Ollen has had many ‘firsts’ this month. He’s cut his first tooth, said his first word (yes, I’m counting mamamamama), crawled for the first time and had his first meal sat at a table. That last one doesn’t usually come in the set of baby milestones, but I was probably more excited than I should have been about the whole event. I’ve been working for months to make this happen. Ollen is at that lovely phase in which he either wants to be held or rolling under the sofa, so getting any work done is tricky, let alone woodwork, which involves making noise/dust/lost limbs if you don’t pay attention. Let’s just say it’s been a labour of love (and late nights)
Saying this I have used a few items that have been a godsend to get the table completed. Full disclosure, I have been sent some items free of chanrge to use and share with you. I’ve specified these in the materials list below using c/o, but these are all products that I would definitely buy myself to make this table.
+ Oak parquet flooring (c/o Direct Wood Flooring – they sent me this for my bedroom floor and I had some left over)
+ Table legs (c/o Prettypegs)
+ Ferm Electric Mitre Saw (c/o ManoMano)
+ Royobi Random Orbital Sander (c/o ManoMano with battery and charger)
+ 18mm MDF 135 x 80 cm
+ 4m of 4cm Stripwood
+ 4m CLS Studwork Timber – 38 x 63
+ Wood Glue
+ Plastic Scraper
+ 75mm Screws
It’s a long list but you can buy it all in one go or do as I did and just get what you need as you go. If you’re going to spend a weekend working on this, then definitely save yourself time and get it all together! But if, like me, this is a longer project for you it is ok to just focus on one step at a time.
I’ve started with attaching the Prettypeg legs to the MDF board. You could leave this step until the end, especially if you don’t have a lot of space to work in, but I found it was easier for me to have the table set up to work on.
The legs are so easy to attach. You have everything you need included in the package. Attach the plates to the table using the screws provided. Screw the bolt into the leg and then twist it into the plate. You want to get it as tight as possible.
Once all the legs are on measure the distance between them and cut the CLS to size. If you need to, hammer the wood into the spaces between the legs. It’s good if it’s a tight fit as this will help to keep the table sturdy. Use the long screws to attach these to the table top.
Turn this over and you’re ready to get started on the parquet.
Find the middle of the table lengthwise and draw a line down it. Hammer two nails into each end at tie a piece of string to both. This line will help you keep the tiles centred.
Measure halfway along the parquet tile and mark. Repeat this on eight to ten tiles.
Place the tiles on the table in the herringbone pattern. Line up the string with your pencil markings on each tile to keep the pattern straight. It’s important that you start perfectly as the rest of the pattern will be built around this.
Use wood glue to secure these in place, then continue to complete the rest of the row until your tiles reach the edges.
Let the glue dry so you don’t accidentally push these out of place. Then place the surrounding tiles in place on the table top. You’ll need to cut these – so mark off the cuts with a pencil and use the mitre saw to make the cuts. This Ferm mitre saw is a really affordable option and makes such quick work of these cuts. I wish we’d had this for our bedroom floor. It would have been so much quicker than using the jigsaw – and much neater!
Glue all the pieces into place. I’m not sure if this is some kind of geometric mathematical pattern but the corners you cut off from the tiles are perfect for fitting into the small gaps left at the edges.
Cut the wood strip to size and glue onto the edge of the MDF. My table had quite a gap between the tiles and the edging. My measuring and cutting was off, but it’s ok. In fact even if you measure perfectly you’ll probably need to fill in some gaps on the table.
First of all sand down the top of the table using a rough sand paper. My Ryobi Orbital Sander is perfect for both the heavy and finer work here. If you’re looking for an all rounder this is the one you should get! Once the table top is smooth mix up the sanding dust with some wood glue to make a paste. Scrape this into any gaps around the edge or between the tiles. Once it’s dried sand over the glue to take off the excess and then the whole table with a finer sand paper. Make sure you remember to get the edges too.
So now your table is looking pretty good! The last thing to do is to protect it from all the little (and big) spills with your choice of varnish/oil. I am using Osmo oil stain in white to keep the light to match the legs. I haven’t actually stained the table yet… It’s yet another thing I need to offload my child onto someone to complete, so we’re actually only using the table with a blanket and a table cloth for now. There’s no way I’m going to risk a spillage just before it’s finished!
Even though there’s still the staining to do, I’m celebrating this one. We finally have a table to go with this DIY bench!