would use this as a desk after the show. I put on one coat and let it dry for 24 hours. Then once that dried I lightly sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper. Once I removed the dust I added a second coat and only had to wait 10 hours before I could apply a third coat. Once it dried I sanded again and put that final coat one. The final coat only took like 4 hours to dry.

Since all the finishing was done I decided it was time to add the table legs. I didn't record that part since it is a simple step. All you do is drill the legs to the bottom of the table.

Step 6: Enjoy Your New Table.

This table could easily be anything! You could put shorter legs on and make it a coffee table, you can use it as a dinning room table, or you use it as a desk like I am.

I absolutely love how my table turned out and I got a ton of compliments on it at my portfolio show.

Let me know in the comments if you make one. I would love to see it!



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Very nice job! Love the table. Love the idea of using a dowel connection for your wood. I personally use the pocket hole for these types of things, only becuase I figure who is going to see under the table...LOL. But this is another great way to do it. I am certainly going to give this a try. THANKS for sharing.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks! I looked into a pocket hole jig but wasn't too familiar with it so I stuck with the dowels. If I had more time I might have tried pocket holes. Im excited to see how you make yours!