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How to Build a Rustic Checkerboard Table (page 2 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 4: Building the Tabletop

During construction of the Blog Cabin 2011 game table, true-cut 2x4s were ripped in half width-wise on the table saw to 1" x 4" thickness. Both sides were useable. Two extra pieces were ripped for the edge trim.

Based on your own tabletop dimensions, cut the ripped lumber into the desired lengths. Lay the old lumber pieces face-down on the work table, long edges against each other. Secure them snugly using a 3/4" plywood backer brace. Two backer braces, each ripped six inches wide, will hold the tabletop together with two screws to secure them from the back.

Builder's Tip: Take care in removing embedded nails or plan to replace the table saw blade after ripping through the nails. Also, wear safety glasses whenever power tools such as saws, drills and sanders are used.

Step 5: Trimming the Tabletop Edge

Rip extra pieces of lumber in half to create 2" by 1" edge trim. Choose miter cut or butt jointed corners (as shown in the Blog Cabin 2011). Measure, cut, glue and attach the edge trim (Images 1 and 2) with a finish nailer (16 ga. 2-1/2" galvanized). Note: The rustic look of edge trim should be visible on the top of the table and on the sides (Image 3).

Step 6: Build a Second Tabletop

Duplicate the procedures in Steps 4 and 5 to build a second table surface, identical to the one just completed. Edge trim the second table surface just as you edged the first.