This Instructable outlines how I went about making a dining room table out of an old barn door and some wood I reclaimed from pallets at work. The screws and bolts used in this project were also reclaimed from heavy duty pallets.
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Step 1: Step 1: Plan It Out
Each barn door is different so how you go about turning it into a table is going to differ. In order to make my table easier to move I decided to opt for a design that allows for it to be disassembled rather easily. All of the joints are bolted or screwed together using 6"-10" wood screws and 12" carriage bolts. This way if I move I can take the legs off so it is easier to move. The legs are 30" long rough cut 6"x6"s. Since they were all from the same pallet they are already all the same length within 1/16th of an inch. After looking at the wood I had available I came up with some sketches and decided to try out a table with no cross bracing. This is due to the thickness of the table legs. If it needs more stability in the future I can always add in more bracing.
After planning it out I took all of the lumber and made sure to remove all of the nails so that there wouldn't be any issues when drilling through it later.
Step 2: Step 2: Make the Base
Based on the plan that I came up with I assembled the base on a hard flat surface. For this I used my garage floor. After doing a rough assembly (laying wood out, did not screw anything together) I drilled the holes for the carriage bolts using a 1/2in spade bit in the 36" long 6"x6"s.
In order to make sure everything matched up in the end I did each end of the table separately. I squared up the corners of the base and the leg and then drilled the hole from the base until it started the hole in the leg. Then I continued the hole through the leg. The reason I did this is so that the holes would line up. After attaching both legs to one side of the base I then did the other side. After all 4 legs were attached I set them side by side to ensure they were all still level. Then using two 10" screws for each leg I squared up the corners again and screwed the leg to the base so that the legs were locked in and couldn't rotate.
After the two ends were completed I screwed the two long 5ft 4"x4"s into the legs and the other edges. This was done with the 6" long screws into the legs and 10" long ones into the side of the base. This is to make sure that none of the screws would poke through the other side while giving the most amount of grip since no glue will be used.
Step 3: Step 3: Test Fit and Sand the Base
This step is to make sure that the table sits at the height that you want and that it looks the way you want it to. This also makes it easier to do some sanding and planing on the door to make it as flat as you want it. At this point it also makes it apparent if your table is going to wobble. It is much easier to sand the legs now when the top is still not attached.
After test fitting you can begin sanding the base. I was going for a more rustic look so I decided to only do a light sanding to get rid of any paint still on the wood from when it was a pallet. If you wish to stain the base this is also the easiest time to do so. After the door is attached it becomes more difficult to reach all of the interior corners. I chose to stain the base with minwax cedar gel stain. I left it fairly thick so that it looked pretty dark and helped age the wood.
Step 4: Step 4: Attach the Door to the Base
After everything looks the way you want it is time to attach the door to the base. Due to how my door's back is I had to cut some wood so that it would sit flat on the base. I used some old wood from an old deck that was taken down. Since I wanted this to all be removable I didn't want to screw the door to the base. The door is relatively heavy so I decided to just put four posts on the top so that it lines up to the base and can't slide around. Each post is cut so that it looks like one quarter of a pyramid. I also placed each one 1/16" closer to the outside so that it would form a pressure fit with the base. (more pictures to come)
With this design I am able to sit on the edge of the table and it won't move at all (weight 200 lbs).
Step 5: Step 5: Sand the Door
After attaching the door you can finish sanding and planing it. I sanded mine until it was smooth and is unlikely to give anyone a splinter. I left all of the holes and gaps in between the boards to add to its rustic look. This can be very time consuming depending on the size of the door and how high you want to sand it to. I chose to sand mine from 60 grit to 100 grit to 200 to 300 to 400 grit.
Step 6: Step 6: Stain and Finish
After you are finished sanding you can stain and seal the door. I chose not to stain mine and to use shellac to seal it. After the first coat of shellac I sanded it with 400 grit sand paper and applied another coat. I did three coats of shellac in total. This is the first table that I made and I am happy with how it turned out. Any tips on how to improve the table or if there are any questions about any of the steps please let me know.
Participated in the
Reclaimed Contest 2017