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Let’s Upcycle: Build old wood coffee table yourself

Let’s Upcycle: Build old wood coffee table yourself

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Finally the time has come! Today I present you my new upcycling project, on which I have worked over the past weekends. For this I used a material that I had never worked with before: old wood. Sure, I’ve already embellished some old pieces of furniture made of wood, but so real wood as a pure material? That was new to me. Waste wood is a resource that is available to us to a large extent and is therefore particularly sustainable. If the wood comes from the outside, it has, I think, beautiful, silver color, due to the weathering. A few weeks ago, when I saw a huge pile of old wood being dismantled at the construction site I’m currently working on, I knew immediately: this will be my new upcycling project!

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It was quickly decided that I wanted to use the wood to create a new side table for the living room. The only question was: Which legs best match the grayish silver wood? Legs, which are also made of wood, were out of the question for me, rather the legs should underline the industrial look of the table and at the same time also come out fresh and modern. So I decided on the hairpin legs made of black metal. I am really a fan of the shape of these legs and think that they cut a really good figure, especially in combination with wood.

Where do you get such legs if you don’t want to buy an entire table right away? My hairpin legs were kindly provided to me by DaWanda. DaWanda is not only a marketplace for unique items, but also a great platform for DIY material and instructions for doing it yourself. For all bloggers among you: take a look at the Blogger portal from Dawanda over. There you will find information and a first overview of possible collaborations.

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How do you build a table out of old wood? It is not that complicated, you only need a few special utensils such as a jigsaw or circular saw, some clamps and possibly a grinder. Here we go!

Prepare material

First of all, of course, you need old wood. Where do you get that from? As already mentioned, I found my boards on a construction site where a house was just being built back. They are facade panels. Otherwise, take a look on the street or in the basement or garden shed of friends or family. There are also a few older boards, pallets or the like. However, they should not be damp or infested with pests (e.g. fungus).

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First the wood is cleaned, then roughly adjusted, electrically or by hand. In my case, this meant that I sawed off excess wood on the long sides of the boards so that I had straight edges. If you work with pallets, you first have to pull out the nails and then separate the boards from each other.

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Next you need a support plate for your boards. To do this, I simply had a 8mm-thick plywood sheet sawn at the hardware store, which is slightly larger in size than my three boards together.

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The boards are glued to the board with glue and then fixed with many clamps. The advantage of the clamps is that if the old wood is a bit wavy, you will get a nice, flat surface.

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The clamps are primarily used where the waste wood particularly protrudes from the carrier plate. Then let everything dry sufficiently before you loosen the clamps. It’s best to leave it overnight.

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Saw the table top

Fixes the table top with clamps firmly on a table or on a workbench. With an electric saw, old wood and the base plate are sawn off on a straight edge. Here it has an advantage if the carrier plate is larger than the old wood: You can place the guide rail of the saw on the outer edge of the carrier plate and thus get a straight edge. Depending on the position of the guide rail on your saw, it may also be easier if you (in contrast to the photo below) turn the table top over and then saw. In any case, you should also saw off approx. 1 cm of the old wood so that you get a nice, clean edge.

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See Also

Coarse and fine sanding

When the panel is sawn, the edges are sanded off. It makes sense to use a grinding machine for this.

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Once the rough sanding is done, the fine sanding is done by hand with a very fine paper. Not only does it grind the edges, it also rounds off the corners and transitions between the edges and the top somewhat, so that there is no risk of injury and the table “feels good”.

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Color edges

By sanding the edges, the old wood has returned to its original color at these points, and the color of the base plate does not quite match the top. That’s why I used glaze in ebony to darken the edges and the underside of the table without the wood grain disappearing.

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Attach feet

Finally, the legs are screwed on with a few screws either by hand or with the cordless screwdriver – done! Then the table can be placed where it is needed. Whether as a coffee table, storage under a large mirror or at the foot of your bed – that’s up to you.

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