Scrap Wood End Grain End Table | How to Build




Introduction: Scrap Wood End Grain End Table | How to Build

About: Weekly how-to project videos about #woodworking, metalworking, and more. #Maker. Created by Johnny Brooke.

In this Instructable, I'll show you how to turn a pile of hardwood scraps into a super cool end table! This build was actually inspired by a video Instructables themselves produced. You can check out that project here. Let's get started!

Don't miss the build video above for a lot more details!

Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials

For this build, I did use a good bit of tools, but you could build it with less.

Tools Used In Scrap Wood End Grain End Table Project:

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Materials Used In Scrap Wood End Grain End Table Project:

Step 2: Break Down Scraps & Flatten Pieces

For this project, I needed four strips that would make up the legs, at about 24" in length, and the rest of the strips could be cut to a random size. I cut most of the pieces in the 10" to 18" range. I cut the pieces at the miter saw.

After cutting them to length, I flattened two of the sides with my planer. This helps the pieces come together without any gaps during the glue up.

Step 3: Arrange Strips and Glue Up Layers

Once I had enough strips to form one of the layers, I arranged them how I wanted them and then glued the strips together using wood glue. When building these layers, make sure they can still fit through your planer after gluing, since you'll need to flatten them using the planer after the glue up. Another tip is to avoid having too much glue towards the bottom of each strip, otherwise you will get a lot of squeeze out in places that aren't easy to clean up.

Step 4: Rinse and Repeat

Basically, do this same process over and over again until you have enough layers to make a table the size you want. This is a really time consuming process, but the end result is worth it!

Step 5: Flatten and Square Up Layers

After the glue has dried on each layer, flatten them on the planer. Since one side is relatively flat, you can use this side as the reference surface on the planer. It will take quite a few passes to flatten the layers, but eventually you'll have a layer with two flat sides.

Next, square up one side on the jointer and rip the layer to width at the table saw. It's important that all of the layers are the same width.

Finally, square up the top edge of the layers by crosscutting them on the table saw.

Step 6: Assemble the Individual Layers

Before gluing the layers to each other to form the table, I used my Festool Domino XL to cut slots for the Dominos. These will help keep all of the layers aligned during the glue up and will make cleaning everything up much simpler later on.

With the Domino mortises cut, I assembled the layers, applying glue then adding Dominos. Once all of the layers were together, I clamped the table up and let it dry.

Step 7: Flatten Sides and Top

After the glue dries, it's time to flatten the sides and top. Since I used the Dominos, I didn't have much slippage, but there was still a little bit that needed to be cleaned up. For this, I used my low angle jack plane. After flattening the sides and top, I also scraped all of the surfaces with a card scraper. A card scraper really helps to smooth things out prior to sanding and will save you a ton of time later on.

Step 8: Cut Table Legs to Final Length

Next, I cut all of the legs to their final length at the table saw. It's best to wait to do this until after the table is assembled, that way any slippage can be accounted for during the final trimming.

Step 9: Chamfer Edges and Sand the Table

I chamfered the edges, legs, and feet of the table with a block plane. This adds a nice look, and chamfering the bottom of the legs helps to keep the legs from splintering if dragged across a floor.

Next, I sanded all of the surfaces using a random orbit sander, going from 80 grit up to 180 grit.

Step 10: Apply Finish

For finishing, I used two different finishes. For the bottom, I used a spray polyurethane, since getting in between the strips with a brush or rag would be next to impossible. For the sides and top, I used a wipe-on poly. After the finish dried, I added some felt furniture pads to the bottom of the legs, and the table was done!

Step 11: Enjoy Your Table!

I'm really happy with the way this piece turned out, and it will definitely be a conversation piece in my den. I hope you enjoyed this project! If you did, check out my website and my YouTube channel for a ton more builds like this one. I put out new projects every week, so stay tuned! Thanks!

- Johnny



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    18 Discussions

    cost of machines $4300 + need I say more?

    and no, it can't be made with cheaper tools, because the level of skill required to make this by hand especially squaring off the sections to meet seamlessly is next to impossible in any "normal" timeframe, and I've got many years in handplane usage.

    clearly an excuse to use instructables as free advertising to increase the visibility of your company.

    5 replies

    Anything is obtainable if you manage your money wisely. Id say this qualifies as being a good instructable and deserves to be on the site. The steps are all shown for how to make your own.

    Ah ... this sounds like a challenge to the hand tool woodworkers out there! I bet there are some who could make an amazing table along these lines with not one expensive tool.

    $400 each for a table saw and a planer will get most of this project done. Just because he used an expensive planer doesn't mean you need the same exact one to get results.

    I am curious why you don't think this isnt possible with hand tools? I do virtually all of my planing with hand planes. And all but one of my 7 planes are home built. True, it won't be as quick as using machines, but it's my experience you can get more precision with a hand plane than a machine. I will admit, though, I do not have access to a $4300 jointer - so that may make a difference.

    But the even if the glue joints aren't perfect, it will still hold up just as well. You can make this with a hand plane, and WAY more complicated things.

    How about a butcher block tabletop?

    And of course he's using Instructables to get more views for his youtube channel, and website (not talking about the affiliate links), but this is a great Instructable ᵃᶰᵈ ˢʰᵒᵘᶫᵈ ᶰᵒᵗ ᵇᵉ ᵗᵃᵏᵉᶰ ᵈᵒʷᶰ, ᵉᵛᵉᶰ ᶠᵒʳ ᵗʰᵉ ᶫᵒᵛᵉ ᵒᶠ ʷᵒᵒᵈ!

    This is so cool...I love it!!!

    Cool looking table. Thanks for sharing.

    how much does it weigh?

    2 replies

    it looks like he is using pieces of walnut, hickory, cherry, applewood, oak, and a few others. these are all very dense woods so this could be anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds including the huge ammounts of glue used

    Where do you get the scrap hard wood? I built a house, with custom cabinets ( a kitchen, two bath rooms, and a utility room) and didn't have that much scrap left.

    I don't care what your tools cost, this is a beautiful table with very good workmanship. Give a 10 year old sub-par little leaguer a $400 bat and he'll still strike out. Nice work!

    it's good ...........very good.

    Cool! I think yours came out looking better than the one you got the idea from.

    That looks awesome. It reminds me of certain crystal formations!

    This is an incredibly beautiful table. Hard to believe it started out as scraps.

    Very cool build, and I'm glad I inspired you!

    Projects like this are why I love sharing, everyone will have a different way of doing things, making it unique. I deliberately chose not to use a planer for my table, as I wanted to keep the tools to just the bare minimum, but your table looks very tight. Great job, and very good video work!