A couple weeks ago I posted a picture on Instagram when we finally got our new dining table set up and I thought I would share a little bit about it. My dad and I built this table together so besides being a budget friendly project, it was a lot of fun to work side by side with my dad who is a very experienced and talented wood worker. This isn’t really a tutorial on how to make a table just like mine since I just kinda followed my dad’s lead most of the time (meaning, a lot of the time I just watched him work and handed him tools when he asked..), but I will explain the process as best I can. :)
I got this old Singer sewing machine base on Craigslist back in the summer for $40 and this is what it looked like when I bought it. I originally planned on making a small side table with it for our old house we were living in (we hadn’t even thought about moving at that point). But then we got this house and I thought if I could just extend the base out somehow and build a top for it, then it would make a really rad dining table. So that’s what we did!First thing I had to do was get the sewing machine base cleaned up. It’s really old (it says “Patented 1887” but I don’t if that is when this one was made…) and it was rusted pretty badly. I took it to a professional sand blaster and had them clean it up. I coudn’t believe what a huge difference that made! The picture above is right after it was sand blasted and right before I spray painted it black. After it was painted, my dad took it to a welder and had them build out some support rods that would extend all the pieces out and make it a wide enough base for a table (the pictures below illustrate that point a little better).For the wood top, I was inspired by Creature Comfort’s tutorial on making a table top. Ez did such a good job on her table, that it got me thinking we could do something similar. We headed over to Lowe’s and picked up some nothing-special-at-all yellow pine planks. It would have been great to get some really beautiful wood like walnut or teak, but (you hear me say this a lot) there was a budget to consider! Yellow pine is cheap, but perfectly solid enough and easy to work with for this project. I think everything all together was about $60 or so. On the Creature Comforts tutorial, she left some gaps between each plank, but my dad had fancy tools that could shave off the edges to make them fit together perfectly, so that’s what we did.To stain the wood, I decided to go with something I had never tried before but luckily it worked out. I had read that you could naturally speed up the process of aging wood with tea, and then steel wool and vinegar mixed together. First you just make strong tea (regular ol Lipton works just fine) and set aside. Then take one pad of steel wool and place in a mason jar, then pour white distilled vinegar up to the top and let it sit for 24 hours. When you’re ready, paint a layer of tea on the wood, let dry and then paint a layer of the vinegar/steel wool combination on top. After it’s dry you can see the wood change color. You can keep repeating the steps until you get the color you like (it will go as dark as black, which is called “ebonizing” the wood) but I stopped after one coat because I liked it. I banged it up by throwing some heavy chain across it to distress it some too. I think it turned out beautifully, I’m so pleased with it.
Here you can see how we had some rods welded to extend out the parts of the sewing machine base. I am going back to Scott Antique Market next weekend to get a rug to put under the table and need to get a buffet table, plus some art on the walls, but you know how it goes. These things take time :) A peek in to our living room and a very patient Frankie waiting to go for a walk :)The chairs are Tolix reproductions from Overstock (these are them) and we like them a lot. I didn’t want anything too matchy and have always loved the look if industrial chairs. I chose white so they would kind of disappear with the walls and not take up too much visual space. I still need to order some more. The table seats six comfortably but could squeeze 8 if it had to.
So that’s our table! What do you think? We’ve only had company over once but there were six of us and it was great. I am so happy to have a place to feed people, it’s one of my favorite pastimes :)