Building a dining room table as a woodworking project can be very rewarding when you see the end result.
I might add that a project like this is probably not for beginners but we won’t rule out beginners totally.
You may very well have hidden talents that you haven’t used yet.
When doing a project like this, it does require specialized tools and equipment. Some of the tools required are:
- Table saw
- Long bed jointer plane
- Thickness planner
- Router and bits
- Lots of clamps
- Hand tools
- Belt sander
- Orbital sander
- Skill saw
Getting Started With The Table Top
It is very important at this time to have a plan with good diagrams, measurements and illustrations. This can save a lot of time and money by taking the time to draw this up or get one. It is important to carefully select your wood while doing your project. Check for wood grain and color consistency.
The first thing you will do is cut these pieces for the top a little bit longer than needed. They then go to the jointer plane to true up the edges.
Depending on the width of the boards and the width of the table top, you may require up to 6 boards.
You will then pass them through the thickness planner to get them all the same thickness.
The boards will then be cut to the proper width on the table saw to match your overall width of the top.
From there you will laminate the boards together to form a solid piece for the top.
The boards are dowelled together with pegs that are glued together and clamped. When dry, the ends of the top are cut to proper length with a skill saw and straight edge.
At this point, it is important to belt sand the top but be careful not to dish the surface (keep the belt sander moving). Any knots or imperfections are now filled with epoxy and any cracks are filled with resin.
Once everything is dry, you can now give it a sand job with your orbital sander.
On To Building The Frame
The frame consists of 4 legs, 2 side rails and 2 end rails.
The legs can be either laminated together with hardwood or laminate a 1/2″ thick material around a softwood core. I prefer the solid legs laminated together.
Once laminated, run them through the thickness planner and then cut to length. A sanding process now takes place.
The side rails and end rails are pre-paired for dowelling together with the legs. Also, you should dowel in a couple of cross pieces across the middle of the frame.
As the pieces are glued up and dried, any knots or imperfections are taken care of. You can also use a drill to attach the pieces together with screws.
The frame now requires angle brasses in the corners to tie the whole frame together. The sanding now takes place with the orbital sander.
The Finishing Process
The table frame and top are now treated with a good coat of Danish oil and left to soak in and dry. When dry, sand the surface to make smooth. This followed by 3 coats of polyurethane with light sanding between each coat.
The top can now be attached to the frame with metal corner brackets.