Strip Table in Oak and Walnut




Introduction: Strip Table in Oak and Walnut

The seed idea for this instructable came in part from Wholmans fantastic Scrap Table

However I needed to make something that would not look out of place againts the rest of the furniture in my house.

The timber is shop bought (about £120) of oak and black walnut.
I apologise now for the lack of photos of the construction but I have attached a detailed sketchup model and plans for each component.

Have fun and hopefully someone with better carpentry skills than me can do it justice.

Step 1: Understand the Design

First have a look at the model ' table complete.skp' and take some time to understand the design. If you have never heard of sketch up it is free modelling software from google. To just view the model simply download sketchup viewer.

and open the file in it. Spin the model round to get a good look at it.

The basis for each component is a 25mm x 30mm section. The real change I made to the design during construction was to cut down the number of threaded rods to 3, however I think in hind sight with a decent set of sash clamps they could be omitted altogether and the top could be just glued. 

Step 2: Select Your Wood

I chose to use oak and black walnut for my table as its pretty stable once its seasoned, I bought all the timber in planks from a local timber supplier which specialises in timber for cabinet makers probably £120-00 intotal.

I think it would work with scrap wood or even thick ply as long as you have the right equipment to regularise it.

For example 22mm ply cut into 30mm strips would probably give a great surface effect to the finished table.

Step 3: Start Choppin'

Always liked a bit of Dinosaur Jnr. , Sorry.

The most time consuming part is cutting the tenons for the legs I used a band saw which wasnt the sharpest and therefore a lot of filing and fitting and filing... etc was required in order to make up the compnents for the 4 legs.

Each leg requires

3x component 1
2x component 2
2x component 3
1x component 3A
2x component 4
1x component 4A

The other change I made was not to cut a tenon into components 3,4 (which have become 3A and 4A) and 6. instead I cut the centre pieces flush to what would have been the bottom of the tenon, I have amended this in the sketchup model and noted it on the component pdf.

use table components.pdf

Step 4: Continue Choppin'

Cut the components for the table top.

2 x component 5
2 x component 6  (see amendment on the pdf)
33 x component 7

I used only 3 threaded bars in the end one in the centre and one over each of the legs..

If you use 10mm threaded bar use a 12 mm drill bit, this will give you a enough tolerance to push the rods through the 37 sections that make up the table top.

use table components.pdf

Step 5: Assemble the Legs

Once you are happy all the joints go together properly glue and screw the pieces together to make up the components  mak sure the screws are on the inside of the finished legs.

Step 6: Assemble the Top

To sash the top you will need a large flat surface ( I used a large glass table wrapped in cling film)

Dry fit the parts first, make sure you can fit the threaded bars through all the pieces and they can be pulled together by tightening the nuts. Do this without the 40mm end strips (component 5) 

Once you are happy the table top fits together and stays flat  take it all apart again.

Step 7: Sash the Top

Put nuts and washers on one end of each threaded bar making sure there is around 50mm of thread showing then wrap some tape around each of them so they dont move.

Thread all the top section back on to the threaded bars this time glueing each one in place.

When all the sections are on except the 40mm end strips put the washers and nuts on the other end and tighten the strips together. 

Step 8: Trim the Threaded Bar

The holes in the end section should be 12mm dia holes recessed with a 20mm dia hole 25mm deep leaving 15mm to bolt onto the rest of the top. see diagram.

You need to trim the threads to 15mm + the thickness of the nuts you are using. This means that you can then fill the holes with a plug when you are finishing. I havent filled the holes yet as I quite like how they look. on the finished table.

Leave the nuts on when cutting the thread as it will help to straighten out the thread when you remove them. If you cut the thread without the nut on it will be really difficult to re fit the nut afterwards.

Step 9: Fit the End Strips

I found that I couldnt get a socket on to the nuts to tighten them so I cut a groove across the top so that I could screwit on like a screw.

Again dry fit them before gluing.

Step 10: Finishing

I belt sanded the top flat.

There were a couple of strips which had ended up a few mm lower than the others so I glued in some strips of scrap oak to fill in the difference then sanded these back flush.

Dont forget to sand the legs.

Finish with a hard wax oil this wont change the colour too much and will protect the surface.  

Step 11: Fit the Legs

The legs fit over the lugs which protrude from the underside of the finished table tops.

Glue and screw to fix in place. use 50mm screws and counter sink them first.

If any one trys this please post some images! 

Step 12: Finished Table

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    10 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I absolutely love the smooth yet rustic look and how it does seem to go very well with your other "decor". Enjoyed what I could of the Ible. but it's a bit too clever (computer wise, I mean), for me. Well done.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    Round legs generally make for less work. It is so easy when building tables or shelves to drill for round sockets compared to cutting square holes.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    There is always an easy way to do something but I wanted a unique leg.

    I spent quite a long time redesigning the table with a folding plane. Originally the top surface was going to fold down into the legs but these were a compromise to get the folding style but with the amenity of being able to sit round the table. without the legs getting in the way.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting leg design, and the way it is attached to the the table is novel as well.

    It looks like the threaded rod is the only lateral support as I don't see any stringers that go across the bottom of the table for lateral stiffness. Does the table bow (forward to back) when a load is placed on the center?

    I was planning on making a butcher block tabletop this way, but was planning on using kitchen cabinets as the base, which would control the bowing.

    Kudos on a great build! I really like the minimalist design. I'm also a fan of using different woods in a project.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    no there is no stringer once its all glued its pretty stiff I havent tried sitting on it but its pretty sturdy and as the egs are glued in place too its there is very little movement.

    I think the difference with a butchers block top is that the timber is sashed up so the end grain becomes the surface I would think that the kitchen units would be very supportive bu also you could strap the sides with timbers running latterally so you end up with a great big stringer.

    Are you making an island unit?

    Thanks for your comments.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I am actually making a workbench down in the basement for my electronics (and other indoor) projects. I have 2 old kitchen counter cabinets and a pile of recycled lumber that I'm itching to do something with.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Looks good, and it does appear to match your decor/trim well.