The result of this project is what your wife or girlfriend would call a “Rustic,” “Barn,” or “Ranch Style” dining room table. I call it a man table, because it’s made from inexpensive wood, can take a beating, and one day your grandchildren will be serving their kids Thanksgiving dinner on it. Being the man that built that table is, well, manly. I’ve found a few similar tables on Craigslist and furniture sites, starting at around $1200. That’s absurd. I built mine for less than $200, including the chairs I bought for it.
Screwdrivers are another must-have in the woodworker’s set of hand tools. Not only will you need Phillips and slot, or flathead screwdrivers, you’ll need star drivers and Torx drivers, too. A quality construction is vital to a good set of screwdrivers. So many of them are made out of soft metal, and the first time you put any “oomph” behind them, they strip out, becoming absolutely useless.
And if you haven’t got a fancy stencil hanging around, you can still give your table a stencil-styled makeover, and it won’t take much. To make this fun herringbone table, Shark Tails took a boring side table and taped off a herringbone design then spray painted it gold! It adds a touch of mod glam that’s not overwhelming since it’s in a small dose. // Shark Tails
If you have some basic carpentry and tool usage skills, take advantage of Ryan's custom woodworking plans and the opportunity to build a custom entertainment center yourself with entertainment center plans, media center plans and woodworking plans designed and published by Ryan. If you don't, now is a great time to start. Its not as difficult as your may think.
The end grain of wood soaks up finishes and often turns much darker than the face grain. Check for this on your test block. If you get an ugly result, pretreat the end grain with a dose of finish that will limit absorption (wood conditioner, sanding sealer, shellac or polyurethane thinned 50 percent). Apply the treatment with an artist’s brush and be careful not to slop onto the face grain.
With all boards sitting in your main pipe clamps ready to come together under pressure, apply smaller clamps across each joint at all board ends. This aligns the boards perfectly, at least at the ends, anyway. Depending on how your boards behave along the rest of their length, you may or may not need cauls. These curved pieces of wood get clamped across the glue-up, top and bottom, aligning the boards vertically and minimizing steps between them. I use 1” x 4” lengths of hardwood for cauls, with one edge planed to a curve so the ends measure about 2 1/2” wide.
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