Let's begin with the basics. What you'll need. The type of wood you use is up to you. I used the least expensive since I knew I'd be painting it with colors anyway. This makes one reversible tabletop that is about 2' x 2' (good for photographing food and things).
8 - ¼ x 3 x 2 wood boards
8 - ¼ x 4 x 2 wood boards
wood glue (I used just over ½ of a 16 oz. bottle)
sand paper (medium grit / 80-120)
wood stain - in your "shade" of choice
paint - in you color(s) of choice
drop cloth or tarp
sanding block (holds sand paper and makes your life easier if you don't have an electric sander)
bandana (to cover your mouth & nose while sanding)
safety glasses or sunglasses (again, for the sanding)
weights or something heavy to weight down wood
garage or outdoor workspace
bright, sunny day
~2-3 hours active time
24 hours unattended (to allow wood glue to dry) + some for stain/paint to dry
I began by laying down a tarp on a large work surface and sanding the tops of all of my boards - both to smooth out any slivers and get rid of any planer marks that may have been there. I then sanded down all of the edges on that top side. If you look closely, you can see that in the photo below. This is totally personal preference, but I like the way that it looks. Sort of like "planks" as opposed to one continuous piece of wood in the finished project. So. Don your bandana and glasses and get all of the boards sanded.
Lay 8 of the boards, sanded side down, on your work surface. Start with one of the wider boards and then set the thinner one next to it and repeat until you have 8. Channel your inner child-in-art-class and squirt those boards with a good amount of wood glue. Give yourself some room at the outer edges, because the glue will spread when you weigh it down.
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