Waaaaaaaaaaay back in September of 2016, I decided to start on a personal project for the house: our dining table. So much happens at the kitchen table. Whether it’s eating or playing a board game or paying bills or making a grocery list or having a deep conversation or hanging out with friends, so much happens at the table. I really wanted to do something special. I found a picture of a table that I thought would be fun to copy with a few modifications to make it work for our tiny house.
The first step was to cut a piece of plywood to the exact size I needed. Then, I took long, skinny cedar planks and cut them into a bunch of 7 inch pieces. And, I mean a bunch! After I had dozens of these 7 inch pieces, I start laying down a herringbone pattern. Each piece had to be glued and nailed down with itty-bitty, teeny-weeny nails. After nailing down the pieces, I had to go back and punch in each of the little nails. That was a pretty annoying process, but necessary because these small nails really needed to hold everything in place. Once the pattern was completely in place, I had to trim all the cedar pieces that were hanging off the plywood.
The next step was to stain the wood to a few shades darker so it would match our house a bit better. I really loved how the stain brought out a lot of the character in the individual pieces of cedar. Neat little streaks really popped out and brought the wood to life. Then, I decided to really take a chance and put some color on the table. It looked really great with just the stain, but I wanted a little pop of color in the house to add some unexpected fun. I knew this was a risk, but if it turned out terrible, I could always sand everything down and re-stain. That would be a huge pain, so I really had my fingers crossed that I would like it. Fortunately, I love it! It might not be for everyone, but I like that there is something a little unexpected about this.
Now came the really scary part: I needed to cut the table in half. WHAT??! Yes, I did in fact plan on cutting the table in half from the very beginning, but when the time came to do it, I was really nervous about it. The reason behind cutting the table was to have two pieces that could hang on our walls out of the way until needed. When you want to use the table, simply take the two pieces down, latch them together, and voila, there is the table. If I left it as one big piece, it would take up too much wall space in one area, and it’d probably be too heavy for me to maneuver easily. So, we went for it!
Now that the table was in 2 pieces, it was time to add the latches to the underneath side and the trim all around the edges. The latches took a bit of guess work to get them in just the right spot, but we finally got it right. We used 2 window latches that lock into place as the way to hold the two sides together. We also added 1 long metal channel down the side of each piece to help keep the plywood from bending and just to provide a bit of extra support. For the trim, I found a nice curved edge trim I liked and stained it to match the rest of the table. We cut it to length, clamped it into place, and used the nail gun to nail it into place.
While all my work was going on building the table, Eric had been getting the table location ready in the house. We wanted to use a small notch in the wall as the 3rd and 4th legs of the table. To do this, Eric cut a notch into 2 2x4s and placed them into the wall where we wanted the table to go (under the small window in the living room). He then cut a notch into the stud running down the wall to match the notch in the 2x4s. When then put the plywood up for our walls, just like everywhere else, but Eric came back and used the router to cut the plywood to match the notch.
Eric did me a huge favor and finished the table up by adding a leg to each piece. He found closing and locking hinges and attached the table legs using those. I stained them to match, and like that, the table was ready to go. The last thing was to add a hook and latch so we could hang the two pieces on the wall as planned from the beginning.
I love how it turned out because it’s different and probably a bit unexpected. We have a great table and art pieces! This was a fun project for me and I’m really pleased with the results. I hope you like it, too!