A guy I know was looking for a woodworking project for the winter. He was thinking about building a new kitchen table but he didn’t have access to a table saw or other woodworking tools all he had is a miter saw and some basic equipment like a drill. He was looking at some plans from a website for a basic table. One of the plans he showed me was an outside garden table I guess you could say it was a high quality picnic table. The choice of this type of table was due to his lack of tools to complete a better table. This is where the consideration happens are you are better off building a new project or remodeling a used table.
My suggestion is because his skill level is limited basically to construction and not finish carpentry or woodworking the project he has in mind will most likely be of lower quality than what he could buy.
However this is not to say you shouldn’t take on the project.
One of the hardest things to do is to manufacturer the table top. This is where woodworking tools are of real benefit. Having access to a table saw and maybe a plane would make the project come out much better.
A simple solution to this is purchasing a used table that needs repair.
Almost every town and city has a used furniture store. They get a variety of different tables that you can choose to modify easily with basic tools. Instead of needing to plane your wood to manufacture a table top and glue together pieces requiring relatively expensive clamps most of the work is already done for you.
All the hardware, a drop in leaf and possibly the reuse of legs and hardware will save you time money and effort.
Additionally if you are able to obtain a table built before 1975 you have a good chance that it is solid hardwood which can be very expensive and hard to obtain especially in large pieces needed to construct a table top.
This is just one consideration when you are planning your project the fact that it will speed the project’s completion and probably result in a better quality table is something to keep in mind however if you are designing a table that is very custom you may not have any other choice but to build it from beginning to end.