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Dining Room Table on a Budget with a Deadline

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Project by Jim Bertelson posted 10-12-2018 03:45 PM 872 views 1 time favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Overview
This is a 72” x 33” table, made of pine, with oil-based enamel off white base, and a stained edge glued top with an epoxy bar top finish. The chairs for the table are colonial style Craig’s list items repaired and refinished to match the base of the table. The table resides in a condo we recently purchased. It is rented to an agency that takes care of our developmentally disabled adult daughter and another similar client that reside in the condo.
We could not find a Craig’s list table in Alaska to meet our needs, so I made an inexpensive table that should be rugged enough to handle the intended environment. The environment, meaning an agency with handicapped clients, is not suitable for fine furniture. My wife, who deals with the condo, specified the general details of the table.

Materials
The legs are pre-turned legs purchased at Home Depot. The pine is New Zealand Radiata pine also purchased at HD. This pine as purchased is essentially clear and uniformly dimensioned at 3/4” thick with a planed surface. Construction was screws and glue using Titebond III.

Construction
The top boards were thickness planed, and the boards jointed. There are three cross braces because of the relatively thin top. The top is attached with shop made oak cabinet maker’s buttons. The buttons were placed to support each board individually at each of the cross braces and the apron. This was probably unnecessary paranoia regarding the possibility of warp with the thin pine, but it was easy enough to do. The Alaskan indoor environment has extreme variations, with very high humidity at times in the summer, and very low humidity in the winter during periods of cold with below zero temperatures.

The base boards, meaning the apron and bracing, were used without planing, and simply ripped and crosscut to size. I added vertical braces to the legs and included a diagonal brace at each corner of the apron.

The reason for a budget is obvious because the condo is a rental. It had a deadline because the condo was a recent purchase and needed furniture when the agency and clients were scheduled for tenancy.

I had no major difficulties with construction. I used shop made cauls while gluing up the top. The bar top finish is not perfect, being my first effort, and on a rather large surface as well, but it is acceptable for the intended purpose.

The condo occupants love the table. It can be cleaned with a wet soapy cloth, as can the chairs. It is sturdy enough for the intended purpose. The legs are, perhaps, the weakest element, meaning they do have a little flex with enough force. I doubt they will fail in use, however.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska





29 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

15937 posts in 3475 days


#1 posted 10-12-2018 04:31 PM

Wow Jim, one great looking table. I’ve never seen such nice looking pine and the finish really shows it off so well. Your daughter and her roommate are sure to enjoy it. Can’t see anything wrong with the finish, it looks like a professional job to me. Glad to see you posting projects again!.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5767 posts in 3373 days


#2 posted 10-12-2018 04:36 PM

Looks like a good project.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/daves-workshop

View lew's profile

lew

12318 posts in 3896 days


#3 posted 10-12-2018 05:21 PM

Awesome!!

Gotta be so satisfying to get back into the shop and completing a beautiful project.

I LOVE that top!!

Retirement is kicking in!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10893 posts in 3569 days


#4 posted 10-12-2018 06:08 PM

Great job, Jim. I too, really like the top. And, the contrast with the white is quite pleasing.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7186 posts in 3509 days


#5 posted 10-12-2018 06:14 PM

I like it!
Nice looking table, the bar too finish will make an easy clean up for spills and messy eaters.
The legs and aprons, versus the top, remind me of our first dinner table.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4233 posts in 3305 days


#6 posted 10-12-2018 06:22 PM

Mike
Like I mentioned about the shortcuts…(-:

Anyway, yes the top turned out great. This pine is very unusual, seems to be always available at HD, is clear, and has minimal to no warp. Sherie, when she looked at the table top before the finish was on said, “It’s beautiful, it doesn’t look like pine!”.

I used Old Master’s Espresso Gel stain. It has a very rich color, and really made the grain pop. Sherie picked it out.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4233 posts in 3305 days


#7 posted 10-12-2018 06:23 PM

dbhost
Hey Dave, thanks for stopping by. The project took a while but the end result is worth it. It’s a practical good looking piece.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4233 posts in 3305 days


#8 posted 10-12-2018 06:25 PM

Lew
Doesn’t rise to the level of your artistry, but it does the trick. I few more projects to post, but I’ll probably spread them out a bit so that I look busy… (-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4233 posts in 3305 days


#9 posted 10-12-2018 06:29 PM

Gene
The top was a surprise, I really expected it to be some dull thing. I did condition the top with some clear Watco before I applied the stain. Using a sample piece of the same pine, the clarity of the grain and the contrast was much better after the conditioning step.

My wife chose the finish scheme, including the stain and the shade of off white. Color is kinda her bag.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4233 posts in 3305 days


#10 posted 10-12-2018 06:30 PM

Hans
Spills and messy eaters are the name of the game at that household, so yes, the bartop finish is a winner.

When chosing tags including style, I selected “Traditional”. I suspect you would agree with that… (-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile

stefang

15937 posts in 3475 days


#11 posted 10-12-2018 06:34 PM

Can I send my projects to you for finishing?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4233 posts in 3305 days


#12 posted 10-12-2018 07:11 PM

Mike
Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing… (-:

Working on furniture for that condo, I refinished four chairs for that table, a coffee table, and two end tables, and I hated every minute of it… (-:

I remember summers when my brother and I would literally paint the whole house interior. We would take the big cast iron radiators, and drag them outside. I had discovered the vacuum cleaner spraying attachment gathering dust in the basement. Hook up the hose to the exhaust end, and connect it to the simple spraying attachment. But it worked like a charm, trying to paint all crevices, nooks, and crannies in those radiators. The town I grew up in, about 12,000 people, had the largest central steam heating system in the world, at that time. Those radiators were heated by steam that came to us from pipes that ran under the streets. Cheap and safe.

I think doing those monstrous painting jobs kinda extinguished any interest I might have in painting for ever after… (-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

300 posts in 631 days


#13 posted 10-12-2018 08:29 PM

I’m impressed you could get this finish from HD lumber. I think I may have missed it, but what was it you used to seal it? Was it poly?

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4233 posts in 3305 days


#14 posted 10-12-2018 08:58 PM

lumbering_on
The top, as noted, was thickness planed, jointed, glued, and sanded. It was “conditioned” with a light coat of clear Watco, and allowed to dry over night. Then it was stained, and that allowed to dry over night. Then a bar top finish, meaning a “pour on” epoxy material was poured onto the surface. It is like epoxy glue, with two parts mixed together, and then poured onto the surface. It is not a simple process, but it gives a thick extremely durable finish, just like they finish bar tops. I bought it at Lowe’s.

The apron and bracing was simply ripped and cross-cut to size, sanded, and then screwed and glued together. It was painted with a Penetrol thinned oil based finish using a brush.

It may be that HD doesn’t have this pine, New Zealand Radiata Pine, in your area, but it has been available here in Anchorage for years. Clear, dimensioned, and smooth. Nice stuff.

Hope that answers your question, and thanks for stopping by.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

300 posts in 631 days


#15 posted 10-12-2018 10:46 PM

Thanks for the reply. I wasn’t familiar with the term ‘bar top finish’, although I have seen the boxes of Varathane in HD, I just didn’t put two and two together. Good to see that it comes out so well.

I’m in Ontario, Canada, so we don’t get anything near that nice in pine.

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