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Dining Table with a Removable Top & Stain Tutorial

I’m so excited to have some new followers!  Welcome if you are new and feel free to follow along.  I’m excited to share a dining table I made for my friend Jeni – it’s a completely DIY Table with a Removable Top!

I have to clean my garage out.  It’s maddening because I want to build and can’t because it’s a mess.  Hopefully, next week, when the weather is nicer I can get out there and clean and then start building some more.

But until then, I thought I’d share this table I built for a friend of mine who moved away shortly before we did.  I was so honored she asked me to do this, and it was so cool to go visit and see it all set up in their very cool home.

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY dining table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

I used plans from the amazing Ana White, but with a few modifications.  Find the dining table plans here.

For the modifications, I used 2x12s in place of the 2x6s for the top and shortened the overall dimensions of the table.  I love the way the 2x12s looked.  I actually made the table exactly like the plans for my first ever build (I’ll blog about that later), but Jeni had the idea to use wider boards and it turned out amazing. Now I want to redo mine.

Another change I made is I needed to be able to take the top apart to fit it through the door.  Read on for those details.

The finish is what took some work on this one.  Jeni had picked out some beautiful chairs and wanted the finish to go with them.  It’s very hard to match stains, I came to find out.  So, while it doesn’t match, it does coordinate very well.

First I put on two coats of Rustoleaum Carrington.  This the is actual can I used, in case you couldn’t tell. Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

I put it on really dark, it was way to dark and I knew it wouldn’t work with her chairs, although the stain is very pretty.  This is how it looked.  Then I started sanding. You can see where I started the sanding on the left side, but I sanded a lot.  With very high grit (50) sandpaper.  I was basically trying to strip it off.  I didn’t do that, but I did rip it way down.  It was actually good, though because the places the darker stain stayed on were the beautiful knots and lines.

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

 After I finished that part, this is what it looked like.

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

Then, with a paper towel, I lightly wiped on a layer of this pretty stuff…

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.comThat’s minwax red oak.  I let it dry, did a very light sand and then wiped on another coat.

Once completely dry, lightly sand again then add about three or four layers of this…

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.comMinwax polycrylic in Clear gloss.  Or five.  Again, lightly sand between each one so that it’ll “grip”.  You’ll know when it looks right.

That’s it!  Here is a few more of the table all set up in their lovely home.

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY dining table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY dining table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY dining table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

For both Jeni’s and my table, I wanted the option to take the top off if it needed to come off.  This is a big dining table, and I knew it wouldn’t fit through a standard door. If you measure and realize the size is right, but won’t be able to get it into your space, here is how I did a removable top.  Very easy.

If you are working through the plans, between steps 7 and 8 you can do this.

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

Get some bolts like this…

They are called “hanger”bolts.  They are threaded on both ends.

I used four, so maybe grab two packs.

You’ll also need nuts and washers that fit on them.  If you have trouble just ask the nice guys at Lowe’s or wherever and they should help you find some that fit.

You’ll need four of each, which will cost you about 19 cents :).
Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

First, figure out where you want it and drill a starter hole.  It’ll need to be somewhere on the board that is under the top, and runs parallel to the end boards. I put two on each side.  Then put the nut on and use a wrench to screw the bolt into the table top.  Like so…
Use Ana White plans to create this DIY table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

Now take the nuts off, then get the legs and set them on top of the screws and make sure that it is “lined up” with the top.  Take a look at the plans to see where you are going to end up.

Once you have the spots marked, take a spade drill and drill a hole just a little larger than the bolts.  Once the holes are drilled, place the legs on the top and the put the washers and nuts on and viola!  It’s connected.

It’ll look like this when all done.  Let me know if this makes sense.

I used Ana White plans with modifications to build this table. I made the top removable to fit it through doorways and used 1x12s for the top in place of the 1x6s. There is also a tutorial on how to get this finish. Uncookiecutter.com I used Ana White plans with modifications to build this table. I made the top removable to fit it through doorways and used 1x12s for the top in place of the 1x6s. There is also a tutorial on how to get this finish. Uncookiecutter.com

And you can take it off anytime you need too.  That’s how you make a DIY Dining Table with a removable top!

Use Ana White plans to create this DIY dining table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

Let me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by!

April

DIY Dining Table with Removeable Top

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Use Ana White plans to create this DIY dining table with a removable top - Uncookiecutter.com

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29 Comments

  1. April,

    This is AMAZING! Love the table! Keep posting this stuff so I can follow your projects. You are gonna need to move this from the garage to your own shop before too long…

    Don

    1. Thanks Don! I can’t wait to start my next project, going to try and do some loft beds for the kids. On another note, don’t know how many times Matt and I have said “We need Don here” in the past two months, haha. Thanks for following!

  2. Nice work, April! I find woodworking to be intimidating, and yet I have so many projects that I would like to have done!

  3. Love the table, it is gorgeous. The stain you chose looks so natural and goes beautifully with the room. I’ll have to show this to my hubby so he can make us one someday.

    1. Thanks, we are super excited! I say totally tackle it, it’s not so intimidating once you do it! Thanks so much for coming over.

  4. Great job on both the table and the stain! I love that the tabletop is removable, too – I’m sure that will make it easier if you ever have to move it. Thank you for sharing with us at Talented Tuesdays – so glad you stopped by!

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