Designing a Dining Table

Our current dining set is typical of furniture that is commercially available nowadays.  The table is made of some type of particle board with a wood veneer.  The chairs are made of a PVC that looks like leather.  The table has been losing veneer for a couple of years now, and the chairs have started to lose large parts of the PVC covering.  Frankly, they look like trash.  The types of tables that we want are very expensive, so I am going to have to build the table myself to keep the cost down.

I am going to build a 7 foot long table that will be about 35 inches wide.  I will also be building a bench that is the same length as the table for one side; for the other, we will be using these metal chairs that we bought from Restoration Hardware.

I have already bought the wood that I will be using for the table top and bench.  I found some old tongue and groove floor boards at Reclaimed Wood San Diego, that came from a barn.  I had the wood cut down to 7 ft long, each piece is 5 inches wide and about 2.5 inches deep.  They are pine, but have turned into a dark color as they aged.

IMG_1635 IMG_1636 IMG_1637

I did a lot of studying of what to use for table legs.  I saw many tables that use welded tube metal legs.  In fact, that seems to be the most common type of metal table leg.  Then I saw an image of a table that used a wide flange I-beam as the table leg, and I decided that is what I wanted to do.


Finding the large beam was not an easy thing.  I found a beam at Handy Metal Mart in National City.  The guys working that day did not know if they would be able to cut the beam to the size that I need, so I am going to have to follow up on that.  I was able to use Sketchup to make a mock up of what I want to make.  The color sketches are not in a format that is usable here.

dinning table under dinning table top dinning table side

I was thinking about using resin on the table top to fill in all the holes and cracks in the wood.  Many of the reviews I read said that resin can yellow and look bad when heat is applied.  Since this is a dining table, I figured that will not be a good thing.  Now we are thinking of getting a piece of glass cut to size to put on the table top.

I hope to get started on the table soon and will write posts showing the actual process and completed product.


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