There are lots of clear finishes. But for a combination of usability and durability, you can’t beat polyurethane. Oil-based poly, which dries slower than water-based, is best for beginners because it allows more working time. The other important difference is clarity: Water-based poly is absolutely colorless, while oil-based has an amber tone, which can be good or bad depending on the look you want.

Leave your tabletop longer than necessary until the sanding is done, then cut to final length. Most tabletops are too wide to trim on a tablesaw, even with a crosscut sled, and this is where I use a hand-held circular saw. Clamp a guide strip so it’s square to one edge, then follow it with your saw. Repeat the process on the other end, then carefully use your hand-held belt sander to remove any blade marks on edges. It sounds like a coarse process, but you can get great results this way.

If you want your table top -- any table top -- to actually ast without bowing/cupping/twisting, you MUST attach it in a manner that allows for seasonal wood movement. Wood is an organic product, and it naturally expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. I'll post link below to a couple of options that you can cheaply buy which will allow you to securely attach a tabletop while still giving the wood the flexibility to move with the seasons. When you buy decently-made furniture at a store, they all accommodate for this one way or another. Don't just screw the top down to the legs or the skirt...you'll regret it later on.
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.
Because we were putting our new table cover over our existing table, we needed a rim that would hold it in place that was made of 1x2's. The 1x2's are an inch and half wide so adding two of those adds three inches overall to the length and width. I also added an extra 1/8" overall to both the length and the width so that there was a gap underneath so that the table could easily come on and off.
You might be able to reproduce the same concept that the table with leaves has. Instead of putting the clips on the underside of the table (since that would not allow it to lay flat over the existing table) perhaps you could get smaller hooks and place it on the underside where it overhangs on the side. Would be a little more work, but definitely cheaper than a new table. 😉
I’ve been toying with the idea of building a new table top. The legs of my dining table are hardwood. But the table top is not; it’s covered in veneer which is coming off in strips. I thought of removing the table top completely and utilizing the existing legs with a newly built hardwood top. But you’re solution seems easier! However, my tabletop is much thicker than yours, a 1 x 1 inch lip would not suffice. Can I just adjust the size of the lip, 1 x 2 inch? Or do I have to adjust the size of all boards used? Thanks!
Up to now, I had been completely focused on the upward-facing portion of the tabletop, the side that would be most visible. But as I drew nearer to the finish line, I started to doubt my earlier decision not to finish the bottom side too. So I went back and did the extra work, and though this additional step might have been unnecessary, I like to think it helped make the table fit better into its home for the summer, my front porch. All that was left now was to attach the top to the metal table. As easy as it was to finish the tabletop with Minwax, it was no mean feat to devise a way of securing the top to the base. Ultimately, the answer to my problem came in an unlikely form. On a typical day, electrical cable hardware would never have entered my mind, but as the result of a funny twist of fate—the same sort of coincidence that led me to undertake this project in the first place—these simple snap-and-click fasteners enabled me to attach the top to the base and call it day. Now, with this project under my belt, I’m starting to eye those 2x6s still lingering in my scrap pile!

Some tools required to build a picture frame are a table saw, miter saw, measuring tape, wood glue etc. A table saw with a backing board and miter gauge can be used to get the right angle and lengths of picture frame every time. You can use builders square to arrange the final cut pieces before nailing, screwing or gluing. Check out the video tutorial below for more details.
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.
For starters, this DIY wood table is for my son to keep his Lego projects and erector set buildings on. Secretly, it’s for me because, in turn, it will keep the Legos from being scattered all over my house. We decided on measurements of 60″ long x 18″ deep for the table top. Now that I know how big I want our homemade table to be I reached out to Osborne Wood Products to find out what the next step is for building a table. They were super helpful and made it very easy to order the table base kit. We let them know the measurements for the table top as well as how much of an overhang. We then choose the traditional dining table legs in soft maple along with a 4″ wood skirt also in soft maple. The furniture kit came well packaged and rather quickly. 
If you’re looking for ways to rehab an old table, this charred wood table is a fairly simple project that requires just a few hours of work. I used the charred appearance boards to create a new tabletop for my porch table. The old table top needed to be painted or replaced, so I thought these boards would make for a gorgeous, fresh look for the table. The table base is actually an antique from Europe. I love rescuing old pieces. Using the charred wood for a new table top is the perfect way to update it and make it usable again.
To corral shelf-dwelling books or DVDs that like to wander, cut 3/4-in.-thick hardwood pieces into 6-in. x 6-in. squares. Use a band saw or jigsaw to cut a slot along one edge (with the grain) that’s a smidgen wider than the shelf thickness. Stop the notch 3/4 in. from the other edge. Finish the bookend and slide it on the shelf. Want to build the shelves, too? We’ve got complete plans for great-looking shelves here.
A magnetized screwdriver or driver bit makes starting screws a lot easier. It’s like having an extra hand to hold the screw. We also like to magnetize a screwdriver when working with tiny screws that are nearly impossible to find if you drop them (been there?). You can use a magnetic bit holder in most cases, but not in tight quarters. Instead, you can just magnetize the bit. We’ve even magnetized tweezers to help pick up tiny parts.
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We cut the supports 16 in. long, but you can place the second shelf at whatever height you like. Screw the end supports to the walls at each end. Use drywall anchors if you can’t hit a stud. Then mark the position of the middle supports onto the top and bottom shelves with a square and drill 5/32-in. clearance holes through the shelves. Drive 1-5/8-in. screws through the shelf into the supports. You can apply this same concept to garage storage. See how to build double-decker garage storage shelves here.

I used a dry brush, barely dipped it in paint, and then lightly brushed it over the wood. If you get too much coverage with the paint, sandpaper is your best friend! You can stain the wood if you want a darker look peeking out from underneath. Check out the stain in this DIY post, it’s a great way to get that aged look quickly: http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride/archives/11310


You might be able to reproduce the same concept that the table with leaves has. Instead of putting the clips on the underside of the table (since that would not allow it to lay flat over the existing table) perhaps you could get smaller hooks and place it on the underside where it overhangs on the side. Would be a little more work, but definitely cheaper than a new table. 😉
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.
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Breaking down heavy sheet-goods on a jobsite table saw is difficult, and dang near impossible when working alone. That’s where a track saw comes in handy. A good quality track saw can produce cabinet saw results out on any job. Now, this portable tool is even more portable. The FESTOOL TSC 55 is a cordless saw that has the same features and performs just as well as FESTOOL’s corded saw, including the cut capacity and blade speed. It also has a collection bag that actually works, collecting up to 90% of the dust. The batteries are compatible with other FESTOOL products and the saw runs on their standard tracks.
If you already have a workshop and the skills for woodworking, you will need to make sure that you have some reliable woodworking plans at your disposal and the necessary woodworking tools to complete the projects you wish to make. There are some websites that offer free woodworking plans, but they are often incomplete or lack sufficient detail to understand properly and this will lead to frustration and loss of interest in woodworking. After spending many years building up your collection of fine woodworking tools and learning to use them, you will no doubt have some neat skills under your belt. Now to make full use of these skills, you will need to find a nice project to work on, one which will do you proud and show off your fancy woodworking skills.
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.
When sourcing materials from a renovation or job site be sure to have clear permission and wear the appropriate safety gear. Be aware that lead paint and asbestos may be mixed in with clean wood. Watch out for and pull nails out of material before loading in a car or truck so reclaimed wood will stack better. Be careful when working with items painted prior to 1979 as they may contain lead-based paint. Be sure to consult the EPA's Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools pamphlet before disturbing any paint that could contain lead. Building materials produced before 1983 should also generally be tested for asbestos. Contact your local building official for exact requirements.
Example Entertainment Center: $25 for plans + $750 for materials + $1200 for good quality tools = $1975. Less than a few grand! Of course you don't have to buy brand new tools; search the sale lists online (i.e. Craigslist, Freecycle.org, etc.) in your area. You are sure to find some good deals on power tools and even materials! (A good set of tools includes a table saw, miter saw, nail gun and compressor and four piece cordless tool set.) 
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