JUST DO IT
Without a shop or major machinery, this woodworker perseveres.
SHOP OWNER: Jeff Rockwell
LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA
I've done a fair amount of handiwork rebuilding the house, but never attempted furniture before. I live in the city, so my workshop is my living room and my shared back courtyard. Once I saw a table I liked but it was the wrong size, about ten times what I could afford, and it had metal legs and a raised center that I didn't like. So I thought I'd try building my own and here is the result.
The table is all oak that I purchase from Lowe’s. The finish is aniline dyes followed by about nine spray cans of lacquer. The edges of the legs have 3/4 x 1/8-inch steel bands for reinforcement, spray painted black, and then coated with the lacquer. I’d never worked with anything above 150-grit, and definitely never used pumice or rottenstone before.
If I had it to do over, I would probably use a tighter grained wood or else use grain filler. I was nervous about using a real good wood that might end up as kindling and didn't know about grain fillers until it was a bit too late. Also, I would have used more sophisticated joinery to attach the legs to the table. These are just bolted on.
I dug out a bunch of good ideas from WoodCentral, so thanks for posting all the info and ideas. Particular thanks go to Russ and his finishing columns (even though I ignored the part about lacquer and oak). Overall, I'm pretty happy with the result. Next up for me will be something for my bedroom and trying inlay is my next challenge.
. . . Jeff Rockwell