Round Top "Timothy" Table
Round Top "Timothy" Table
Round kitchen tables are common, patchwork plank round kitchen tables? Now that's something a little different. Check out the full tutorial for this build from assembling the planks, antiquing the finish and cutting out the big ol' circle on the top. For more tips, tricks & tutorials head on over to www,LazyGuyDIY.com.
- Miter Saw (RIDGID 10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw)
- Drill/Driver (Ryobi 18v One+ Drill & Impact Driver Kit)
- Random Orbit Sander (Ryobi One+ Random Orbit Sander)
- Plunge Base Router (Makita Compact Trim Router w/ Plunge Base)
- Rockler Trim Router Circle Jig
- Kreg Jig Pocket Hole System (Kreg K5 Master System)
- Bar Clamps (Assorted Bessey Clamps)
- Wood Glue (TiteBond II)
- (Optional) Thickness Planer (RIDGID 13" Thickness Planer)
- (Optional) Jointer/Planer (RIDGID 6-1/8" Jointer/Planer)
- (2) 2x6x8' Boards
- (2) 2x10x8' Boards
- (1) 1x4x6' Board
- (4) 28" 3-Rod Hairpin Legs From DIY Hairpin Legs
- 2-1/2 Pocket Screws
- Various Paints and Stains (I used MinWax: Early American, Jacobean, Espresso, Special Walnut). MinWax
- Semi Gloss Poly
Step 1: (Optional) It's Hip to Be Square
You still haven't bought a thickness planer yet? What are you waiting for? BEST...POWER TOOL...EVER. Why run your boards through a planer?
Factory 2x material is rounded over, freshly planed boards are square! Which means it's easier to get smooth joints when everything has a square edge and is the same thickness. The thickness planer trims off the face of the boards while the jointer handles the edges. You can achieve similar results by sanding or ripping the sides with a table saw. Or you can skip this altogether. Personal preference. If you are using a planer or jointer, cut your boards to 48" and run them through, then cut off the snipe (planer indentation) from the excess.
Step 2: Prepare the Table Top
Whether you planed them or not, it's time to cut your boards and lay them out. This table was going to be a standard 40" across but I planned on 42" in case disaster struck. Using the arrangement of 2x6, 2x10, 2x10, 2x6, 2x10, 2x6, I ended up with a width of 44.25" (because 2x6's are 5.5" and 2x10 are 9.25"). I cut these boards down to 45". Why not 44.25"? Because who wants to deal with fractions? Plus, we're going to cut some of these boards later for the patchwork top and you're going to lose an 1/8" from the thickness of the saw blade or so depending on how planky you're feeling.
Step 3: a Perfect Circle-ish
There are plenty of ways to make a circle, I prefer to go simple and as easy as possible. Because... I'm lazy. Line all of your boards up in the order you want them for your plank top, but make sure the ugly side is facing up (we're marking the bottom). Try to make sure the ends are flush. Mark the exact middle of this panel and tack a nail in. Then tie a string around the nail and using your tape measure, mark the radius of your table top on the string. Yes, I just used a math term. I'm as surprised as you are. For those folk who forgot "how to math" as well, a radius is half the width (or diameter) across the circle. So if I want a table 42" wide, my radius is 21". Hold a pencil or marker on that string mark and draw a circle using the string. Don't worry if it's not perfect, this is for the benefit of placing your pocket holes so you don't hit them with a router later.
Step 4: Getting Planky With It
Now that you have the outline of the round table top on your work surface, you can figure out how you want to divide your patchwork planks. I would advise against splitting the two outside pieces of 2x6 for stability reasons, but everything else is fair game. I tried to make my patchwork planks random but not overkill (3 at most at the widest point). Remember, the patchwork pieces need to be big enough to attach with 2-1/2 pocket holes in a later step so make sure you give yourself enough room for a pocket screw hole. I then marked my cuts and used the miter saw to break down the pieces.
Now is as good of time as any to add your pocket holes to the planks. Using your Kreg Jig, pre-drill 1.50" pocket holes into the sides of your planks. Be mindful of your pocket hole placement so you're not putting pocket holes on top of pocket holes and more importantly, not placing screws in the path of your router when you cut the top out. I mark mine with a Sharpie before I start a pocket hole assembly line.
Step 5: Add Your Base Coats
Time to get creative. Before I attached my planks I gave them a base coat of my random paint and alternating stain colors. Once again, you want this to look random. Figure out which pieces will be painted or stained and then put a coat on each and set to dry. What's nice about the antiquing method I used on this project is that a base coat of stain goes on after everything is assembled, so you get a similar color through all of your patchwork pieces while each still get to have their own personality (the painted pieces darken). And by personality I mean paint and stain color. Tables don't have personalities. Don'y be silly. Although this table is named Timothy. I'm sure he has lovely conversations about place settings, flatware and pesky water rings while he's waiting for the next meal to be served on him
Step 6: Pocket Hole Party!
Using 2-1/2" pocket screws, wood glue and lots of clamps assemble the table top. You can see in the video that I attached one plank row at a time and then went back and assembled all of those rows at once. Pay close attention to your table surface when assembling. I used parallel clamps this go round because it allows the entire surface to sit flat on the clamps before I tightened them. It makes for smoother surfaces. The more you tighten, the better chance you have a buckling, so check the underside (Timothy isn't shy) before you make things permanent. Keep in mind, patchwork plank surfaces are not completely smooth, thus the patchwork. Timothy isn't perfect, but he's unique! Be sure to wipe off any excess glue that might have seeped through the cracks, Timothy might not be perfect, but he's not a slob either.
Step 7: a Perfect Circle
If there was any point of this build that made me nervous, it was 100% the circle cutting portion. I debated and debated which route I was going to go. If you don't have a router and a circle jig, you can rough cut your circle with a jig saw and then sand the surface the best you can. It's a lot more manual and far from perfect. I personally HATE Jig saws with a vengeance. My blade always bends and my cuts are so wonky that I pretty much have to scrap the project. It's 100% user error though, so if you're more comfortable with the Jig Saw, go for it! I wouldn't.... Get a circle cutting router jig. It's amazing!
If you haven't watched the video yet, this is where I excuse you and INSIST you watch it to see how the circle jig works and how beautiful the results are. I used my trim router with a plunge base and continued to increase the depth with each pass. You keep playing duck, duck, goose until the pieces come dropping off. It's sooooooo satisfying. You will notice I altered my jig. Be sure to order a jig that cuts circles big enough for the table size you have planned. A quick fix with a scrap and some machine bolts to hold it in place and I was ready to roll after I had a temper tantrum of rage. Okay, it wasn't that bad, but imagine you just psyched yourself up to ride your first roller coaster and then it turns out your still 2 inches short? Womp womp.
The results speak for themselves though. It barely needed sanding and it's absolutely a perfect circle. So like I said, you can go the Jig Saw route... but why would you if you already have a router? Sand all of your edges so the table is smooth to the touch. The cut was pretty clean, so I only used my power sander and 220 grit sandpaper.
Step 8: Make Something New Look Old
Using your power sander, slightly round over the edges of the entire table so you expose some of the bare wood through the paint and stain. Then sand the edges, knots and raised grain on your patchwork pieces, especially the painted one. You want the bare wood showing through like the picture above. Clean off your surface and then apply your "base stain" to the entire piece. This includes the stained pieces as well. This method not only ages the planks but it also helps give the piece a more uniform feel.
I ended up using MinWax Early American for my base stain, but I sort of wished I went with something darker like Espresso. Builder's regret! Timothy will never know though. Once the stain is dry, start adding your poly coats. I went with 4 coats of MinWax Semi-Gloss Poly. Remember to sand in between coats 3 and 4 by hand with 300+ grit sandpaper for a smoother finish.
You might be asking about now, what about the sides? I did not paint and stain those individual colors, I went with the MinWax Early American there as well. It almost looks like a banding. I like it! Timothy does too!
Step 9: Be Supportive
I wasn't going to mention this before, but Timothy (the table) is potential fragile. In what should be solid planks all the way across, we cut him up into little patchwork pieces and then put him back together like a Franken-Table. Just to be safe, I advise adding a little help from his friends. Mainly, add at least two supports that run across the joints and are screwed in from the bottom with wood screws. Not only will this help prevent warping, but it adds more heft to the table and makes it sturdier. Find the placement of your table legs before you cut your supports to fit and outline the leg bases so you aren't adding supports that accidentally take up prime table leg real estate.
As always when adding supports, pre-drill your holes to prevent splitting. Whether it's the support or the table top, you don't want to go all guns blazing with an impact driver and torque a screw right through the table face and ruin that nice finish. Plus Timothy doesn't want screws going through his face...
Step 10: Get a Leg Up, or Four
Final step in this build! Attach your legs! Nothing too exciting here, just make sure they are evenly spaced and obviously don't drill into a pocket hole or buried screw.
One tip I recommend is marking numbers (1-4, not randomly assigned) on the table and your table legs so if you have to take the table apart for transport or storage everything will line up and you won't have to have trial and error for which leg went where if the holes aren't the same.
Step 11: Flip It Over. Enjoy.
Acknowledgments, Credits, and Bibliography