Maple Dining Room Table That Won't Break the Bank
One of my friends just bought a new home and was shopping around for some new furniture.
Sometimes you just want new things when you go to a new house, it’s fun to create a new look with a fresh start. She found a beautiful dining table that was solid wood with a matching bench online and saved the picture to show me. She brought it over and asked if I was able to build something like that for her. Of course I said yes! Anything is possible, and I love a new project that I’ve never tackled before, so I was totally excited to build this for her. Not just for her but with her. I said that this was going to be a building lesson and she was going to help build it, not just to learn to use some tools, but it will make the table all the more special to her knowing she helped build it with her own hands. Plus, she wanted to impress her husband with some newly learned building skills. I love seeing someone get excited to learn something new and try something they have never done before. We figured out the cost of the materials, including a beautiful live edge matching bench, was going to cost a fraction of the cost of the table she found online. I keep telling people, this is why I build. You get beautiful furniture without breaking the bank. When everything is said and done, this table is going to be a treasured piece of furniture for my girlfriend’s new home that is going to be crazy beautiful!
- 6-7 maple boards 6’ in length (can be varying widths)
- 1 sheet ¾” plywood
- Live edge maple wood
- Miter saw
- Table saw
- Belt sander
- 40-grit belt
- 80-grit belt
- 120-grit belt
- Orbital sander
- 320-grit paper
- Kreg jig
- 1 ½” pocket hole screws
- 1 ½” wood screws
- Wood glue
- Brad nailer
- 1 ½” brad nails
- Drill bits
- Minwax Provincial wood stain
- Stain rag
- Metal table legs
- Metal bench legs
We bought my maple boards at Windsor Plywood for roughly $27 CDN/board. These are rough lumber and need some sanding to get them finished enough for a table, not a lot but some. I suggested 6-7 boards because depending on how wide you want to make it will determine how many you need. I like getting them in different widths because it looks better when finished rather that having them all the same. Get one of the boards as wide as is available because you are going to rip it down to make the table trim out of it. My finished table size is going to end up being 72” long x 35” wide.
Lay out all the boards, placing them together and measure their width. You will need to run them all through the table saw cutting at least ¼” off per side to make clean, straight edges and to make the width of the table. Just make sure you know the starting width and what you want the finished width to be to make sure you don’t cut off too much from the sides. Also, keep in mind the added width when you add the framing to the table.
While the table saw is out, take the extra board and rip it down into 2 – 2 ½” strips then set them aside for later.
Cut the boards to 6’ in length on the miter saw, or to the length of your choosing.
Using a kreg jig, drill pocket holes into the boards on one side of each board minus the last boards.
Screw each board together using the pocket hole screws and a bead of wood glue between each board.
Using large clamps to hold everything together before screwing can be helpful to ensure tight seams and prevent movement.
Cut out a sheet of plywood the same size of the board top. You can either do this with the table saw or a circular saw; this definitely needs to be a two person job if it’s on the table saw!
Lay the board top face side down and the sheet of plywood over top. Using 1 ½” wood screws, screw the plywood onto the board top going all the way around the perimeter and along each seam.
The board that was cut into strips is now fitted to frame the table edge. Measure out each side and cut the boards out with a 45-degree angle on each end. Add a bead of wood glue to the table edge and brad nail the trim to the table. You will end up with a beautiful mitred corner on each end.
The maple boards we picked out had all these beautiful knots in it that we wanted to keep adding some character to the table. So, I mixed up some resin and poured it into all the knots on the table surface then let it set and harden.
Now comes a whole lot of sanding! With the belt sander, start with the coarsest grit, sanding the entire surface and continuing with the next grit and finishing with the least course grit for the belt sander. Trying to get the surface of the table as even and as level as possible is the name of the game here. Finish the sanding by using the orbital sander with a 320-grit all over the top and sides. I didn’t want the table to absorb a lot of colour stain, so I made the wood pores as tight as possible by sanding it with a very fine grit paper.
Completely remove any dust from sanding to get the table ready to stain. Using a stain rag or even an old tee shirt works perfect too, dip the rag into the stain and rub it over the table until the colour depth is perfect.
Let it dry completely then seal the table with a polyurethane. We added three coats of the clear coat giving a light sand with a 320-grit sandpaper between each dried coat to get a buttery smooth finish.
Add the table legs on and this beautiful new table is ready to get moved into the kitchen or dining room.
The wood table surface has a beautiful rustic look, but the metal legs give it a more contemporary feel which makes it the perfect table for any decorating style. We added a live edge thick board of maple with matching table legs for a bench to compliment the table. Mix and match the bench with some modern chairs and this dining set is amazing!!