Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DIY Outdoor dinning table made with cabinet doors

       This is a project I made a few years ago and is by far one of my favorite and most used. I am blessed to have a wrap around porch on my house and during warm weather I serve my family every meal I can outside on this table. Eating outside is wonderful. Any mess is left out there and cleaned up by the cats, the working men can come eat without even having to take off their work boots, and since we are already outside the kids often go off to play and enjoy the outdoors when the meal is done.
       This dinning table shares many of the same construction steps and design elements as many of my other projects. See Large Bench, post or how I made the base for my Playhouse. The first thing I did in making this table was I visited my local reuse store and sot a selection of unfinished cabinet doors all in the same height but different widths. Once I had assembled then measured them to get the dimensions for the table top. I then used 2x4 boards to build the base of the table. I cut 2 boards to the total length of the table and then a number of boards that would lay across the short width of the table. I cut these 3 inches shorter than the total width to take into account the thickness of the 2 2x4 they will be connected to. My table is about 10 feet long so I cut 6 cross boards, one for each end and 4 spaced throughout the rest of the table. Attach these cross 2x4's to the long 2x4's.
        Since I knew I needed some way to attach the cabinet doors to the top of the table and didn't want to screw them down form the top I placed plywood cut to size on of the 2x4 frame I had crated. I screwed this down into place. I used reclaimed plywood from a shed we took down since this plywood will not be seen. Next step was to attach the 4 legs. I decided to use 4x4 posts for stability. I looked at tables around my house to get a sense of how tall I wanted my table to be. I would be good to know how tall your chairs are and then add some space for legs to fit under the table. Start with this length and then add 3.5 inches for the amount of board you will need to attach it to the table. On my legs I cut a notch on 2 sides of the top of the leg which were 3.5 inches long and 1.5 inches deep so that the corner 2x4's would sit on top of the legs. I then securely screwed the legs in place. Now turn it over and you have the start of a table.
       From the underside I screwed the cabinet doors in place with help from my husband holding them down form above so I made sure they were attached tightly.  I applied a number of coats of polyurethane to the door faces which brings out all the different wood colors and grains. No the challenge is that the door faces are not a flat serf ace to eat on so I went to the local glass store and had to order one very large piece of glass. This was by far the most expensive part of the project. Once the glass was placed I then used small door fronts found at my reuse store to frame the outside of the table. You could also use boards. These are place to over the 2x4 and hold the glass in place.  Now a little more polyurethane and some paint for the legs and you have a very heavy and durable table to use for years to come. I have leave mine out on the porch year round due to it's size and weight and it has made it well through many winters.
      Lessons I have learned in the project is that I should have sealed the glass down better because being outside things get under the glass and I have been leery about lifting this big piece of glass to clean under it. I don't quite know how one would best seal it down but maybe you can think up a good way.
      As I said this table is used daily if not more often during warm weather at my house and it is one of my favorite parts of summer. I don't know why but food always tastes better in the fresh air outside. Here are some pictures of enjoying the table on those beautiful summer days. Good luck on you project and enjoy the creativity of a DIY project.

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