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How to Build a Dining Room Table Top (August 31, 2009)
Turn any great table base back into an eye catching dining room table. Whether the old top has gotten scarred, stained, or gashed into, it can be removed and a new fresh top set to take its place. With creativity your own style and customizations can be incorporated and turn your table into a one of kind piece, that can be passed on to future generations.
Take off the old top from the base by unscrewing the attaching screws or nails. Try to not damage the base since it will be used again.
Sand the base down to take off the old finish. This way it can be stained at the same time as the top so it will match and look fresh.
Pick out the wood boards that will make the new top. Try to find matching colors and grains.
Set boards up in order that matches up the best. Apply wood glue to the edges and push pieces back together.
Set up clamps to hold boards together to set. Try to keep boards as even as possible on a flat plane. Adjust the clamps as needed to make best flat surface. Allow to dry completely.
Take off clamps and run the new large board through a machine planer to get a smooth flat surface. If a machine planer is not accessible, use a hand planer.
Draw out desired design for table top. This can be painted, stained, or cut. Lay out a template over the table top to follow.
Cut designs into top of the table as wanted. They can be routed out as small recesses for a design or chiseled by hand for intricate designs. If using paint, draw out the design onto the table first with pencil, then use a paintbrush to paint in design.
Inlays can be placed in recessed areas if wanted. To do this, cut out small slots of wood of another color by jigsaw or hand chiseled. Sand down piece and use wood glue to insert wood piece into cut away area.
Sand all edges and surfaces until smooth.
Place top on base and center into place.
Use bolts or screws to attach top to base through the top of the base to the bottom of the new top.
Apply stain to base and top and allow to dry. Repeat until desired look is achieved.
Apply clear finish to entire piece. Allow to dry. Repeat a second coat.