Thanks for taking a few minutes to see the creation of a walnut breakfast table. The wood is locally sourced walnut that had been left to air dry for a year prior. I purchased an entire tree and had it cut into inch and a half slabs at a local family sawmill. This was created in a spare bedroom of my home over the span of about a month.
I'm not going to focus on measurements because an item like this is totally customizable to what you need and what materials you have to work with. The desired outcome is to make a beautiful piece of furniture that fits your needs and produces a minimum of waste.
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Step 1: Find Some Wood
For this project I picked out a slab from the wood pile and cut it into manageable sizes to work with. The important thing is to not cut it too short.
Step 2: Plane and Debark
Plane the wood and remove the bark. I used a porter cable electric planer to speed things up and because I have one. A hand plane would do the same job, so just use what you are comfortable with.
Removing bark is done with a chisel and hammer.
After planing and getting rid of the bark, it's time to sand with 60 or 80 grit paper to even out and clean up the wood.
Step 3: Cut Out Some Legs
After sanding, I did some layout work to find the best possible use for the wood. I ended up making 3" wide legs about 42" long at this step.
I cut these with a jig saw and put and edged with a router to give a rounded edge.
Step 4: Make a Cross Piece
Aside from the legs, you'll need something to keep them together.
I decided on a cross piece like shown in the picture. I just cut out 2 pieces with a slight arch for aesthetics. I notched the two in the middle so they would lock together with a screw on the underside.
Step 5: Bend Your Legs
I decided the legs would be 34" tall to make the desired height of a 36" table.
In order to attach to the top, I cut these legs at a 45 degree angle and attached the two pieces together making a 90 degree angle.
I used screws for this and for attaching everything together.
All screws were hidden except the 4 on the outer legs that are holding the cross piece. I recessed the screw in a hole and used glued a walnut plug in to hide the hardware.
Step 6: Attach Everything
Putting everything together is the fun part.
Then comes sanding. Need to sand in several stages from rough grit all the way to a 220 fine grit. It is important to not skip any grits.
A helpful hint is to spray a mist of water after sanding the first few grits and wiping down the wood. After drying completely move on to the next grit. I sanded this one for a few hours per night for about a week.
Step 7: Inlay Butterfly
I like to make use of inlaid butterflies where there is an imperfection--but a imperfection I want to highlight.
Step 8: Sand Sand Sand
Need to keep sanding. This is the main step for a beautiful finish.
Step 9: Sand Sand Sand
Yep. Still sanding. I'm using an electric sander from granddad's shop for this step.
It's always more fun to use vintage and different tools, such as the eBay score Japanese plane in a previous picture.
Step 10: Finish
For this table I decided on minwax wipe-on polyurethane. This stuff requires several coats. I put 5 coats on the legs and 6 on the top.
Finishing is up to personal preference. I used the poly because this table will see use in a busy kitchen.
Step 11: Sand in Between
Sanding with fine steel wool between each coat of finish is important for a glassy smooth look and feel.
Step 12: Ready for New Home
And here it is ready for its new home. This table was made for a gift so off it goes.
After spending so much time on a project, it's sometimes hard to say goodbye.