The One With the Dining Table

I have found the best way to make sure you get a project done on schedule is to invite people over to see it.

In this case, we volunteered to host Christmas Eve dinner for an extended family totaling around 14 people. Up to this point we didn’t even have a dining room table. We were more of a stools-at-the-kitchen-island type of family.

I had a project. I had a deadline. Let’s get to work.

I found these plans my at and my wife liked the look of it. It is called a floating table because the table top seems to set above the support legs, which I think is kind of cool. The plans also call for using a door as a table top. That’s right, a door.

The leg construction was just a 1×4 and a 1×3 connected at a 90 degree angle. The table frame is pretty basic. The key here, is that when attaching the frame to the legs, the frame is actually raised an inch above the top of the legs. The idea is once the table top is set onto the frame, it will look like it is 1″ above the legs.


I found a solid core door at the hardware store. The plans called for a hollow core but I like things to be solid and I knew I would be cutting them up to allow for a leaf insert. I got two doors and literally cut them in half.

Planning for the leaf insert was a little tricky. I first laid the two main sections together and attached them with gold buckles. I then separated them, put the leaf between, and added the matching pieces of two more buckles. This way, whether the leaf is in or not, the pieces will buckle together and not be able to separate while using the table.

Of course, I didn’t want the table top to slide, so I added the “guides” that fall in between the frame boards.


I made sure everything worked in such a way that, whether the leaf is in or not, the guides fall inside a section of the frame.

While here, I also added locks that secure the table top to the frame so once in place, the top cannot lift up, either. Again, I had to attach hardware in such a way that the locks work regardless if the leaf was inserted or not.


Once everything was constructed, I put everything together to make sure it all fit. I really like how that “floating” gap looks.


After a lot of sanding, we painting the legs white, while just using a few coats of clear finish for the top. We like the white base with natural top look like we did with the kid’s desk.

This is how our table will look when it is just our family, although like this it will probably seat up to 10 with no problem.


Getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner we put the leaf in. The table top was huge and worked out so well. Of course I was working on the finishing touches right up to the last minute but I hit my deadline!


Here are some of the tools and supplies I used in this project. If you are interested in one, click to take a look. You get a fun product, I get a fun commission. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “The One With the Dining Table”

    1. Thanks, Joy. For my particular use, I have a built-in banquet bench in my dining room that functions as seating for one side. For the other I have some miscellaneous chairs. A matching bench would be interesting. Let me know if you see something that might work.

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