The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Building a homemade dining table

Coffee table on blocks

One of our oldest eyesores is this "dining table" configuration --- a coffee table propped up on some cinderblocks so it's closer to the proper level. I have to admit that this one even annoyed me a little since you can't put your feet under the table when you eat. So when I asked Mark what bite-size project we could fit into a cold Monday afternoon and he begged to redesign the dining table, I gave in easily.

Cat inspection

After tearing out the old table, Huckleberry moved into the prime sunny real estate. "I've heard that some cat lackeys build their feline overlords extensive play palaces," he hinted.

"Sorry, Huckleberry. We need that space for eating," I replied. "But when Mark's not looking, you're welcome to jump up on the new table and nap in the sun."

"Hmph," said our feline overlord.


Ahem. Back to business, Mark chiseled off some siding that was still sticking to the repurposed two-by-twos we'd used to frame up this bay of south-facing windows.

Support board

With everything moderately flat, he made short work of mounting a two-by-four to hold up the back edge of the table top.

Bracket attachment

The front edge was supported by old branches that had spent the last five years holding up my ramshackle kitchen counter. The worst two branches were cut up into firewood, but Mark said these two were worth reusing. A couple of brackets on each one held them in place.

Homemade table

We haven't actually attached the top board to its supports yet since, after the external temperature rises above freezing, we plan to stain the board for easy spill removal. And the photo above doesn't show the rounded corners we added on at the last minute.

But it does show how Mark's legs can actually fit under the new table --- amazing! And, since the chairs can also slide underneath when not in use, this table takes up less square footage than the previous iteration despite having a larger surface area. Success! And all for about $25 --- not too shabby.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Setup the camera next time a do a video blog.
Comment by Patrick Wed Jan 20 08:00:49 2016
I agree with Patrick. Do a video blog and upload it to YouTube.
Comment by NaYan Wed Jan 20 09:40:35 2016
I like that branches for legs instantly make any piece of furniture rustic and charming. :-)
Comment by Jake Wed Jan 20 23:51:09 2016

profile counter myspace

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