My Z Gallerie Inspired Outdoor Dining Table

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When I was in Las Vegas last month, I had the pleasure of stepping foot into the actual Z Gallerie store.  If you follow on Instagram, you would have caught my devastation as I realized that I could not take anything home with me.  One of the things I fell in love with was this table that you can barely see in the photo below. photo (2) It’s in the lower right hand corner but here is the photo from their website. Z gallerie Rencourt Table-2 A few weeks ago, one of my DIY heroines posted an Ana White knock off of the very same table on her blog The House of Wood. That was it, I had to have this table.  I stalked her instagram to see what it looked like once finished and I sent her emails trying to get as much info as I could.  In the end, I took Ana Whites plans and I attempted to make it happen.

I started with a trip to the lumber yard. I gave them my cut list and asked how much it would cost in Southern Yellow Pine.  I was told that they don’t carry SYP for stud lumber but that they had White Pine which was supposedly the same thing.  I didn’t argue when the cost came to only $71.  I paid for my lumber and then headed over to the shed with my cut list.  The guys pulled my wood for me and started cutting.  I’d have to say that their cuts were spot on.  I can’t say the same for their lumber selection. One of the guys gave me grief when I “rejected” a few of the boards that were basically split in half.  He tells me that “this is stud lumber, it’s not supposed to be pretty.”  I politely told him that no contractor alive would accept those pieces that had the structural integrity of a chopstick.  He told me that he would give me better pieces this time but not in the future.  I told him that was fine because I would just go to the big box store for my stud lumber from now on.  At least they let you pick your own boards.

When I  got all the boards out of the truck, I laid them out on my deck to remeasure them all. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (1 of 37) June 16, 2013 Every single board had to be cut because I purposely increased the length of every board by one inch. Just in case the lumberjack (that’s what I’ll call them) was off by a 1/4 inch. Ana’s plans suggest that you run the 2×4’s & 2×6’s through the table saw and remove about 1/8 of an inch from both sides to get rid of the rounded edges.

Below is an example of what it looked like before and after. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (2 of 37) June 16, 2013 The board on the right is before and the one on the left if after.  I pre-cut all of my boards according to the plans and almost lost it when I could not figure out what 30° off center not parallel meant. I mulled it over and mulled it over.  Then I googled it and got my answer.

It meant that the cuts on the opposite ends should be a 30°angle but that the angles should not run in the same direction (not parallel).  Honestly I had to go back to 9th grade geometry to wrap my brain around this concept but once I got it I was ok. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (3 of 37) June 17, 2013 I wrote the length of each and every board on the ends and for the boards that I had to cut those funny angles, I wrote the length on the top of the board.  That part would eventually get sanded off. The plans said to build the table top first but since my second pair of hands wasn’t home from work yet, I jumped ahead and built the legs first. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (4 of 37) June 18, 2013 I used a spacer to keep the boards the exact same width apart. Then I drilled about a 100 pocket holes into the boards to make my table top.  I’m not kidding when I say 100.  The tabletop alone took 111 screws.  if you are going to build a table like this or any other furniture using stud lumber, I highly suggest you buy the big box of 2 1/2″ Blue Kote Kreg screws.

I laid my boards out in the driveway to do a test fitting.Rencourt Dining Table DIY (5 of 37) June 19, 2013Then when the husband came home, he helped me assemble the top.

We glued the sides of every board then joined them using the pocket holes. Having 42″ pipe or bar clamps would have been very helpful at this point.  Since we didn’t have that, we resorted to using our bodies to hold things together. photo (3)-2 This went rather quickly and we had the tabletop assembled within an hour. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (6 of 37) June 20, 2013

Rencourt Dining Table DIY (7 of 37) June 20, 2013 In the photo above. the top two curved boards on the legs are not attached yet.

I had to hand scrape all the glue that oozed out the cracks before it dried then I let the table top dry for 24 hours before I trimmed the edges. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (8 of 37) June 21, 2013 Even though I’m now a proud owner of a table saw, I still had to break out the circular saw to trim the edges even so that it would accept the breadboard ends. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (9 of 37) June 21, 2013 Once that was done, I was ready to attach the ends.  I glued, clamped and then  screwed like my life depended on it. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (11 of 37) June 21, 2013 When the glue dried I began sanding the back of the table.  First with a 60 grit sandpaper then with a 100 grit paper then with a 220 grit paper.  I rounded the edges for safety. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (13 of 37) June 27, 2013I flipped the table over and filled any cracks with wood filler then repeated the process. I also did the same process on the table legs. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (12 of 37) June 23, 2013 Once everything was nice and smooth, I attached the three table support boards to the back of the tabletop.

 I knew from the very beginning that this table would need to be a knockdown.  Meaning that I would have to be able to take it apart and put it back together again for storage due to the cold Michigan winter months.

Jen mentioned that she secured her table using nuts and bolts but didn’t exactly elaborate as to what kind of nuts and bolts and how she installed them.  I had to do some research and figure that out on my own.  I went to the Rockler store and showed them the illustration of how I wanted the table to be disassembled and they introduced me to these. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (18 of 37) June 30, 2013 It’s called a Hex Drive Threaded Insert and it’s pretty awesome. I found out after the fact that you can also get them at Lowes. They come four in a pack and you can use whatever length bolt you need. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (15 of 37) June 30, 2013 I chose 3 1/2″ because I wanted to sink the threaded insert into the first board that was attached to the underside of the table and then I wanted the head of the bolt countersunk just beneath the surface of the top board that was attached to the table legs. Does that make sense?

 Here is a little demonstration for you. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (16 of 37) June 30, 2013 The bottom two boards are securely screwed and glued to one another as well as to the table top.  The top board that my fingers are touching are attached to the legs of the table only. By using a washer and the hex bolt, I will guarantee that this table is nice and tight. I lined the table legs up and marked four spots to pre drill my holes.  I had previously marked where the screws were in the lower boards so that I would not run into them with my drill bit when I drilled the holes for the bolt. I used a 1/4″ hole saw bit to drill the hole that would hide the head of the hex bolt and the washer. If this isn’t making sense right now don’t worry.  Everything will be illuminated for you in a moment. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (17 of 37) June 30, 2013 With the legs set aside, I bored the threaded insert into the predrilled holes.

NOTE: Lowes does not sell a bit that will screw these inserts in.  I had to use an allen wrench that came with some Ikea furniture, saw off the “L” shaped end and stick it into my drill. 

Now comes the finishing. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (14 of 37) June 29, 2013   I’ve used the Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stains before but this will be my first time using the Spar Varnish.  I’ve opted for the Satin finish because I just don’t care for glossy surfaces on my furniture.

My cousin was visiting from Texas so I put her to work.  This table top was 32 sq. ft of surface area to cover so we tag teamed the task. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (19 of 37) June 30, 2013 We started on the back side of the table and used cut up old t-shirts to wipe off the excess stain. Then we flipped the table over and stained the top.  I am so glad she was here because that tabletop weighed at least 100 lbs. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (20 of 37) July 01, 2013 When the tabletop dried, it looked kinda hazy and uneven so I lightly sanded the entire surface with a 320 grit sanding block. Then I brushed off the dust and wiped the table down with a tack cloth.   I applied the first coat of  Spar Varnish to the back of the tabletop and let it dry, then we flipped it over and applied the first coat to the top of the tabletop. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (21 of 37) July 01, 2013 I used my beloved long handled Purdy brush to get a nice and smooth finish free of brush strokes. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (22 of 37) July 01, 2013 Per the instructions on the can, I allowed 2-3 hours of dry time between all three coats. While the tabletop was drying, I attempted to cut the fancy “X” pieces for the center of the table.  I failed miserably as my miter saw only cuts up to 48.5° and my “X “required 50° cuts. To improvise, I borrowed the design from one of Ana Whites other plans and just made a huge “V” under the table.  These were cut to fit. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (23 of 37) July 01, 2013 I wanted to stain these two “V” pieces separately because they would come off when the table is taken apart.  I took the time to label the ends of the “V” pieces and thier corresponding connecting points with a sharpie marker for easy assembly. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (24 of 37) July 02, 2013

Rencourt Dining Table DIY (25 of 37) July 02, 2013 I gave the table base a second coat of spar varnish and let everything sit out in the sun for a few hours. Now was the moment of truth.  Time to assemble.  Will it wobble, will the screws fit, will it be lopsided?

Since this table probably weighs about 225 lbs. we put the table top face down on the dropcloth in the driveway. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (26 of 37) July 02, 2013 Then we lifted the base on top of the table. We seated the screws in their respective holes and tightened them up. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (27 of 37) July 02, 2013 This photo should make sense of the whole “nut & bolt” explanation.  Below my cousin is using the socket wrench to tighten the hex bolt and washer into the threaded insert that is secured into the bottom of the three boards. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (28 of 37) July 02, 2013There are four bolts in each leg and there is no movement.  Does it make sense now?

To secure those two “V” pieces, I countersunk two holes into the underside of the stretcher bar. Rencourt Dining Table DIY (29 of 37) July 02, 2013

Then I drove 2 1/2″ weather resistant screws into the boards.

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I put two wire brads into the opposite ends of the”V” pieces to hold them in place as these are more decorative than they are structural.

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Then my cousin and I flipped the table over and moved it into the backyard.

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My friend asked me if it was possible to stain-stainable Wood Filler.  The answer is yes.  I’d suggest testing it on a scrap piece of wood.  Mine is barely noticeable in  the image below.

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Rencourt Inspired Dining Table

I can see many meals eaten outside on this table.

Alfresco dining, here we come.

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Now all I’ve got to do is make up my mind on some chairs.

Thank you Ana White and Jen Woodhouse.

The plans for this table and 1,000 other awesome projects are available here.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great job Ayisha! I just used the bolts from my old dining table (the one the movers ruined) – the metal threaded inserts are awesome! No worries of stripping the wood when you assemble and disassemble. And the way you attached the breadboards (screwing from both edges) is genius! I’m thinking of adding an extra support apron under each breadboard, just in case the glue and screws aren’t strong enough.

    I can’t believe the lumber guys were reluctant to let you choose your own boards! How frustrating! Did you decide against leaving a gap between the boards on the tabletop for outdoor use? Also, my miter saw doesn’t cut 50 degree angles either. But the base of it will turn to 50 degrees, so I set that to 50 degrees then just turned the board up on its side to get the angled cut for the X base (hope that made sense).

    Well done! It looks amazing!

    • Ayisha says

      Yes Jen, I decided that since the table would be covered, and stored in the garage over the winter that putting the 1/4″ space between the boards was unnecessary. Plus, I would have had to stain and seal the boards individually to guarantee that they were water tight. I’m a little OCD like that. I figured a way to cut a 50 degree angle with my saw but I had to make modifications to my saw that just didn’t seem safe so I just gave up. I will say that I’m not 100% sold on that brand of Spar Varnish. It has not cured well yet.

  2. Bons says

    We are not big in DIY in my country in fact nil. I won’t be jumping out to make my own table but projects like yours are really good to read. You are an inspiration! Looking forward to more projects!

    • Ayisha says

      Well thanks Bons. I wouldn’t have ever gotten into DIY if it weren’t for my Champagne dreams and Beer pockets. The price of quality is just astounding here in the states. I’m glad you enjoy reading about my projects.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Ayisha from The Pursuit of Handyness had the novelty of visiting Z Gallerie on a trip last year. One of the many items she adored was a a roomy x-base dining table. You can imagine Ayisha’s excitement when one of her “DIY heroines,” Ana White, posted plans on her site to build a similar table for less than $100. That’s a $1,200 savings! Ayisha finished her table with a spar varnish so she and her family can enjoy meals al fresco. […]

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