I have made a few of these tables over the years and try and make each one unique. So for this table I wanted to router out the Greek key pattern as a two tone effect and because I have never done this before I documented it step by step to see how easy it would be. And turns out it was easier than it looks and no real skill was needed. So this post is on how to add the Greek key design to the table top. To see how to make the table you can use this link. http://uniquecreationsbyanita.com/how-to-make-a-personalized-wine-barrel-table/
Step 1: Making the Table Top
Most of my projects are made from recycled materials and I got this table for free off my local buy, swap and sell site. It was in very poor condition but after it was sanded down, I ironed out most of the dents and filled the holes with filler it was not that bad.
Step 2: Making the Top Look Thicker
I like my wine barrel tables to look thick and chunky, just personal choice. I think it gives the table a look of better quality. So to do this to my table top I did the following. My table top is 1300mm x 830mm x 20mm thick. I cut a 20mm thick piece of plywood to 1290mm x 820mm. This was then glued to the underside of my table top leaving a 50mm border from the edge all the way around. I then cut 4 stripes of wood, 2 x for the length and 2 for the width 60mm wide x 20mm thick to fill in the gaps. This left a 10mm overhang. I used a router and removed one of the edges of each piece before it was glued to the table. The router can not get to the edge once it is glued on. I then routed the edges off the table top to give it a curved edge. I used dark mahogany stain to stain the top and the bottom of the table top.
Step 3: Draw Your Design
I used this image downloaded off the internet that gave the dimensions on how to draw the Greek key design. (Please note this is not my image) I adapted the key design dimensions to fit my table. I cut a piece of brown paper to the 1290mm x 820mm which leaves a 50mm border all the way around the edge. The design is very easy to draw because it is all straight lines. So all you need is a long straight piece of wood ( I don't have a ruler long enough) and a tape measure and pencil.
Step 4: Cutting Out the Pattern
Once the pattern is drawn on the paper, I taped the paper to my table top. As a guide while I was using the router I added tape to the areas that would not be cut out, they tend to all bend into each other after awhile. Because I do not have much experience using a router in this way and I don't have a steady hand. I set up a fence to cut all the lines straight which were so easy. I lined the router bit up with the start of the first line and clamped my wood "Fence" down on both sides. Using a 1/8" core box bit I used the fence to guide the router along the lines and they came out great.
Step 5: Pattern Routered Out on Table Top
I repeated this until all the lines were cut out. I had to tidy up some of the corners which I did using a small chisel and sandpaper. Once my design was cut out I ended up with the two tone effect that I was after. I used a foam paint roller to add my first coat of gloss polyurethane, make sure you do not have too much varnish on the roller, you only want a very thin coat to seal the stain in. Too much varnish on the first coat could cause the stain to run into the lighter grooves spoiling the two tone effect. The grooves will be sealed on the second coat. I added 4 coats to this table to get the glass like finish. I lightly sanded after the first coat of varnish.
Step 6: Adding the Gloss Polyeurathane
For my other 3 coats, I use an old tent that I set up the day before. I vacuumed the inside and left my table top inside and at intervals during the day I wipe down the top with a tack cloth to remove any dust that has settled. This is a bit long winded but I end up with a far better finish on my projects and in the long run it is less work, it just takes a day longer.
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