How To Build A Tabletop From Reclaimed Wood

How to Build a Tabletop from Reclaimed Wood


You can’t just throw wood away, especially wooden furniture. You can reuse and reclaim wood from old furniture to make new ones. If you have old, forgotten furniture in your attic or garage then maybe it’s time to give them a new lease on life.

You can build new furniture from reclaimed wood or you can recycle old furniture. No matter which you choose, you are helping Mother Nature. Here is a guide to help you build a tabletop from recycled wood.

Why buy a new table when you can build one from reclaimed wood. It’s cheaper, easier and no doubt more fun when you recycle.

You will need the following:

  • Reclaimed Wood (board feet dependent upon table size required)
  • Table Legs
  • Sand Paper
  • Steel Wool
  • Wood Screws


  • Drill/Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Pliers (optional)
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Saw Horses
  • Rip Saw (with wood blade)/Hand Saw


Look for salvaged wood

Look For Salvaged Wood


Look for places where you can find reclaimed wood if you don’t have one lying around. We happened to have a reclaimed and salvaged wood shop go out of business a few blocks away. Instead of just looking for the cheapest piece of wood, look for pieces with potential. Look for large doors, old farm table, old working table and so on. Bring gloves because you will get dirty as you look for the best deals.

Possibly the next thing to consider is to hire a truck or a van if you don’t have one because you might end up hauling your reclaimed wood home if the seller does not have a truck or delivery van.

Remove nails and other hardware

Remove Nails And Other Hardware


Time to clean up your wood and cleaning starts with removing all visible hardware including nails, screws, bolts, and hinges (if this is a door). Pull with the grain of the wood to prevent damaging your reclaimed treasure.

Cut the wood to length

Cut The Wood To Length


Cut the wood to length according to the number of people that you will accommodate at the table. For an 8’ table, you can seat about 8 people. Consider the size of the seats that you will use as well.

Now line up the pieces of wood you will use just like the finished product would look like. Some of the pieces may require more effort and this is the time to shape them up before you assemble your table. If you are using one solid piece like a door or a farm table then you don’t have to worry about this step.

Assemble your table

Now that the pieces for your project are all set, it’s time to assemble it. You may use screws you readily have or you can use new ones. Use sturdy screws, the more the sturdier and the stronger your table would be.

Assemble Your Table


Installing table legs

You can make your own table legs but you can also purchase one from a supplier as well. A good option is to use table legs from old and discarded tables as well just make sure that these are in good shape. Use strong and long screws to install these on your table and don’t forget to check if everything is level after installation.

Installing Table Legs


Finishing your table

Use sandpaper, steel wool or an orbital sander to finish your table. A few sandpapers followed by steel wool is a good way to remove all dirt, old paint and to smooth out burs that might cut you as you use the table. After exposing clean and new wood you can choose to wax, seal or leave it as it is. You may also use paint but apply primer first and then a coat of paint next.

Let your table dry well before use. Now you have your own table made from reclaimed wood! It’s now time to cook and invite friends over for a good meal.

Finishing Your Table



Save money by turning old wood into a tabletop. It is very easy to do so that even someone new to woodworking can do it. You only need a few materials and tools and you are ready to get things done.

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