Up-cycled Industrial Table

John Biermacher
by John Biermacher
2 Materials
1 Week

The genesis of this project was my desire to utilize some parts and pieces I have accumulated.

I had what I knew could be a tabletop, 25” by 55” by 1.5” panel, left over from a piano project. I knew it could be a tabletop because I used a similar one in an previous project (https://www.hometalk.com/diy/outdoor/furniture/cabin-table-with-folding-legs-34922403)

Top as removed from the piano.

I also had a table base that I had purchased from a local on-line auction house. I had purchased it for $5 because it looked promising in the photos. After I got it home it was larger, higher, and more wobbly than I anticipated, so it went into my inventory.

Marrying the two seemed obvious, but both required some techniques worth sharing.

The top had a number of holes and a portion that was slightly higher than the rest. The high area was flatten with a jack plane and an belt sander. The smaller holes I drilled out and filled with 3/8 “ diameter plugs. The larger holes I filled by glueing short length of dowels with polyurethane (brand name Gorilla) glue.

Skip the next two paragraph, unless you are interested in minutia.

I prefer to use plugs to fill holes and screw heads. I have a set of plug cutters that I can cut 3/8” and 1/2” diameter plugs from any scrap material, which can match or contrast with the material I am filling. Plugs can be cut from face grain or end grain, depending on the holes I am filling. They are tapered so I add a little glue and tap them in place. They can be trimmed almost flush with a sharp chisel and easily sanded flush.

Dowels are a different story. Although they come in a variety of diameter, they present a couple of challenges when filling face grain. They are difficult to cut and sand smooth because the exposed end of the dowel is end grain. I either leave them high, for a rustic effect, or drill them down with a slightly larger drill and the refill with tinted epoxy or wood filler, sometimes making them look like knots (https://www.hometalk.com/diy/build/using-and-tinting-auto-body-filler-for-wood-repair-34340531).

I disassembled the table base and ran all the two by fours through my thickness planer just to clean them up. I mitered cut the apron so table would have a 3” overhang. The apron was secured to the underside of the table with pocket screws. I reinforced the corners (both inside and out) with galvanized corner brackets. They may not be necessary, but I thought they matched the industrial look of the leg brackets. For the same reason I used hex head screws to secure them.

The table legs were cut down to make the overall height of the table 30” and reattached using the original galvanized brackets and hardware. I did taper them at the foot for accent.

I sanded the table, sealed it with a coat of shellac, re-sanded, stained (MinWax golden oak), and varnished (MinWax satin polyurethane).

The lower shelf was constructed from a single eight foot length of 3/4” by 12” fir I purchased at Menards.

I am happy with “the look” and it might end up as my auxiliary workbench, or possibly someone else’s. Perhaps it will work in a small kitchen, as an occasional table, possibly a potting table.

Regardless there are two less items in my inventory.

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