The Wooden Skull Table




Introduction: The Wooden Skull Table

About: A newbie around here...

A pirate style wooden skull table. See the project introduction video.

Table surface size is 2m x 1m. It took 8 weeks me to finished it but with these instructions it probably won't take that long specially if you have all the tools and materials ready to go. Also, you might save some days in painting/varnishing phase.

Tools you'll need:

  • Drill
  • Jigsaw (circular saw is also useful)
  • Different sizes of screw drivers
  • Brushes for painting and varnishing
  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • 4x Clamps (I survived with only 2)
  • Some cardboard or a carpet or rag rug or similar (just to cover some wood from scratch)

Materials you'll need:

  • Glued laminated timber boards (I used pine) sized:
    • 2x 2000mm x 500mm x 28mm
    • 1x 3000mm x 800mm x 18mm
    • 4x 800mm x 200mm x 18mm
  • Aluminum profiles sized:
    • 2x L-shaped 2000mm x 25mm x 25mm and 1.5mm thick
    • 1x L-shaped 1000mm x 40mm x 15mm and 1.5mm thick
  • Screws:
    • Pan head screw sized: 3.5mm x 12mm
    • Button head screw sized: 4.2mm x 16mm
  • Bolts, washers and nylock nuts, all M8 sized:
    • 16x Bolts: 8mm x 50mm
    • 32x washers with diameter: 24mm
    • 16x nylock nuts
  • Paint and varnish:
    • White paint 1/3l
    • Black tinted varnish (black paint might also be suitable) 1-2l (I had 2.7l can but in the end I used less than a half of it)
    • Gold paint, silver might work as well. It's a matter of taste really.

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Step 1: The Legs

Screws needed in this project is shown in the first picture.

First take all the four glued laminated timber boards (800mm x 200mm x 18mm) and saw them in half so that you get four pair of 800mm x 91mm x 18mm and 800mm x 109mm x 18mm pieces. Then take two of the L-shaped aluminum profiles (2000mm x 25mm x 25mm) and saw them in 800mm long pieces. You should get four of them. The leftovers you can saw in 25mm long pieces. You should get about 30-32 of them. Now take these small pieces and drill two holes (4.5mm or 5mm) on each side of them. See the second picture. These are used in the legs and to attach the frame to the table surface.

You should now have this kind of materials so far as shown in the third picture.

Next take a pair of glued laminated timber board (800mm x 91mm x 18mm and 800m x 109mm x 18mm) and two small aluminum pieces. Put the bigger board on the table and the smaller on it upright position. Put two small aluminum pieces in the corner of the boards approximately 20cm from both edges. Mark all the screw hole positions (8pcs) with pencil on the both boards. You can now drill holes (diameter of 3mm and 16mm deep) for the screws on them. Be careful not to drill through the wood. Screw (screw size: 4.2mm x 16mm) them together so that you get an L-shaped leg. Repeat this for the rest of the three boards. You should now have four legs as shown in the fourth picture.

Take the four 800mm long aluminum profiles and make 9 marks on each side with the pencil. These should be 8cm from the both ends and each others. And in the middle of the profiles. Next, make marks on these positions for the drill bit with a screw and a hammer. Then just drill the holes (3.5-4mm) on them. You can now place the profiles on the legs and mark the hole positions on them. Then just drill holes (2mm) for screws on them and screw the screws (3.5mm x 12mm). You should now have four legs as shown in the fifth picture.

Step 2: The Skull End

Take the 3000mm long glued laminated timber board and saw a 800mm (=80cm) long piece from it. See the first picture.

Draw a grid on it. The square size should be 5.7mm but on the both sides the square width should be only 4.3mm. You should have 9 columns and 14 rows. See the second picture.

Next, save the picture of a skull on a paper and if possible print it on a paper. Then just draw the skull on the board with the help of the grid.

It is not that hard as it might first seem. Now you should have something like shown in the fourth picture.

Then take the jigsaw and saw the skull. I also rounded the upper corners but that's optional.

Sand all the roughness away.

Next, the two legs needs to be attached to the skull end. Take L-shaped aluminum profile (1000mm x 40mm x 15mm) and saw four 40mm long pieces from it. Saw the rest of the aluminum in two about 600mm (=60cm) and 240mm (=24cm) long pieces. You'll need these two pieces later on in coming phases. Put those aside for now. Drill two holes (4.5mm or 5mm) on each side of the 40mm long pieces. Next these four pieces needs to be attached on the sides of the skull end. At this point it might be a good idea to write letters A to D on them (one letter on each) to make sure they don't change places during the process. Now take one of the aluminum piece and hold it against the side of the skull end. Draw the hole positions on the skull end with the pencil. Write also the same letter on it as the aluminum piece has. Repeat this for all of the sides. Then just drill the holes (3mm) for the screws. Screw (screw size: 4.2mm x 16mm) all four of the aluminum pieces aside of the skull end. See the seventh picture.

Next, take two of the legs and place them on the table about 595mm (=59.5cm) apart from each other. Place the skull end on them "face side" down. You can now mark the screw holes on the legs. Next, drill the holes but not through the wood, only 16mm deep holes. Then just screw (screw size: 4.2mm x 16mm) the skull end to the legs. End result should look like in the eighth picture.

Step 3: The Other End

Then take the rest of the board (original size was 3000mm x 800mm x 18mm) left from the skull end and saw it in the following sized pieces:

  • 2x 760mm x 100mm x 18mm (These will be needed for the other end)
  • 2x 1770mm x 100mm x 18mm (These will be needed for the frame)

I used jigsaw to saw the pieces but I don't recommend that. If you happen to have a circular saw just use that instead. At the end sand all the roughness away.

Next, take two of the legs and place them on the table about 595mm (=59.5cm) apart from each other just like you did in the skull end case. Then place the 760mm (=76cm) long pieces on the legs. The other one on the edge and the other one about 100mm (=10cm) from the edge. Attach them with clamps. Make sure all the angles are 90°. Then you can drill two 8mm holes in each corner for the M8 bolts.

Next, take 8 M8 bolts and 8 washers and put one washer in each bolt. Then just put the bolts through the holes you just drilled. Place another 8 washers in the bolts. Then just attach 8 nylock nuts on the bolts. After you have tightened them properly (not too tight so you don't break the wood) you can take the clamps off. You should now have the other end as shown in the third picture.

Step 4: The Frame

Place some cardboard/carpet/rag rug or something similar as a cover on a floor. Then take the two 2000mm x 500mm x 28mm sized boards and place them on the cover on the floor about 1-3mm apart from each other. Now you can place the skull end and the other end upside down on them about 1570mm (=157cm) apart from each other. Place also the frame pieces between the both ends. Attach them with clamps. This should now remind a table upside down.

Next, you can drill 8mm holes for the M8 bolts (two holes in each corner) to attach the frame pieces to the both ends just like you did earlier with the other end. Then attach also the bolts, washers and nylock nuts similar way as earlier. You should now have something like shown in the first picture.

Now you have the frame on the table surface you should place it properly in the middle. Also check that the table surface pieces are properly placed. And as far each other as you want them to be (~1-3mm). Then take four (25mm x 25mm x 25mm sized) L-shaped aluminum pieces you made earlier from the leftovers of the aluminum profile. With these you'll attach the table surface to the frame. So place them against the side frame pieces and the table surface. Two per each side. Now you need also the two L-shaped aluminum pieces you sawed earlier (600mm and 240mm long). Drill four 5mm holes on the each side of the longer piece and two holes on each side of the shorter piece. Place these against the both ends and the table surface, the longer goes against the skull end. Now, make a mark to all the wooden part for the screws using all the aluminum profiles as a template.

When finished drill 3mm holes for the screws. Make sure none of the holes go through the wood. You can now turn the frame right way around and screw all the aluminum pieces to the frame. The result should look like as shown in the second picture.

Then just place the table surface on top of the frame and screw it up to the frame. The table should now look like shown in the third picture.

Step 5: The Paint Job and Varnishing

First you need to dismantle the table in parts. Note: You should mark all the positions somehow. I used pencil to do that. Then you can take the table surface off. See the first picture.

Next, take the skull out of the frame as shown in the second picture. Leave all the aluminum parts attached to it.

Paint the skull with white.

Next, take all the aluminum profiles out off the legs and paint them with gold (silver might work as well).

Next, put first round of varnish for all the wooden parts. I started areas which won't be shown when the table is finished. Note: under the table surface there's this lighter spot. That contains my markings about the position of the piece. You might want to wait a day or two with the skull part before varnishing it so that the paint is dry.

Let them dry for a day or two. Then you can varnish the other sides of them. Now you should have first round of paint and varnish on every part.

After day or two, you can try with your pare hand how rough they are. Sand all the roughness on the wooden parts and clean them carefully after that. Now you are ready for the second round of paint and varnish. I didn't paint nor varnish the second round for any areas that aren't shown when the table is finished. So it's optional.

After day or two when all the parts are dry you can attach the aluminum profiles to the legs. Then just take some masking tape and cover the wooden parts. Put some one final round of gold (or silver) paint on the aluminum profiles and that should be so much for the paintings.

Let them dry day or two and put them together. Congratulations, you should now have a wooden skull table! \,,/ /Q\

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    2 Discussions

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Awesome! My son saw this and he really wants me to make this for his room to use as a desk.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Cool :)
    The table surface is 2m x 1m and it's about 83cm high. Does it fit in to the room properly?