This table filled two needs at once for us: we needed a dumbbell or free-weight rack ($50 and up retail), and we needed some kind of desk-like surface for our home gym area that could withstand us two jump-roping fiends (um, maybe that's just my husband). Basically, it needed to be able to hold a lot (a Lot) of heavy metal stuff and take a beating while NOT Falling Over. The trestle desk was my biggest inspiration, and I guess I just stole the metal stretcher idea from that Pottery Barn dining table. It doesn't even really seem to need the metal stretcher, though...this table is beyond-my-wildest-dreams sturdy, even though it is standard counter height. The metal bar was about $17, so that's a big savings, if you leave it out. You MUST use a compound miter saw for this project. OR...you must be flexible about working with irregular cuts and joints. Also, I'm not sure I'd attempt butt-jointed 2x4's without pocket holes (or biscuit joints, I guess?), but that might just be me. I think this project could have taken only a single day if I hadn't screwed up just about every step of the way. I'm not the only one, right? You can read about a lot of those lovely embarrassments on my blog :) If you'd like the SketchUp model, it is available in the 3D Warehouse as "Dumbbell Table".
$50 - $100
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
Pine (mostly 2x4s), oak ply, oak scraps, + an unknown piece from ReStore
Boiled linseed oil and a coat of furniture wax. Since this table will be taking some hard knocks, we decided against stain or paint, which will show the pine when dinged. The oil hydrates the wood, and the wax protects it - easy upkeep is a plus.
Recommended Skill Level