Introduction

Fabricate a zinc table top
Photo: James Worrell
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Evoking pre-World War II bar tops that could take a beating, tables finished in zinc develop a charming patina as they age. We replicated the vintage look by wrapping sheet metal over plywood to make a console table with shapely legs, but this metal finish could just as easily dress up a flea-market find or a table you already have. To build an industrial-style piece, choose a machine-age cast-iron base for less than $75 at online marketplaces and follow these steps to assemble the classic zinc top.

Legs shown: Nipen in gray, $15 each; ikea.com
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    Tools List

    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • Aviation Snips
      Tin snips
    • adjustable clamp
      Quick-grip clamps
    • demolition chisel
      Flat 12-inch chisel
    • dead-blow hammer
      Deadblow hammer and clean cloth or rag
    • Soldering gun
    • flat file
      Metal file

    Shopping List

    ¾-inch birch plywood cut to the size of the table you want

    Thin sheet of zinc (0.02 inch thick is best) cut 2 inches wider and longer than the plywood

    Construction adhesive

    Coil of lead-free solder