I few years ago I picked up a round particleboard table with a metal base. I used it for a work table in my shop for a while, then moved it outside. Naturally the top denigrated and the base became rusty. I threw out the top but kept the base, knowing that I could use it for something.
Once I got my thickness planer all the southern yellow pine from the church pews became usable and I decided to make a top for the base. I settled on a 36″ diameter top. This will make a great breakfast table or card table for someone.
To make the top I used my biscuit jointer to to edge join a 36″ square. After cleaning off the glue I made a rough compass by camping a nail and a pencil to a yard stick 18″ apart (the radius). I drew out the circle, now I had to cut it.
I made a quick jig for my router so a perfect circle could be cut. This jig is a piece of scrap 1/2″ plywood. I drilled a 3/4 hole in one end. I used a guide bushing that had an outside diameter to fit in there snugly, and double sided tape to hold my router on. I used a 1/4″ upspiral bit to do the cutting. Once measured from the edge of the bit, I screwed the jig to the center of the table top and started making light passes.
The router didn’t have the depth to cut all the way through the board and left about 1/8″ of material that was cut with the Jigsaw. I then cleaned up the edge with a top bearing pattern bit, then followed up with a nice round-over bit.
Pine 1x material from the box stores just cannot compare to the pine that was hidden in these old pew bottoms. The grain, the color, the heart wood, stability is just superior. The funny thing is that when these pews were installed this lumber was considered “junk-wood.”
Because of the color variations in this wood I decided not to stain it. I finished it with 3 coats of wipe on polyurethane and finished it with a coat of paste wax.
The metal base cleaned up well with some WD-40 and steel wool, but I decided to paint it anyway. After several coats of flat-black spray paint I was happy.
To mount the table to the base I made a 16″ square with lag bolts installed to mount to the metal bracket on the base. I then mounted that square with the grain running 90-degrees to the grain of the top for strength. I used four screws to attach this plate. For the metal bracket I used wing nuts so the top can be removed when needed.
This table had three purposes. First I wanted to make it and a video to go with it. Second this table will serve as a display table for my first ever crafts show in September. And third, I hope to sell this table at this upcoming craft show.
My only costs for this build were: sandpaper, wood-filler for screw holes, finish, spray paint, and new leveling feet from Rockler. This comes to about $30 if I had to buy everything, and it only took a few hours (not counting waiting on finish to dry).