Ria and I finished our new dining room table. We picked up a bunch of random reclaimed lumber from the ReUse People in Oakland. We got a bunch of cool old rough sawn 2x3s that were full of tons of little tiny nails. After a long time with a metal detector, vise-grips, and a dremel to remove the nails, we milled everything down to random widths, 6′ long about 2″ thick. After cutting down enough wood to make the table 3′ x 6′ we made a jig for the drill press and drilled 4 holes in all of the pieces of wood. We ran threaded rod through the holes and put nuts on each end to hold the wood together while we glued it up.
We added an additional ring of wood around the edge of the table to cover up the nuts on the threaded rod, and the end grain.
Once the glue dried the table top became incredibly rigid. Using a power hand planer, and a belt sander with 40 grit, we leveled the top surface. Next we filled all of the knot and nail holes with black epoxy. Once the epoxy was dried we ran a 80 grit belt over everything and then 100 and 220 grid sandpaper on the orbital sander. Robert sprayed the top with a 2-part conversion varnish which looks excellent. Ria and I scored a reproduction Herman Miller/Eames table base at a garage sale for $10 that works perfectly with the top.