Hall table

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Project by ferstler posted 01-08-2009 08:19 PM 1663 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this hall table out of left over and gift items for a total of ten bucks.

The top was made from an old .75-inch thick, 2×4 foot oval-shaped coffee table top my neighbor gave to me. His kids had pulverized the finish over the years and it was of no use to the family any more.

I cut it lengthwise down the middle (using my 5.5-inch Craftsman trim saw and a clamp-down guide) and then sanded the old finish off with my Ridgid 6-inch random orbit sander. Then I cut cut a new curve inside of the old one using my 14-inch Ridgid band saw (the old edge had been thoroughly chewed up by the neighbor’s kids), and then glued the two sections together (Elmer’s carpenter’s glue, aided by a dozen clamps) to make a panel 1.5 inches thick. I have no idea what kind of wood this is, but it is not pine, fir, oak, or poplar. It does have an interesting grain, however.

After it dried I then ran the completed section through the Ryobi thickness planer to flatten out any irregularities generated by the sanding process, and then cut several inches off of the ends using my Ridgid sliding compound miter saw. (I wanted the ends squared, anyway, and the cut also removed any end “snipe” generated by the planer.) I did not plane the original finish off, because the paint would gunk up the cutters; that is why I first sanded it prior to flattening it perfectly with the planer. The planer cuts were very slight.

I did not want the end grain of this wood to show, so I cut V-shaped notches into each end with the band saw and then cut complementary V sections out of some of the cedar wood I had left over from my clock-building project (also illustrated on this site). I then glued the V sections into the notches, again using the Elmer’s carpenter glue. The sections were clamped while the glue dried, of course.

After the inserts dried in place I then hand sanded the edges of the panel smooth to eliminate marks made the band saw blade and routed it under and over to give it some character. Total cost to that point: zero dollars.

I had a left-over piece of 2×10 pine in storage (left over from the work I did framing the garage door opening a while back) that was probably never going to be used, and I cut it down to make an undercarriage to hold the top section and legs. It was cut a tad smaller than the top panel, of course. I then notched it to make it ready to hold the legs that were being made and hand sanded the edge to eliminate the band-saw blade marks. I then routed the bottom edge to give it some design character. To sand the routed notch I wrapped some sandpaper around a dowel. Total cost to that point: still zero dollars.

The legs were cut from sections of 2×4 pine boards that I also had in storage. They were basic pine studs and I had to work out a plan that allowed me to use them without including any of the knots or goobers that were here and there in the wood. Careful planning allowed me to cut them in such a way that there were no irregular areas at all.

I wanted to taper them and to do that I installed a stop block on my 6×45 inch Ridgid jointer/planer to let me start planing about three inches from the end of each leg workpiece. I then adjusted its cutting depth to give me a deeper taper with each pass. In addition to planing each face the back legs were also planed on their with a 45-degree setting, giving them eight sides at the bottoms, with the shape gradually changing to four sides at the tops. The front legs were done a tad differently, with more beveling done on the back sides and with a narrower cut overall, but with the tops still having four sides. Total cost to that point: still zero dollars.

The legs were then glued into the slots on the undercarriage using PL brand premium construction adhesive to get a super-strong joint. The top was temporarily attached to the undercarriage board (using six 2.5-inch galvanized deck screws from underneath) to get the legs to fit into the slots at just the right vertical location. To make sure they were absolutely vertical and where I wanted them to aim I inverted the table and positioned a marked template board on the upward-extended leg ends. To secure things while the legs dried I placed a 10-pound portable vice on the template. While the photos make the legs look like they are toed inward, they are actually pointing straight down.

Once the legs were dried in place, I removed the top section and spray painted the entire undercarriage with a coat of primer and three coats of black satin paint. Rubber feet were then screwed into the leg bottoms. I had the feet on hand from an earlier project, so the total cost so far amounted to five bucks for the black paint.

The top was then final sanded with 150 grit paper and given a coat of Minwax stain. I had a bunch of that left over from earlier jobs and to use it up I had already mixed part of a can of walnut with part of a can of mahogany: the result was what I call “walhogany” and that is the color of the top.

After the stain dried I hit the section with three coats of Minwax satin spray urethane. (Two were put on an hour apart and the third was put on 72 hours later after light sanding with 400-grit paper and 0000 steel wool.) The cost for the urethane was another five bucks, bringing the total cost of the table to ten bucks.

The top was then screwed to the undercarriage from underneath with the six galvanized screws (making it about three inches thick, overall and quite heavy) and the result is what you see in the pictures.

Howard Ferstler

7 comments so far

View woodsman's profile


61 posts in 3453 days

#1 posted 01-08-2009 08:23 PM

Nice Job, great table.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4243 days

#2 posted 01-08-2009 08:40 PM

Great job of recycling old stuff into a really cool table!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3899 days

#3 posted 01-08-2009 09:24 PM

This is gorgeous. I love the design.

-- Happy woodworking!

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3704 days

#4 posted 01-08-2009 09:53 PM

The (near) end in the first picture is deceiving at small pic view, where it’s hard to tell there’s another board there in the shape of a triangle.

I had a dream last night about a contest here at LJ, where you have to build something from a certain list of things for a set price. Not a contest so much as a challenge for fun. It kind of made me smile at the thought that someone can make nice furniture for very cheap costs.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3688 days

#5 posted 01-08-2009 09:58 PM

Very nice table

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View marklambert's profile


8 posts in 3682 days

#6 posted 01-09-2009 12:30 AM

Nice table sweet desigh.

Thanks for showing us.


View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2744 posts in 3616 days

#7 posted 01-15-2009 06:11 PM

Very nice table!

-- Dennis Zongker

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