The Steck Dining Room Table

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Project by groovy_man_6 posted 03-10-2010 03:14 AM 3673 views 7 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Steck Dining Room Table (a trade among friends)

I’m good friend with my neighbors (you guessed it, the Stecks)... and they really wanted a new dining room table. Coincidentally, I really wanted a quilt for my 1 year old daughter … So, we came up with an idea… I’ll build them a dining room table, and they’ll make a quilt for my daughter out of her old baby clothes (Mrs Steck is a VERY talented quilter)... So a trade was made!

I constructed this table out of reclaimed antique pallet wood. It’s a mix of white oak, red oak, and black locust with an Ipe inlay. The old nail holes, saw marks, worm holes, and general rustic character of the wood are what really make me love the look of this table. I intentionally tried to contrast the rustic interior of the table by using a very clean and polished inlay and oak border. I think if the entire table was “rustic”, it might lose something. All the boards are glued and doweled in both directions …

The border was TOUGH and a great learning experience for me. So a solid piece of wood this large is going to have significant expansion contraction issues… so I had to make sure that the border allowed for that, otherwise it would likely crack and perhaps pull away from the table. So on the ends of the table the border has the grain going in the same direction as the table, so that is glued on firmly.. it’s the side borders that are going perpendicular to the grain of the table interior… they are glued by the corners (around 6 inches) and then attached with floating tenons and then screws from the underside with holes that have a bit of wiggle room… so the border can’t come off and stays tight to the table, but allows for the 1/4 to 1/2 ” expansion contraction that I have seen on this table though the seasons. I couldn’t BELIEVE how much it moved the first year.. thank GOD I followed all the advice of more experienced woodworkers on this one!

Other than that, the legs are made of pallet wood as well, white oak… the table accepts 2 leaves and is 92 inches at full length – I used heavy duty 500lb rated ballbearing sliders to open close the table, I’m very pleased the way they came out—smooth as silk and table has absolutely no sag in it. —they were attached to long pine beams that are doweled into the front and back sash of the table (you can see the dowels in the front on picture)

All in all, it was a great project for me, learning wise and my neighbors family will enjoy dinner on this table for many years to come! (and we’ve been enjoying my daughter’s amazing quilt!)

NEW ** I added the picture of the quilt :-)

18 comments so far

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3812 days

#1 posted 03-10-2010 03:26 AM

Wait no pic of the Quilt?
Awesome job on this table.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3800 days

#2 posted 03-10-2010 03:48 AM

Good looking table. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Paul_F's profile


67 posts in 3062 days

#3 posted 03-10-2010 04:06 AM

Well thought out – nice work

-- Dust to more Dust -

View rmoore44's profile


51 posts in 3060 days

#4 posted 03-10-2010 04:26 AM

Great table, a unique look they’ll enjoy for generations.

-- --RoB, Florida

View CarlR's profile


36 posts in 3046 days

#5 posted 03-10-2010 04:52 AM

Beautiful. Pallet wood? Great recycling job!
Sounds like you really gave this a lot of thought and it shows.

-- Carl R Mesaros

View Broglea's profile


685 posts in 3117 days

#6 posted 03-10-2010 05:14 AM

How many pallets did it take? Nice job of it!

View groovy_man_6's profile


148 posts in 3026 days

#7 posted 03-10-2010 06:26 AM

Hey Broglea—It’s hard to say how many pallets because they’ve been taken apart for many years… but I would say 6-ish… assuming a lot of the pallet wood is probably too damaged to be salvaged… so for every 3 pieces, you might get 1 good one and 2 smaller pieces… something like that… also, the pallets aren’t your typical pallets.. they’re heavy duty hardwood pallets, with boards usually over an inch thick… this wood was all from antique pallets, but the pallet wood I get today is from my friend who is a mason and gets multi-ton shipments of stone and block on them, so again, they’re a nice mix of red oak, white oak, soft and hard maple..

Reconditioning and salvaging wood is kind of my bag.. I really like doing that sort of thing.. just getting the stock together is a challenge, and straightening, rehabbing it takes a good eye and some practice.. not to mention it recycles and it’s FREE! also, the old rehabbed wood has great character usually!

I’ll post the quilt soon!


View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3103 days

#8 posted 03-10-2010 01:41 PM

Awesome work! Talk about a beautiful table with character….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View 747DRVR's profile


199 posts in 3383 days

#9 posted 03-10-2010 02:09 PM

Great table.I cant believe its made of pallet wood.I agree the table has a rustic yet elegant look

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


475 posts in 3654 days

#10 posted 03-11-2010 03:27 AM

Great looking table. I would say from the photos that you couldn’t have made it any larger.

Thanks for posting such a great project.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3621 days

#11 posted 03-11-2010 04:02 AM


-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View bigbuddha's profile


192 posts in 3246 days

#12 posted 03-11-2010 04:29 AM

Beautiful table!!! Great trade, can’t wait to see the quilt ;)

-- helen

View groovy_man_6's profile


148 posts in 3026 days

#13 posted 03-11-2010 04:35 AM

I added the quilt! Love it!

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3812 days

#14 posted 03-11-2010 04:52 AM

I think you made a very good trade, She did a beautiful job on the quilt.
thanks for posting.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View brokedownpalace's profile


5 posts in 3032 days

#15 posted 03-21-2010 06:58 PM

Gorgeous. Did you fill the old nail holes, out of curiosity, can’t really tell from the pics. I made a reclaimed table top recently & filled it with epoxy, had a hell of a time. On the few holes that I got it right, however, it looks amazing – like glass.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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