Frugal Furnishing – Dining Table

Hey everyone!

Remember how i said that i was going to try and furnish my home with mostly used, up-cycled, and recycled pieces? Well, I’m still working on it.

For us, that meant giving up purchasing new items, and opting for used or discarded pieces. This also means being able to sometimes see past an object’s battered looks and think of all of its uses, and possible ways to restore or salvage the object. This gives the object a NEW life and keeps it out of the dump or landfills.

I’ve finally started furnishing our home and I am very excited to report that our first step in our project has been a success!


Dining Table

I’ve decided to share that experience with you guys. So, If you were wondering what it would be like for someone who is completely inexperienced in any wood work or “handyness” in general to attempt to fix a table – read on.

I’m a complete “NOOB”. So, all i’m trying to say is that there may be other ways to do what i did and better. However, I’m just so happy and proud of myself for just getting off my butt and actually doing what i set out to do.

My first project was to repair and restore a dining table. It was something that we really needed, and i thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to figure it out.

The search

I spent about a month or two just browsing for tables on craigslist, furniture stores, salvation army, and goodwill. I needed to find the perfect table. I needed something that was made out of a quality wood and was going to be durable. So that we wouldn’t need to replace it for a very long time.

I also was really hoping to find a table that was like that and was able to extend to seat more guests. This would be great just in case i wanted to host dinner parties or have a game night.

I’m happy to report that my patience has paid off. I found this heavy wood table and 4 dining chairs for only $50 dollars.



What’s the catch?!

The catch was that the table had two broken legs, some chips, and regular wear.  Still, that’s nothing alittle elbow grease and TLC couldn’t fix.

As I’ve stated previously, i’m a total newbie at doing-anything-myself. However, during my months of searching for the couch, i spent a lot of time researching ways to refinish and restore wood furniture, especially tables. Based on what i had learned, i determined that this table was a project that i could probably easily and cheaply repair at home.


 And It was! Only, it wasn’t “That” easy! (for a noob)

20140102_143512The legs were only broken because of what i later discovered was a worn “glue block”. A glue block, is what they used to reinforce and hold joints together. The modern alternative to this would be the use of “steel corner plates”. Seems easy now, but at the time my first idea was to just replace the glue block. I didn’t know why i thought that sawing wood would be easy. I suppose it would be the fact that the only time I’ve seen someone “saw wood” has ever been on TV. Ain’t nobody got wood to saw in New York City!

I laugh all the time because I imagine a more experienced and handy person would look at this and scoff, shake his head, or even laugh at how bad i am at this.



So this is what i did…


Yeah, laugh it up. I traced the defective glue block on to my wood piece and proceeded to think that i could hand saw it. This is probably  what took the most time, and what also triggered my enlightenment.

So there i was. A city girl who has never had to do any of this type of physical labor, trying to hand saw wood.You can probably imagine that it didn’t go well. I learned that i really need to lift weights and get some muscle on these arms, and that i probably should’ve thought it out alittle more.

Regardless of how difficult it was for me to saw the wood, and how it never seemed to ever saw fast enough, i pushed through. I couldn’t give up.

And i didn’t, but it just did not work!

It wasn’t long enough to hold the two thick screws. I messed up. I was angry that i sat there sawing wood for about 30 minutes only for it to not work. I really should’ve measured better.

It’s always those moments though. Aren’t they? When you feel like you’ve screwed up, and you don’t know what to do. You are angry that you’ve tried your best, but it wasn’t enough. When you feel defeated and you are about to give up, but suddenly you get an idea. You can choose to go with the idea, or you could just accept defeat.

I chose to try the idea

I had remembered walking through Home Depot and seeing a corner piece for furniture that looked like exactly what i needed to fix this table. However, i didn’t know what the name was. After scouring the internet for 10 minutes, i found out they were called “steel corner plates”. I went to Home Depot and got a box of 2 for about $3.00 dollars.


This was exactly what i needed!

Obviously the application was wonky because we are new to this and haven’t developed much finesse, but the table is as sturdy as ever and looking good. No one would ever notice that we did anything to it.

We would’ve left it like that, but we want to go all the way. We are going try sanding it, staining it, and applying some poly-urethane on it to make it look new. I’m not sure how it will turn out but, this is what we’ve got and I love it even more now because of how much effort and thought we put into it.

So, if you’re putting off a project. Get up and get started. You don’t have to finish it today, but at least start it. Don’t give up, and you’ll be so glad that you got it done.



Thanks for reading and See ya next time.



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