'How I built my dowel table'

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/05/14/woodworking-is-fun.html


The looped image is kinda hypnotic to watch. To the point that it was several minutes before I realized it was a loop!


I did a similar thing to build my workbench, but used 16 penny nails (with a air nailer) instead of dowels. Went very quickly!


Less than a 100 dollars? I get not including the equipment necessary… even the custom made equipment that can be used on other projects. But that was a lot of glue and wood that I have trouble believing you can acquire for less than 100 bucks.

Huh I swear the last time I bought 2 by 4’s they were closer to 8 or 9 dollars for 6-8 feet… but they’re half that now. I guess 100 bucks isn’t impossible at all.


I wanted to build a chaise lounge but didn’t want to brave the crowds at Home Depot during the pandemic and I’m also a cheapskate so I just started scrounging the neighborhood for discarded pallets. Almost done and I only had to pay for screws and glue:


My father made a round kitchen table ~ 1970 using a similar method. That table was big enough for 7 of us plus 1-2 extra visitors.

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Thank for this. That was so enjoyable to watch. The finished product reminds me of my great-grandfather’s cabinetmaker workbench.

I like the idea of this done with plywood, or solid red oak. Indestructible.

I needed a 4" thick butcherblock bench top and was going to pay 1000$ to have one made out of oak- I like the idea of doing this myself now.

Yes, this is pretty much the standard way to make a table like this; the glue and the nails give you all the strength you need. It also makes it easier to get the table top flat, since positioning is determined by the flat surface on which you are building the table top. The dowel connection might be stronger, but then he had to use a router sled to flatten the top, which I’ve never done but always looks like a real PITA.

Plywood is an issue if you plan to have liquids on the table; you need to be extra careful with the finish to avoid liquid getting into the wood. Other than that, plywood stacked together can give a pretty amazing visual effect.

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I’ve got a workbench that I inherited from a friend’s dad that was made this way. Solid AF, and be far a much better work surface than the usual plywood or particle or MDF top.

If you didn’t want to router the surface, you could build it on a flat surface to get it really near flat, then top it with some nice solid furniture ply that was glued and screwed down (glued enough to fill all gaps).

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