Give old wood a new life in your home: make your own green and gorgeous dining room table.
A big, beautiful wood dining table can be expensive. So why not make your own? All you need is a sturdy base and some reclaimed wood, all of which you can most likely find for less than you would a pre-made wood table, especially one that is made from sustainably harvested wood (FSC certified). For a table that’s simply stunning and totally unique to your home, you will want to find wood that you can assemble together. The size can vary, but 36″ x 76″ is a pretty good size. You can also leave the edges unmilled to create the “live edge” which can be sanded to soften it, but allows the beauty of the wood irregularity to be exposed. What is so wonderful about this “Green-it-yourself” project is you will end up with an elegant, unique table made from wood that might have otherwise gone to waste and the whole process is relatively simple. All of your friends (not just the environmentalists among them) will be jealous.
Step 1: Get Your Frame
There are two good options for finding a frame for your table. The first is to set out on a hunt for a used table (or table frame) by checking out Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift Stores, or even eBay. The other is to buy one from a company like Room + Board. Their Parsons type frame can be purchased individually without a top, in a few different materials and sizes. You can even order online, if you don’t have a store near you.
Step 2: Find and Attach the Wood
For your table top, you want to find reclaimed wood that has been used before, or might be from a recently fallen tree. You can go to your local reclaimed wood center, or try vising the Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) to find some local resources or check out Planet Reuse. Once you have your wood, if it is a slab, it is just a matter of properly bolting it to your frame from below so the connection is not visible. If you are not feeling comfortable doing this on your own, get a handy-dandy friend of family member to help out.
Or, if you do not find a slab, but rather pieces of reclaimed wood, you can bundle them together and take to your local wood workshop where they can mill it all together to make one big table top for you. You can even use different species of wood and do it “butcher block” style, allowing the different colors + grains to create interesting variations and patterns. We made a table using this method for our office at MKD.
Using reclaimed wood will give you a table with a history to it, a memory, that should age beautifully like an old Italian kitchen table. Because it is made from pieces of imperfect wood to begin with, you don’t have to be precious with it and worry about dings or scratches. Let them happen and they will add on stories to your elegant, eco-friendly table.