She has permanently glued and screwed the tabletop within that four-sided, mitered frame. Attaching the skirt to the long edges of the wide boards is no problem, but fastening them to the end grain of the wide boards, as shown in the photo above, is. The builder has constricted the wide boards' movement, and as they grow or shrink in width but are held in place by those end-caps, they will warp and split, making this a short-lived piece of furniture.
Now, the project starts to get really interesting. While I knew that I would use pocket-hole joinery (my latest obsession) to assemble the tabletop, I couldn’t decide how to finish the wood. There were three different cans of Minwax Gel Stain on my shelf, in three different colors—Hickory, Cherrywood, and Honey Maple. In my head, I could make a credible argument in favor of each one. And though it would have helped to know where the table would eventually go, that was another question I couldn’t answer. Then it hit me: Rather than choose one stain, why not use them all? After all, I was constructing the tabletop from scraps, so it was going to have a homemade, mosaic look no matter what. In the end, using multiple stains would emphasize the rustic effect the table was going to achieve. Perfect! From there, having fought my way to a project plan, the rest came easy. Read on to see how I built the tabletop, then stained and sealed it with Minwax.
It’s important to have an understanding of wood when building DIY furniture projects. Not just how to cut, and assemble with wood but also to understand how it works. In Mistakes with Wood Can Cause Your DIY Furniture to Crack we talked about how wood is hygroscopic. Simply put, hygroscopic means it absorbs moisture from the air. Seasonal changes cause wood to absorb and release moisture.
One of the best stud finders you’ll ever use is the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710. It’s unique in that there’s a whole bar of red lights that light up whenever it detects a stud. Unlike other sensors, which have a single light that stays on as it passes over the wood, the lights on the 710 tell you exactly where the wood stops and starts. No guesswork. Push a button, drag it over the wall and those hidden mysteries reveal themselves. You won’t even need to read the directions!
Woodworking plans for difficult projects, will list which tools you need to use and show you the areas where you still need practice. Come back to the advanced woodworking plan later on, after you have had more practice with your woodworking tools doing basic projects which steadily build your skill level. To gain the skills for advanced woodworking, you really need to try as much variety as possible, so that you broaden your experience. Making 100 coffee tables that are all the same will not make you a skilled woodworker but making 100 different tables of all kinds and sizes, will certainly make you a skilled woodworker.
**Important! Be sure to pre-drill the holes for your screws before attaching the base to the table top!! If you read the blog, then you know my table top ended up splitting, starting at a knot on the edge. I’m pretty sure the cause of this was the fact that I attached the base to the top with screws without pre-drilling the holes, and I screwed right into a weak spot at the knot. Learn from my very frustrating mistake, and don’t try to take short cuts!!
Just redid my dining room table with this technique and I an observation/suggestion others might find helpful. The boards did not line up well putting it together upside down, even on a flat concrete floor with me standing on the boards while they were screwed. I would have combined biscuits with the pocket holes to ensure a better alignment of the boards. Lots of sanding was required after assembly, and this might not be a huge deal with pine, but I used hard maple so it was quite a chore even with a belt sander. Also, be aware that the 1x2s around the edge may not line up perfectly -- I had to trim about an eighth inch from each side after assembly to get nice smooth, even edges. Not a big deal, but the top turned out a little smaller than the specifications I was give by SheWhoMustBeObeyed. Otherwise our table now looks great, and thank you for the post!
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.
This could quite possibly be the best tool on this list! Have you ever tried to get your drill in a tight spot where you absolutely had to use it and just couldn’t? Holy Moly has this happened to me like 100 times. Almost nothing is more frustrating! With this flex shaft, you can bend around corners and fit into impossibly tight spaces like a knife through hot butter! Buy this thing!!!!
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.
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.
Behind every great woodworking piece is a great woodworking plan. Even the classic furniture makers of the 18th and 19th centuries worked from detailed precision drawn plans. This is how we are able to make such genuine looking reproductions of the works of the famous furniture makers of old; the master woodworker’s plans are still extant. Many different styles and designs are available, from all different periods in history, to modern designs from this century. Working with the right woodworking tools a skilled woodworker can make any piece of furniture; however fancy the detail is, if he has an accurate woodworking plan to work from. Once you have reached a certain skill level in your woodworking techniques, you will be able to create a masterpiece which can be handed down through your family for future generations.
Rolled-on poly looks terrible at first, but the bubbles disappear in minutes, leaving a smoother surface than most of us can achieve with a brush. Beware of ridges formed by the edges of the roller and humps where you start and stop. You can minimize both of those flaws by applying lighter coats. We experimented with several kinds of rollers and got the best results with microfiber mini rollers. We also tried rolling on water-based poly; don’t do it.