A year ago, I made a garden table for the first time. This was no ordinary table, but our very first DIY project which would go on to inspire this little blog. Epic it was. I had a pencil behind my ear, a power saw in my hand and a tape measure clipped to my belt for good measure. I felt like I could have built a ship that day. Until Anna told me to remove the tape measure as I looked like Handy Andy.
Although, admittedly not all my carpentry projects have been worthy of a mention. In fact, there’s a knee high pile of discarded ideas stashed in the back of the shed. Stuck for something to blog, I decided to rummage through and see if there were any old ideas worth revisiting. Around 45 minutes and handful of splinters later, I discovered a forgotten bag of parquet floorboards I got from the reclaimed wood yard. So I decided to rescue these from the bad ideas scrapheap and remake them into a lovely new table top.
The great thing about using old floorboards is that they’re already set up to be joined together. So all I needed was a sheet of 3mm thick hardboard that’s 890mm x 475mm as a base. Across the top of the hardboard I smoothed over a layer of wood glue, then carefully placed the floorboards across it. Every second section of floorboards overhung the base, which was okay, as I would square it off later. To help the glue set I put as much weight as possible on top, which meant I had the BBQ gas bottle, garden furniture and even our fat cat sitting on top of it for 24 hours.
Once the floorboards were set I trimmed off the overhang so it was a clean 890mm x 475mm board. The floorboards themselves had years of varnish, paint and scuff marks across them. So there was only one thing for it…to get the electric plainer out. Now this is one of the scariest tools I own. The speed it spins a sharp blade at fills me with fear every time I turn it on, but it does strip the wood all the way back to how it should be.
To finish the edges, I used some thin 8mm thick timber to cover up the hardwood base, glue and the joints from the floorboards. I went with a 35mm width as it would give a slight overhang for when I build the table base. It was attached with wood glue and some panel nails, which I then nail punched right into the wood and sealed the holes up with wood filler. Once dry, I smoothed it off ready for a lick of paint and treated the striped back floorboards with a little teak oil.
Now I had the reclaimed floorboard tabletop done it was time to start building the rest of the cabinet. You’ll have to wait for the next update to see how we got on.