One extremely important aspect of homesteading, is taking care of your food. It’s tricky when you’re not relying on things like store bought canned products. What people might not know about those of us that are homesteaders, is that you can can an awful lot of food products yourself.
And that’s more than just a dance pun. Homesteaders will can raw meat, fruit and a wide variety of vegetables too. Because you’re pretty much growing and farming all of your own stuff, canning is one of the very few ways to make sure that you can preserve all of this food that you’re generating. So it’s good to have an area that’s used specifically for canning, and having a good sturdy table is important too.
Chances are, you’re not exactly going to be spoiled for space in your home, so we’d suggest you build yourself a handy folding table. It won’t take up much space as it is and you can just unfold it when you’re ready to start canning.
Here are three ways to build yourself a DIY folding table:
The First Method
Now I know what you’re thinking, this is a tutorial for a workbench. That picture is a of a work bench and it’s on a website called remodelaholic.com. And you’re absolutely right, this is intended primarily as a tutorial for a folding workbench, but I think it’s perfect for a canning table too. It’s easy to fold up into a very compact setup which is easy to move around and when it’s opened out it’s as large and sturdy as can be. This would be absolutely perfect for any homesteader. And it’s not that difficult to make either, you don’t need to be a particularly skilled woodworker.
The hardest thing about building this is the hinges, other than that it’s pretty much just basic carpentry. You’ll need quite a bit of wood. The tabletop will be a large piece of plywood and then there are several boards of varying lengths too. In addition to that, you will need several different hinges as well as a bunch of screws and two door pull handles. From there, there’s an awful lot of gluing and drilling.
Here’s the full tutorial on remodelaholic.com.
The Second Way
This table is a little bit different. It doesn’t have quite as large of a surface and it definitely doesn’t fold up as compactly as the first option. But it is still a great table for canning and it’s quite a bit easier to make too. You’ll also be spending less to build this one.
It can work in many other ways on top of just for canning food too. You could even use this one as a dining table if you wanted, it’s well-shaped for that.
So you’ll need several tools for this, most of which you probably already have if you are into woodworking as a hobby; a drill, a tape measure, a nail gun and a sander. On top of that you’ll also need some kind of saw.
I would suggest you use either a miter saw or a circular saw. A reciprocating saw may also be useful when you’re working on the legs. There’s not a whole lot of wood. Again you will need plywood for the table top but other than that it’s just boards. Then you just need the wood screws, bolts and the other small stuff. Overall, I’d say that you could get this finished within a couple of days.
Have a look at designconfidential.com for the comprehensive tutorial.
If you want something that’s really compact and out of the way, then this is the perfect table for you.
You won’t have that much space but you could still easily can your food on it if you don’t have that much to do. The design is that of a small end table for a front hall or something and so it’s a drop-leaf design, which means that the edge can still be used as a surface even when it’s folded down.
Even though it’s very small, there are quite a few different parts that you’ll have to prepare beforehand. It’s pretty much all just wood though. There are some table fasteners, hinges and screws but for the most part you just need loads of wood.
Cutting the tabletop and the leg tapers may be tricky for the inexperienced woodworkers among you but you should get the hang of it pretty quickly. A dowel jig and a table saw will be essential for this job.
Check out the full tutorial on popularmechanics.com.
For people that are homesteaders and like to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, building one’s own furniture is probably an exciting prospect. And so I’m sure many of your homesteaders will jump at the opportunity to take a shot at putting one of these useful folding tables together.