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How to Build a Rustic Checkerboard Table (page 1 of 3)

Designing and fabricating a wooden coffee and game table using old, reclaimed wood will create an instant conversation piece in your living room.

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Step 1: Size Up the Project

Look around the house, choose a room, stand back and imagine where a game table might fit. To get a mental picture of the project, ask these clarifying questions: How much space is available? Will the table blend in or stand out? Is the table to be stationary or mobile? How big can the table be? How high off the floor should it be designed? Once it's built, how should it be trimmed and finished? Answering these questions may help visualize the table and where it will be placed before plans are drawn up. It helps to begin with the end in mind.

Step 2: Draw Up the Plans

Determine the approximate dimensions of the table based on the space available. With tape measure in hand, determine how wide and tall the table should be. Jot these dimensions down and sketch a rough drawing. The sketch will help visualize the table to be built along with creating a materials and supplies list. The finished size of the Blog Cabin 2011 game table was 36" by 36" and 24" tall.

Step 3: Gather Supplies

Drive around the neighborhood in search of older homes being remodeled. Don't hesitate to introduce yourself to the building contractor and explain your project material needs. With any luck, old 2x4 true-cut wall studs or 4x4 corner posts may be in the dumpster or burn pile for the taking.

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