I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to share this. I have a talent for finding neat old furniture for free or next to nothing, but I've never been able to find a dining table. Not that I've ever needed one, as until now, each of my roommates has conveniently had one. However, when Dave and I decided on the cohabitation thing, that was the one big piece we were missing. I scoured yard sales, antique stores and fleas, but couldn't find anything that tickled my fancy (that wasn't a gazillion dollars). So, when my dad offered to help me build my very own table, I jumped on the idea.
In order to keep costs down and be as eco-friendly as possible, we tried to get creative and use repurposed materials for the table. The base for the table top is actually an old oak door that was purchased for $30 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. We cut the door down to the size we wanted and gave it a light sanding. Then we started laying the herringbone pattern; this idea spurred from boxes and boxes of ash wood strips that my dad found while cleaning out a friend's wood shop. Thinking they'd make a great table top, he saved them and we sketched out the design. Each strip was individually placed with glue and an air pin gun (this took almost a whole day!). The table's base is made of oak plywood, found for only $10 due to some minor surface damage. We weren't able to recycle any materials for the side edging, thus the ash lumber we purchased for that makes up a large portion of our costs. The biggest dilemma for this table was selecting a stain. I had my heart set on something dark, but I didn't want to hide the woodgrain or the herringbone pattern. We eventually ended up deciding on a gel stain and although it turned out beautifully, it was very difficult to achieve even coverage and I wouldn't recommend it.
We also built a completely awesome bench with the leftover ash and some oak we had on hand. The oak was actually salvaged from a downed tree in our neighborhood, a casualty of the major ice storms that hit Oklahoma a few years back. Overall, we were tickled with the results of both the table and bench. Using repurposed materials was incredibly satisfying and this was such a fun father/daughter project. I will have this table for the rest of my life and it will undoubtedly be passed down through the generations! I feel so lucky to have such an awesome woodworking mentor and will definitely be using my newfound skills for future projects.
The finished table.
The beginning of laying the pattern.
The finished and stained table top.
My beloved table and bench. I also did the red & turquoise painting--it seemed fitting for our new ABQ lifestyle.