I took an old, grungy kitchen table and turned it into this gorgeous half round side table / demilune table for about $30.
What is a half round table called? I went with “half-round table” hoping that’s what the majority of people looking for something like this might call it, but the ‘official’ name is Demilune table. (aka half moon tables).
I’m going to call it the $1 half round because that’s where it all began – with an old, very crappy, kitchen table that I bought at an estate sale for $1.
It was stored in the shed, so it looks particularly awful, but the wood was good – just dirty with a few light scratches.
I gave the legs away to someone that was looking for table legs for a game table. All I was interested in was the table top and the leaf extension that came with it.
I removed all of the hardware and sanded the table to see what condition the wood was in.
While the table was upside down I attached a circle jig to my router and centred it between the leaves of the table top. I knew I needed a 38″ diameter circle to line up with the length of the arms on my sectional. The jig was set so that I was cutting at 18″ from the pivot point.
After a few rounds with the router, lowering it by about 1/8″ at each pass, I made it through the thickness of the table top and was left wth 2 half circles for my side table.
Because I was at school (I’m in cabinet-making school right now) I was able to use the industrial-sized planer to take then finish off of the table top to give me a smooth, blemish-free surface to work with. A sander will do the same job, so don’t think you can’t make this table without large equipment. Typically a sander would be my go-to tool for this.
$1 folks!! Did you see that coming?!
Next up was adding bits of scrap wood to the leaf insert of the table to create a large enough surface to cut a third half-circle with the router.
In an effort to keep this build as inexpensive as possible (I love a challenge!), I used some leftover pieces of wood from an old armoire that had been dismantled. I cut the pieces to length – just over 38″ long – and laminated them together and to the table leaf. Laminated = glue them together and clamp overnight.
I found the centre point of the last wardrobe board, attached my circle jig and routered a 38″ circle as before. The reason I chose the finished boards as my centre point was so that the grain and stain on the outside (rounded) edges of my table would be the same. The darker boards will be partially covered by a centre column so if they take stain differently it won’t be as noticeable. You’ll see in a later step.
Once you’ve cut this 3rd half-circle, choose one that will be the middle shelf of your half round table / demilune table and rip ¾” off of the flat side.
Now it’s time to make the centre column for your half-round table / demilune side table; there are a few ways you can do this – use a concrete form and cover it with a veneer (this would be easiest), make a half-circle frame and cover that with a veneer (second easiest) or use scrap bits of wood to create a column out of angled slices (most labour-intensive – but the one I chose) lol
Again, using wood taken from an old, dismantled wardrobe, I cut my boards to 12″ long. From here I ran them over the table saw at a 3.5° angle. Once one side was cut, I turned the board 180º and ripped the other side at that same angle. My pieces were 1 ¾” wide, so that’s where I set the fence for consistent cuts
It’s a very subtle angle, but when you put all of your pieces together, you’ll get a column like this:
Each column for my half-round table / demilune table consists of 13 pieces that are 1 ¾” wide with a 3.5° perpendicular bevel on either side, and 12″ tall.
For glue up, tape along the entire seam of each board as per the column on the left. This keeps more glue inside the cracks and allows for a tighter fit while drying. (You can see a couple of gaps on the column on the right – I used wood filler where necessary to clean those up)
I used ¾” plywood for the back of my side table – cut 3 ½” shorter than the finished height I wanted. This allows for the table top and bottom to be set above and below the plywood and allows for a 2″ footer to be added. I was aiming for a finished height of 28″.
Using pocket holes I drilled holes every 6″ along the top and bottom of the plywood back. The bottom and top were adhered with wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket screws.
Rest the lower column in place and place the third half-circle board; the one that is ¾” shorter than the others on top of it.
Mark the placement of the shelf on the back of the plywood backing and pre-drill holes then attach the shelf with 1 ¼” screws from the back.
Attach the lower column by tracing the column on the back of the plywood and then pre-drilling in from the back into where the sides of the columns lined up. The sides were attached with 1 ¼” screws.
Repeat the tracing and drilling process with the upper column and attach with 1 ¼” wood screws.
I was worried that my half-round table wasn’t quite sturdy enough to handle backpacks or stacks of books being placed on it, so I decided to add a divider to give it a little extra rigidity and strength.
These were cut with individual measurements since the columns weren’t exactly duplicate (one was slightly more bowed than the other). Pocket holes and 1 ¼” pocket hole screws held them in place and were covered with pocket hole dowels and some wood filler. A thin strip of veneer covers the exposed plywood on the dividers and the outer edges of the side table.
At this point my half round side table / demilune table is made up of a kitchen table top, some wood from a dismantled wardrobe and 1 half sheet of ¾” plywood – for a grand total of approximately $30 CDN.
Not to waste any wood and to make this project even more interesting (for me) I repurposed the rings of wood that I cut off when routering down the size of the table.
I sanded them clean, cut a slice in the middle and then layered one on top of the other (routered edges out) to create my footer. I’m sorry I don’t have photos of this step, but it was quite ingenious if I do say so myself. 😂
You don’t have to add a footer, but I thought it gave it more presence than if the base had been half covered by plush carpet.
Give everything a thorough sanding for a buttery smooth finish.
What do you think?!
There are a few mistakes here and there, but this was put together without a formal plan – just a vision of what an old kitchen table could become – so I am thrilled with how it turned out.
It’s tough to tell from the photos, but the demilune table is flush with the top of the arm of the sectional making it the perfect height to place a cup of tea and snacks. If I choose to leave more of the sofa exposed, I can always remove the footers which were just screwed in place on the bottom (no wood glue).
What if I told you that Ralph Lauren Home has a table much like this (the inspiration for this piece) that is selling for $1400 US?
I love turning trash into treasure and this half round table / demilune table just reinforced that for me. Who would have guessed that something so functional and pretty could come from a dirty, dated, damaged, $1 kitchen table?
I’ve got an old glass cabinet bookcase in my garage just waiting to be made into something new and improved, so keep following along to see how she turns out!
Have a great one!