the table

For a couple of years we had in our kitchen a cheap Ikea table with 4 corresponding chairs. We always assumed that the table with those chairs would only be a solution for a short period of time.  The table was only 70 cm by 120 cm and it was quite crowded if all the chairs were taken. We love to cook and invite family and friends over for a meal.  So the solution: a BIG kitchen table!

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The biggest that can fit in our small kitchen – 90 cm x 180 cm. We contemplated on what we both like and agreed that we would like to try something with reclaimed parquet floor.  How convenient that we had about 20 m² of used oak parquet planks stored in our basement. 🙂 Our design was to lay the parquet planks in a herringbone pattern with a metal frame.


You can’t just glue the parquet planks together and hope that the glue will be strong enough to hold the whole table together, especially for a table that size. You have to glue it on an even surface. We picked an OSB board 12 mm thick since it is quite strong and light.  Oak wood is very hard and dense and therefore very heavy. So if we would glue the planks on the OSB board only on one side, then the OSB board would show on the bottom side. We can all agree (except Evgen) that an OSB board is not extremely beautiful. 🙂 Then, if we would glue the planks on both sides of the board, we would hit 2 problems. First the table would weigh a tone and second the height of the horizontal surface would be too thick. Evgen then came up with a brilliant idea which killed two birds with one stone.

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Parquet planks were glued with hot bitumen to the floor where they previously resided. There is no way you can clean bitumen off a plank perfectly. We learned our lesson in a previous project, where we built kitchen countertops out of it. First we tried using a heat gun. All we had left was a sticky pile of black mess and a lot of it still left on the planks. Since it was winter at that time, we tried putting the planks outside overnight, thinking that the bitumen would freeze and we could just scrape it off. Just like when you came home from kindergarten and you had gum on your jeans. Mum put them in the freezer and the gum could be magically scraped off. 🙂 Nope! Not in this case! We just had to use our elbow grease and scrape it off as much as we could. We didn’t want to go down this road again. So Evgen thinned every plank by 1 cm with his circular table saw. With this the bitumen problem was resolved and the horizontal surface of the table was thinned.

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Then one evening in the middle of our living room (of course, where else!? 🙂 ) we glued the planks to the OSB board with parquet glue in a herringbone pattern. We let it dry for about a day or two and then repeated the whole process on the other side. When both sides were dry we carried it to the garage. I don’t have to mention that it weighted a tone already! Then we drew a rectangle 180 x 90 cm and Evgen carefully saw off the remainder, so that we were left with the exact measurements of the table.

Then came planing and sanding with a 80 and later 120 grid. Evgen then sanded the edges by hand, so that they weren’t so sharp. The last thing came oiling. I used Ikea’s Behandla oil in two coats. First you apply the oil with a brush or a roller, let it sit for about 15 minutes and wipe off the excess. you can redo it in 2 hours.

The surface was done! Yaay!  Now all  we need is a frame and some legs.

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We designed a frame made of 4 L – shaped metal profiles which Evgen welded together. In the center of the longer L shaped profile he welded a flat metal strip for added security, because the wooden surface was so heavy. Then he welded on each corner a square shaped metal tube. Since the frame was so big, we decided not to make metal legs all the way down. If in the future we’ll want to move the table, we can just disassemble it and easily transport it. Instead we designed wooden socks for the table. 🙂

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Evgen didn’t have any oak in storage that would be 4 cm thick, so he first glued 2 pieces together and let it dry overnight. Then he cut it in desirable length and thickness. For added stability, we designed that the wooden part of the leg would be inserted into the hollow metal part. For that he had to chisel away about half a cm on every side. Then came planing and sanding and me with oiling. The process was the same as it was for the wooden surface.

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The metal frame needed to be sanded and painted. We used Jubin metal color in 5004 Graphite by Jub. It is an anti – corrosive paint that has a built – in primer. I can’t even remember how many coats it needed. A lot!

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The parts are done! Assemble time!

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Now all we need are chairs to go with our big table! 🙂

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