Build an Upcycled Midcentury Modern Table

An elegant yet simple dining table doesn't have to cost a fortune. Get step-by-step instructions for creating your own unique table using reclaimed materials.

Photo By: Christopher Shane

Photo By: Christopher Shane

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: DYLAN_EASTMAN

Photo By: Christopher Shane

Getting Started

In a weekend, you could create this midcentury modern dining table using project left overs or reclaimed flooring.

What You'll Need

Materials: (4) 28” hairpin legs, 32 SF of reclaimed oak flooring, 24 LF of 5/4 x 2.5” oak edging, (2) pieces 3/4” plywood, (2) tubes construction adhesive, 1 ¼” drywall screws, 1 ¼” pocket screws, 1 ½” 15 ga finish nails, and matte polyurethane

Tools: 7 1/4” circular saw, rip fence, (2) clamps, chalk line, drill, 15 ga finish nailer, caulk gun, table saw, router with 1/8” round over bit, pocket hole jig, orbital sander (60, 120, 220 grit discs), foam brush, steel wool, and tape measure

Time: 8 hrs

Cost: $250

Step One

During the renovation of DIY Network Ultimate Retreat 2017, we salvaged some of the original oak flooring for future use. When brainstorming ideas for a simple to build yet elegant dining table, it made the perfect candidate. If you source your own, be sure it has been kept dry and stored in a non-humid location.

Step Two

For the base of the table top, two pieces of 3/4” plywood will be bonded together to keep the side profile narrow.

Step Three

Apply construction adhesive to one piece of plywood approximately 3” on center.

Step Four

Align the other piece of plywood on the top and fasten with 1 ¼” drywall screws 6” on center.

Step Five

Using a chalk line, mark out your table width and length minus 2” in each direction. We chose 3' x 7' for a finished size.

Step Six

Check your circular saw blade set back.

Step Seven

Clamp a rip fence or straight board to the plywood using the offset dimension.

Step Eight

Cut down the bonded plywood to size with a sharp circular saw. Be sure to wear protective glasses.

Step Nine

Next rip down 5/4” oak to match with final thickness of your table. It should be around 2.25” for two layers of plywood and one layer of flooring.

Step Ten

Place (3) pocket screw holes on each side of the plywood to be covered by the flooring (upper side).

Step Eleven

Apply wood glue to the 5/4 oak edging.

Step Twelve

Fasten with 1 ¼” pocket screws around the perimeter of the plywood base. Use clamps to hold each piece flush while fastening.

Step Thirteen

Layout a top pattern. We used a spare piece of local 3/4” butternut as a central diamond and then radiated 45 degree planks from there.

Step Fourteen

Chalk some guidance lines to help with the first runs of flooring.

Step Fifteen

Apply construction adhesive to the bottom of each piece of flooring and then tap into place.

Step Sixteen

Fasten each board with (3) 15 ga finish nails though the tongue.

Step Seventeen

Triple check each cut so the planks fit nice and tight.

Step Eighteen

Sand the entire top with successive 60, 120, and 220 grit papers.

Step Nineteen

Route the perimeter with a 1/8” round over to soften the edge.

Step Twenty

Next flip the top over and mark out the table leg locations. In our case, we used a 2 ½” offset in each direction to account for the flair out of the hairpin legs.

Step Twenty-One

Finally, coat with (3) layers of matte polyurethane making sure to steel wool the finish between coats. Feel free to use more coats if needed to fill any micro gaps between boards.

Enjoy Your Midcentury Modern Dining Table

This simple but elegant dining table makes use of upcycled materials while also being easy and inexpensive to construct. We love that the story of this house renovation continues to speak through creative reuse of materials as modern furniture.