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. 
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.

Hi Mitchell – Thank you for the heads up… I thought I mentioned that in that in the post, but you’re right, I didn’t. Yes, wood expands across its width, so in order to allow for expansion/contraction there should be a small gap where the edges of the boards meet the apron. You don’t need a gap where the ends of the board meet the apron because wood doesn’t really expand/contract in this direction. 

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. 😉

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.
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.
If you sand through the polyurethane and remove some stain, you can touch up with more stain. But the repair won’t be perfect, so take pains to avoid that mistake. Sand very lightly after the first coat, just enough to remove the dust whiskers. After the second coat, you can sand a little harder to flatten larger flaws. Always be careful around the edges of the table; that’s where it’s easiest to sand through.
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.
Another fairly inexpensive option for making a table top is using a stain grade 3/4″ plywood. cut the 4 x 8 sheet in half (2- pcs, 4 x 4). Spread wood glue one and place and clamp the other on top. Once the glue has dried, it can be cut with a jig saw to the round shape, or if you have access to a router, make a “circle cutter” by mounting the router on a thin piece of wood, (1/4 x 6 x 60″) and putting pivot hole at a distance of 1/2 the diameter of the desired table. (from the side of the router bit to the pivot hole. Put a small hole in the underside of the table top as close to the center as possible. (not all the way through) and use something like a nail as a pivot. Use a straight bit and cut a perfect circle. The stain grade plywood usually has a pretty good stain surface and the construction of the plywood makes it pretty stable. After cutting the edge may have some minor voids, which can be filled with wood putty and sanded nice and smooth. The results can be a nice stained or painted surface.
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!
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