One of my first ideas for this challenge was to make a “green” table – as in recycled, not painted. After weeks of pondering, and ultimately ignoring the problem of where to begin, and more importantly, what to use, I remembered that I had this door sitting in my shed.
It may have been original to the house, but has been collecting dust for the past 5 or so years since we bought the house and replaced the exterior doors – this one had dog door cut out of it and was patched with 2 pieces of luan and some 1” brads.
I begun dismantling to save as mauch of the rails and stiles as I could, happy to say I didn't break any of the glass, just the one stile at the doorknob.
Transitioning from door to table, from left to right, legs, apron, rails and the lower shelf. Yes, it's even painted green - one more layer of "green" on this Greene and Greene project but that's all coming off.
I couldn't tell what the wood would be. I've previously stripped an interior 4 panel door to find it was oak underneath, this looked like it could have been a hardwood, but more likely pine.
I started in on milling the legs, thinking I'd get two out of each side of the door, and the 4 aprons from resawing the widest rails. Looking more closely at the table plans, I was surprised, but pleased to see that the table legs were only 1 1/4" square, (the door was about 1 3/8th). If I stuck to the plan, I wouldn't have to glue up stock! I was also surprised to see how tall (or rather short) the table really was, It looked big and blocky in print, now it seems low - and appropriatley sized to go beside our sofa, and seems light and well proportioned.
Now, I'm sure the material is pine, ripping my legs from the stiles, I find that I could easily make two tables - but I'm short in the apron dept... believe it or not all this wood matches really really well. The long grain is clear and straight, the face grain however contrasts glaringly. I'm going to have to use some of the "extra" legs to cut a veneer face so I can have quartersawn looking legs (I also need to do this to hide the mortises from when the door was pegged together. Found some bits of a translucent and shiny looking glue - kind of like hardened sap in the bottom of some mortices.
Oh how nice to be starting with straight, flat, stable stock. With such a nice tight grain that you could not get at the big box store today (and would be hard pressed to find at the lumberyard) and it was "free" to boot! Initially I was going to put this table up for sale or auction, but now that its being made, quite literally, from my house, here it will remain.
Now I'm getting somewhere.