How to Make a Dining Table from Reclaimed Wood

How to Make a Dining Table from Reclaimed Wood

Allison Verdoorn
Feb 15, 2011

A fellow architecture student and very talented friend of mine, Laurie, recently let me in on the process of making her dining table using reclaimed barnwood. She was kind enough to share this process with all of you as well, so first run out and get your hands on some great salvaged wood, then click through to find out how to make your own dining table.

What You Need

Reclaimed Lumber
The ability to or a friend who can who can mill the mortise and tenon joints
Wood glue
CA glue
Mineral Oil



1. The most critical step in this process was finding a wood worker who could mill the mortise and tenon joints. This is the hardest part of the table and it removed most of the stress of the project. Because of the difficulty with this portion, Laurie felt it was well worth having this portion done for her. She hired Troy Sausen.

2. Troy also has stacks of reclaimed Douglas Fir that he took out of a 100 year old barn. Laurie bought the boards from him to make the table top.

3. Laurie had access to a jointer, planer and table saw. They were critical for making the table top surface out of four boards. The boards were planed to remove the rough top surface and then cut down to length to fit the table.

4. Next she jointed one surface of the rough sawn boards and planed the opposite surface.

5. Laurie used biscuits to glue all the boards together for the table top.

6. The boards were then clamped to ensure a tight bond for the tabletop.

7. Scrape and sand the table top. Laurie really got to know the table by doing this all by hand.

8. Laurie chose to fill in some holes in the table. There are nail holes from when it was a barn and some of the knots disappeared in the planer. She used CA glue (Super Glue is a brand name for CA glue) to fill them in.

9. Troy not only milled the legs and apron but he labeled them and included a box of hardware. That allowed Laurie to glue them together and assemble the table easily.

10. Finally, Laurie will be using mineral oil over the next year to treat the table. For the first week she will oil the table every day. Then, she will oil it once a week for a month, then once a month for a year. After a year she will oil it periodically as needed to protect the surface.

Thank you Laurie for showing us how you made your lovely table! Want to know more about Laurie? Check out her personal website here.

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(Images: Laurie McGinley)

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