We've been making some major progress these past few weeks at our studio house. This past week we've been ripping through dining room and kitchen projects, and we're planning to share our first room tours with you very soon. When we were brainstorming ideas for a dining room table we knew it could be a lot of fun to work with copper pipes for the legs. We wanted something industrial, but still pretty. We're so incredibly happy with the finished table!
We recently shared a staff update with you, and one of the new faces you'll be seeing around here more often is Joshua Rhodes. Josh is an extremely talented carpenter and designer. We've been simultaneously working on half a dozen projects together this past month, and this is the first one we're ready to share. Please give Josh a warm welcome.
So, without further ado—here is Josh's table tutorial!
-2" x 6" x 8' (4)
-1" x 11" x 8' (4)
-3/8" dowel rod (1)
-1" copper pipe, 10ft
-1" copper pipe, 5ft (3)
-1" copper slip caps (10)
-1" copper split ring hangers (20)
-#12 1.5" wood screws
-2.5" kreg screws
-5/8" spade bit
-1" spade bit
-3/8" drill bit
-Kreg pocket screw jig
-sander/sandpaper, 80 and 220 grit
-copper tube cutter
This table is relatively easy to build. If you take your time and plan ahead, it should only take a day or two to build. First thing you want to do is get supplies. When you go to choose your wood, make sure to inspect each piece for bends and twists; those pieces are no good and should be cast aside, as they are not worthy of your time!
Once you have all your supplies and tools ready to go, make sure you have enough flat work area to build on. The table is going to be built upside down.Step One: Cut the table top pieces. We wanted the table to be seven feet long so it would fit proportionally to the space. You can skip this step and just make your table eight feet long (the length the pieces come in), but then all the rest of the measurement will have to be modified. After cutting, sand the pieces with 220 grit.
Step Two: Cut the pieces for the frame based on your size of table. You can follow the measurements above, if you're making it the same size as ours. This will be the most time-consuming and critical step. Make sure to measure twice or even thrice so you only have to cut once. After you have all the pieces, go ahead and sand them nice and smooth. Lay out the pieces.Step Three: Make a drastic life change. I use Kreg's pocket hole jig for most of my projects. The jig is about 100 bucks. If you plan on making a lot of your own furniture, I strongly recommend investing in one—it will change your life! I'm not going to get into how the jig works here, but there is a ton of info online. I have all of my holes pre-drilled before putting the table together. If you don't have or don't want to get the jig, you can screw the outer face, but that method is harder and doesn't look as good.Putting together Figure A is a bit tricky, but once you have that figured out, putting together Figure B will be a snap. Figure A is the cross member, which is going to be very supportive and what you are going to attach the legs to. Make all your measurements and marks first. With the 3/8" paddle bit, drill about 1/4 inch down for the copper ring hanger to fit into. Unscrew one side and screw into place with #12 1.5" screws. Screw back in the copper screws so you don't lose them!! You can go ahead and cut and assemble Figure B at this stage.Step Four: Glue and screw all pieces together. Make sure everything is square by using your speed square!
Step Five: Move the frame out of the way, but nearby. Lay out the table top pieces. Remember the sides facing up are going to be under the table. I mark the bottoms with B's. Apply glue to the frame (refer to diagram) and lay down onto table top pieces. I had pocket holes predrilled, but you can screw down the frame from underneath. Start at one end. Make sure table top pieces are square and flush on all ends. I did not screw around the perimeter, but used a ton of glue and clamps. Step Six: Sand all table edges and table top to a smooth finish. You can start with the 80 grit and move to the 220 as needed.
Step Eight: Put the legs through the wood support (Figure B) on the bottom of the legs, measure up 5", and drill through. Cut four 5" pieces of dowel and install them.
Step Nine: Install legs and cross pieces. Make sure all of the brackets are loose in order to get everything to fit right. When you're tightening the screws, tighten one side about halfway, then tighten the other side a bit. Make sure to get each bracket nice and tight.
You are almost done! All you need to do is throw on the end caps and have your friend help flip the table. You don't want to put a lot of force on the legs trying to flip the table on your own. After it's flipped and you step back to admire your craftsmanship, you can do some touch-up sanding, stain it your favorite color (we chose a white wash), then coat it with Polyurethane. I put three coats of clear gloss Poly to get a nice, smooth sheen. Once it's dry, throw a party and show off your table-building skills.Happy Building! -Josh
Credits // Author: Josh Rhodes and Elsie Larson. Photos: Sarah Rhodes and Josh Rhodes. Video: Sarah Rhodes. Video Music: Jeremy Larson. Rug: Lulu and Georgia. Photos edited with Petal of the Fresh Collection