Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dining Room Table re-do: A Face lift for an old friend-Pt.1 discussion and plans

Hi Everyone,

Well, today is the day-I'm finally re-finishing and re-constructing my dining room table. I've wanted to do this for years but something always got in the way. TODAY IS THE DAY!

A bit of history first:
I built this table when I was first married, over 30 years ago, before I had kids. It's made out of pine and it was finished with spar varnish, which I thought at the time would be a good, rugged finish and I was right it was. But over the years, it's really gotten quite worn out. It's gone through countless meals, homework projects, my husband and I both studied on it, and lots of family meetings, discussions, you name it. It's a part of our family and our history - in short, my old friend needs a re-do.

First I'm going to remove the top from the base and take it down to the shop. I'm planning on stripping off the old varnish and lightly sanding the wood smooth. I don't want to remove all the dents and dings as this is a part of it's history and I want to preserve that. Then I'm going to measure the old wooden base and re-create it with black iron plumbing pipe, probably 1 1/2" in diameter, and screw that on to the underside. I'll then finish the top with wipe on polyurethane, which is much easier to apply and maintain as it wears out; this type of finish didn't exist then!

Ok, here we go:

This is the original table with the pine top and pine base. I painted the base years ago as it was very worn out and dirty from crazed toddlers, cat puke, and other assorted delights:

Here is a closeup of the top. It was made out of laminated knotty pine:

And of course the cats had to get into the act...

Here is the underside of the table. I'm going to remove the screws that attach the base to the underside and then take the top downstairs:

And here it is downstairs-I've got a jug of paint and varnish remover, a paint brush to apply the remover with, a scraper, and some gloves and my safety glasses:

And before I began, I rounded off the corners of the scraper so I don't inadvertently dig the corners into the surface of the table:

This remover really works. It was beginning to remove the varnish even before I finished applying it:

And here it is covered with remover:

Now, I'm inside typing this and I'm going to make a sandwich for lunch and then go back down and begin scraping off the old varnish. I'll be back shortly with more photos. 


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