Even a small tabletop presents a challenge if the boards you glued together have stepped-shaped misalignments where they meet because of warping. Yes, you can sand these off, but the more topographical sanding you need to do, the less flat and regular your finished tabletop will be. The flatter and better aligned your boards are when they’re in the clamps, the happier you’ll be later. This is where end clamps and gluing cauls can help.
When you buy the wood, look for pieces that aren’t warped, excessively longer or shorter than the others, and, if you can get lucky, don’t carry the telltale “new wood” planer marks. We purchased the most inexpensive wood that we could find. You’ll likely find them in 2- and 4-ft pieces. If you have a saw at home, you might consider getting the 4 ft pieces to decrease the cost of your project a bit.
Open rafters and trusses are an endless source of falling dust. So if you’re working under an open ceiling, hang plastic sheeting above. Keep the plastic at least 12 in. from light fixtures or remove the bulbs. Sometimes, adding plastic ‘walls’ is a lot easier than cleaning up the entire area. If you’re using oil-based finishes, hang the sheets about a foot from the floor to allow for ventilation.
Im am so glad you posted this! I bought a cheap dining room table from good will to use for my desk, it has a leaf in the middle to make it longer. I wanted to glue the leaf to the other two sides and thin fill in the holes with wood filler and I was advised by mom friend that it wouldnt work, but now I have proof cant wait to try it out!!! thanks 🙂
Consider building your tabletop out of boards about 6" wide (1x6 or 2x6), or close in size (I use x4 and x8 boards on occasion). If you go smaller, you'll be adding more joints, which means more pocket holes and more sanding. If you go with a wider board, the board itself may cup over time, creating high and low points on your tabletop. I personally find x6 boards to be that happy medium.
Well I certainly can say most times when anyone comes into my shop they always ask….what’s this do?...lol Although not my own design I do get many questions on the German Springpole Lathe from Roys last book. It’s always a fascinating conversation piece…and usually gets people that have never worked wood really interested and wanting to learn more. When I show them spindels and how it works I always get an impressed or entertained reaction.
Simply brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this? So we have a nearly 100 year old house. There is always something that needs repair. Thanks to whoever invented this little guy! No more mouth full of nails or screws. No more climbing up and down the ladder to get the damn screwdriver I dropped. Probably won’t hold your 16 oz claw hammer but other than that it is perfect. I love this. Highly recommend. Thanks for reading
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This is another wood table but this time with a more elaborate design. Instead of using a large log, this time you’ll need several small ones. The idea is to cut them to the same height and to try to create a mosaic with them. You can glue them together and you can also wrap a piece of rope or something similar around them. You should be able to create an original coffee table.
Reclaimed Wood from Corn Crib HOW TO DESIGN AND BUILD AN ENTRY WAY COAT RACK AND BENCH There was a door in granddad’s home the client wanted to preserve and wondered, if they provided the wood, could I build an entryway coat rack and bench using the door as part of the build. The wood they wanted to provide, well, that was from the family owned Tennessee corn crib that had been torn down and they didn’t want to lose the wood or the memories. Not only was this a corncrib but it was eventually used by the great grandchildren as a play house. So for the client there are as many memories in this build as there are colors. THIS PROJECT TRULY DEFINES THE “CUSTOM” in BAYNE CUSTOM WOODWORKING. I spent some time to design a simple layout in @sketchup_official so the client could approve the idea I had in mind. The wood showed up in two deliveries so we stacked it outside because this was the first time I worked with barn wood. I did not want to introduce possible termites to my shop. So my first call was to my pest guy asking how I would treat the wood for termites. Much to my relief he said I had nothing to worry about. This was “real” wood! Not nominal at all, nominal is how we buy our wood at a local hardware store. Where a 2×4 is actually 1 ½ x 3 ½ . These 2×4’s were at least 2”x4”’s if not more and were hard, heavy and dusty, did I say heavy? After cutting to length on my handy @DewaltTough miter saw, I had to take them to my @ridgidpowertools table saw and square up the bottoms only. I was very careful not to lose any of the original saw marks and character because that would ruin the entire purpose. For someone who likes clean, crisp edges, this was a bit of a challenge. I used @kregjig Kreg Jig® K4 Master System to join all the pieces of the base, the seat frame and the supports to join the two together. I was very careful to hide all of the pocket holes so they could not be seen from any angle. I used Titebond Products original interior wood glue to join all the pieces together. The next item was to assemble the back which included grandad’s door as the center piece. The door was only 71 ½ tall which determined the overall height of the project. Part of this back also includes two live edge pieces that we picked to use as the “L” shaped wings or side walls. The door measured 24” which left me with 6” on each side to make up the final size of 36”. So I chose two of the straightest boards that were closest to 6” and cut them to width so as not to waste any wood or lose any character. I used the Kreg Jig® K4 Master System
Here’s an old woodworking adage I enjoy ignoring: “measure twice, cut once.” Honestly, I measure nonce and cut thrice. I often eyeball it. I use pieces I’ve already cut to measure what I need to cut. It’s not a great habit, but I prefer it to measuring everything. And the results usually aren’t that different. At least that’s what I tell myself. I ended up having to sand down the ends of the 2×12’s running the length of the table (where they meet the aprons) because they weren’t exactly the same length.
This DIY has a bit of a backstory: In my basement workshop—as a byproduct of about a half dozen previous projects—I’d managed to accumulate a small mountain of scrap wood. Though the pieces varied in size, most were 2×4 boards. For weeks, I pondered the question of how to use them. There wasn’t enough material to build anything substantial, but at the same time, this was much more wood than I would feel comfortable chucking or committing to kindling. I suddenly seized on the idea of turning those leftover boards into a rustic tabletop, but then I let the project momentum slow to a creep, and in the blink of an eye another few weeks had gone zooming by. Things finally came to a head one day when I was scanning the local giveaway listings. There, I discovered that one of my neighbors was trying to get rid of an old metal garden table. Upon seeing the pictures, I knew immediately that this would be a great table to top with the scrap wood surface I’d been planning to make with all those 2x4s!
Online packages also allow you to build at a convenient pace, whether you want to build one bench per week or want to try every new furniture plan available – and more importantly, the use of clear instructions will enable you to build under a comfortable environment without any pressure. That way, you do not face disappointment that you would otherwise experience if you buy hard-to-understand furniture plans or can’t find the specific project that you’re looking for. If you think that a plan outline is simple, you can find a more difficult one and begin practicing new skills and techniques. That way, you are able to build more things faster than if you bought each plan individually and had to search for it each time.
Using an orbital or belt sander, carefully sand down the tops of the legs (1/16" high) until even with the top. Sand any rough spots or glue marks. The table, gutter and legs can now be painted, stained, polyurethaned or waxed. Walnut-tinted furniture wax was used to finish the table shown. Apply several coats of wax over the course of several days to fully saturate the wood grain.
These tweezers are perfect. They’re nice and small and infinitely better than the cheap ones sold out of fishbowls at the home-center checkout lane. Their sharp, sturdy precision tips can grab even the tiniest sliver. Put them on your key chain and you’ll have a really high-quality stainless steel tweezers ready for the next time you have to perform a little surgery on the battlefield. They fold up like a pocketknife, so the business end doesn’t get wrecked. They’re available only at pocketweez.com.
Using pocket holes to attach the stool base to the stool top prevents the top from moving during seasonal changes. It’s also not a good idea to drive screws through the edge of the apron into the table top. Over time the top could crack or the top could have enough force to push or pull the joints of the base apart. Skate over to Mistakes with Wood Can Cause Your DIY Furniture to Crack to see more about how I incorrectly attached the top on the stool.
Stanley produced this all-in-one layout tool between 1888 and the 1930s. It looks like a directional arrow from a street sign and was originally advertised as 10 tools in one (including level, depth gauge, try square, and compass). There are a few companies that make replicas, but originals can still be found on eBay for a couple hundred dollars apiece.
You would think that a sharp tool you swing in the direction of your ankles wouldn't last long. But the adze can be traced back at least to ancient Egypt. You use the adze to shape tree trunks and square them up into beams; looks like an ax with the blade oriented on the horizontal. But with modern-day milling capabilities so much faster and easier, for the most part the adze has gone the way of the dodo.
Your monster of a table is going to be HEAVY, so I strongly recommend moving it to its final destination in two pieces–lay a blanket down in your dining room, put the top on it upside down, then the frame upside down on top of that. Attach a couple 2×4 supports across the frame for good measure, then begin the frustrating process of centering the frame on the top. Once you have the top centered, attach your brackets–I did two on each end and three on each side.
Touch ‘n Foam’s Gel Foam Subfloor Adhesive might make you want to chuck your caulking gun for good. It comes in a can and dispenses just like the spray-foam insulation everyone is familiar with. It lays down a bead way faster than tube adhesives but without the endless, wrist-busting trigger squeezing. And you’ll be able to keep working up to 10 times longer without stopping to reload. There’s no downtime due to wet or frozen lumber, and the can is reusable up to 15 days. To use Touch ‘n Foam Subfloor Adhesive, you’ll need an applicator gun (the same one used for expanding foam). There’s also a 46-in.-long barrel for the applicator gun that will save your back from a whole lot of bending over.
There’s a lot of space above the shelf in most closets. Even though it’s a little hard to reach, it’s a great place to store seldom-used items. Make use of this wasted space by adding a second shelf above the existing one. Buy enough closet shelving material to match the length of the existing shelf plus enough for two end supports and middle supports over each bracket. Twelve-inch-wide shelving is available in various lengths and finishes at home centers and lumberyards.
Cedar Mini Decorative Planters/Boxes Using Interlocking Dovetail Joints Having a cedar mill within an hour of my shop allows me to work with some very nice wood. While cedar can be brittle, it is wonderful to work with and makes putting these decorative boxes together a breeze. When working with cedar I am always looking for pieces that have what is known as “heartwood”. This is the red portion of the wood. When first planed or sanded, this heartwood is almost pink in color but takes polyurethane or spar finish well giving a vibrant dark red when applied. If left untreated, cedar will turn gray in direct sunlight and a dull red color from normal household light. These boxes have been treated with a wiping polyurethane mix that allows me to apply it with a cotton rag instead of a brush. It’s faster to apply, doesn’t run and dries fast enough to apply two coats in a day. So applying 5-6 coats only takes 2-3 days to accomplish. I assembled the boxes using a dovetail joint which provides both strength and decorative at the same time. A fan shaped tenon that forms a tight interlocking joint when fitted into a corresponding mortise. The dovetails on these boxes are shown on the length of the box and not the end where the handles are located. I use a dovetail jig and a router to make these joints which is more efficient. Depending on how the client will use the box I may or may not drill two holes in the bottom of the box. If they are built to be used as outside planters then I drill 2, half inch holes in the bottom for water to drain. If they are to be used inside as a table center piece or fireplace mantle decorative box, then I do not drill the hole. In the end they are strong, durable and beautiful no matter how they are used.