Making dining table is way more challenging than buying in a store. However, if you decide to make one on your own, it will be memorable and you can adjust it as much as you want it looks like. Even more, you can use reclaimed wood to save more and create an aesthetic vibe inside your house. If it works for your dining table, you can use the same material to make another cool furniture.
1. First things First, Decide The Type of The Wood and The Style of Your Dining Table
It is undeniable that wrong choice of type of wood will lead you to unsatisfying result of the dining table. Therefore, it’s better to take time in the beginning to learn the plus and minus each kind of wood has.
Comparing those plus and minus, soon you will find one type of wood that suits you the most. If it is too hard to decide the type of wood, you can begin with considering the style of your dining table. If you plan to create a rustic style in your dining room, Cherry, Oak, and Poplar will be best to support your plan.
However, if you decide to make a contemporary reclaimed furniture inside your house, you can choose Walnut, Beech, and Maple to support your main idea.
2. Remember to Kiln Dry All Reclaimed Lumber You Have in the Barn
It might take a long time to do this step. However, it is necessary for the safety of lumbers you have. During the process of kiln drying, lumber will be stacked on 1×1 sticks in bundles, and of course they will be cut somewhere which is airtight. ‘
When the process begins, the lumber will slowly be heated up to 140 °F, equal 60 °C, in which all bacteria will die due to high temperature. The purpose of heating up lumbers is to release the moisture.
When it has less moisture, the wood can stay for a longer time, so you can use it to prepare your dining table. Woods that have much moisture tend to shrink as soon as the climate starts to control over.
3. Don’t Worry If You Can’t Do the Kiln Dry, Do Air Dry Will Result the Same
Some people might not have any access to do kiln dry. The fact is kiln dry is not the only option you can choose to keep your lumber dry. Simply put it on the 1×1 sticks and put it somewhere with consistent air flow.
It takes longer time than kiln drying, of course, but you will get the same result using this method. If you want to lower down the moisture on your wood under 12-15%, you needed to treat the lumber for insects too.
The process of kiln drying is a must to kill the micro organism, bacteria, and bugs inside the reclaimed woods. You’d better heat it to 140 °F (60 °C) for four hours straight. It is recommended to low the moisture and make sure your reclaimed wood is clean.
4. Let’s Begin the Construction of The Dining Table, but Make a Plan First
Before you start to cut here and there, you’d better make a plan for the dining table you are going to create. Make a simple sketch for the beginning, so later on you can add or remove things you think is important or unnecessary.
After you are satisfied with the sketch that you make, it’s time to shop some stuff. Rather than going to the store in the middle of the work, it is way much better to go out first to buy all things you need before you start to make the table.
Having a plan is important for you, so you will know what to do first and what to do next. Like the quote says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, you don’t want to fail in this dining table, right?
5. Detect Any Metal In The Wood and Rough Mill the Wood
It is necessary to detect any metal inside the wood. Even one nail inside a board may cause a serious damage to your machine. Even worse, it might cause serious and painful hurt on your body.
Therefore, take that metal scanner and scan all reclaimed woods you plan to use. If you found any metal thing, take it first before you start to make the table from the woods; remove it carefully, so it will not leave any damage to the wood.
Next, you shall rough mill the wood. It’s the time to cut the wood in a rough length, not the real length. It is important to prepare similar color reclaimed wood; it can be the same color or grain characteristics. After you do the rough mill, you need to consider the thickness of the table.
6. After You Finish Preparing the Reclaimed Lumbers, Assembly Them As What You Imagine
Up to this step, you must have a ready-to-make lumber; metal free, less moisture, certain length and shape. Now, you may take the glue and start to edge glue the reclaimed woods according to the sketch of dining table you have made earlier.
Once the glue is dried, take a wide belt sander, and run it on the top to flatten the surface of the table and sand the surface smooth.
Just in case you couldn’t find any wide belt sander, you can use a simple dual action palm sander to replace its function. However, it will take hours for you to finish flattening and sanding the surface of your dining table.
7. Do The Final Assembly and Put The Table In Where You Want it To Be
Different type of reclaimed woods will affect the method you can use to join them into one. If you create a knock down furniture, you can use screws, insert nuts, and simple butt-joints.
Meanwhile, if you make your dining table complex and custom, you can use Dutchman joinery techniques, followed by dovetails and tenon to join them all. Make sure you anticipate the wood movement, so you can join it precisely.
As the season changes, the wood will move a lot, it is better to make sure that it sticks well from the very beginning. After finishing the joinery, now you can put it anywhere you want it to be.