Thomas J. Story
It's hard to find a good table that can function equally well indoors or on the patio ― so why not make one yourself? It may be easier and more affordable than you think.
Blending contemporary style and sturdy practicality, this indoor-outdoor dining table is a particularly simple woodworking project because key steps like crafting the legs and the metal top are done for you.
To make the tabletop, start by edging a rectangular piece of plywood with 2-by-2s.
Take it to a sheet metal fabricator and ask the shop to make a covering that fits over it like a shoe-box lid. Then glue the metal top to the plywood, sand and wax it, and add a set of ready-made legs.
The cost for this 42- by 60-inch table, including fabrication, was about $125. For a sheet metal fabricator, look in the yellow pages under Sheet Metal Work.
Sources for ready-made table legs include hardware and unfinished-furniture stores, as well as Closet-Masters.com (800/897-1245). The metal top gets hot in the sun, so cover it with a tablecloth outdoors.
- Tape measure
- Circular saw
- Electric drill
- Electric sander
- 1 sheet ¾-in. exterior plywood
- 3 10-ft. 2-by-2s
- Wood glue
- 30 1½-in. deck screws
- 16 1¼-in. galvanized nails
- Galvanized tabletop (see step 4)
- 1 tube heavy-duty adhesive
- 200-grit sandpaper
- Paste wax
- Steel wool
- Ready-made legs with metal brackets and screws