Farmhouse Table

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About This Project

Ive been wanting to make this table for at least a year, but our dining room was just too small for the full size table. I love customizing things and am overly confident sometimes so I decided to try and customize this. It turned out great, but required a bit more work. I really liked the Restoration Hardware table and the one posted by tsibiga (Farmhouse Table : Restoration Hardware Replica link below) so I followed those plans somewhat.

Pine for everything but the legs which was douglas fir I believe
Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
English Chestnut Minwax Stain and Minwax Semi-gloss polyurethane
Estimated Cost: 
$150 (including a new cheap skill saw)

Comments

After seeing your pics and the plans that you used I really want to build this table. Just wondering about the setup of the frame to support the table top. Why have you put 2 lots of 2x4 and why are the pieces on the inside shorter?

If I understand your question correctly the 2x4s (2 on each end) are notched out so that you can slide 2 2x2s in each end (not shown in pictures). These 2x2s are attached to leafs that are used to extend the tabletop. It is how the original restoration hardware table is extended. I have not made the leafs that slide into each end that is why it is not pictured. If you look here http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId...
you will see what I am talking about.
The pieces on the inside (the 2x2s attached to the 2x4s) are shorter so that they do not block the 2x2s on the leaf from sliding in. I added these 2x2s so that I could attach the 2x12s (main table boards) from underneath. I did not have drill bits or screws long enough to go through the 2x4s and into the 2x12s.
I hope that made sense.
Here is another builder and his pictures, he has the same design: http://web.me.com/tomsibiga/Site/Home/Entries/2011/8/4_Farmhouse_Table_D...
Please let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck with the project!
Jon

Wow! Your table is amazing! We are about to start this and I really like the 4x4's for the legs. Where did you find yours? I found 4x4 Fir at Lowe's, but it says "green" which I think means fairly freshly cut so still has a higher moisture content. I'm worried this will be a problem (splitting, warping, etc) Any suggestions there? Thanks!

Yes I noticed that the 4x4s were not as dry as the rest of the wood, but it would be very difficult and very expensive to find dried 4x4s. I got mine at lowes also. I am actually more worried about the shrinking and swelling of the table top its self and what cracks and voids will occur there. I have not heard anyone's experience here with this and am curious in the coming months and years what will occur. Come what may, I only paid $100 or so for the table and am pleased with it for now.
Good luck on your build, you will be very happy with the results.

Yay! Thank you! I think we will go ahead with them. I talked to a few guys at Lumber Yards and they said although there is no guarantee there will be no warping, it most likely will be fine. And you are right - for only $100 it's worth a shot!

If you get Douglas Fir (sometimes called Doug Fir), your 4x4s should not have any significant problems. It's an amazingly stable wood. With pine, especially if the center of the tree is included, you should expect warping.

I agree that there will probably not be any significant problems. Especially with what we are all doing here. The majority of us are all novice wood workers (if you could even call us that) that arent expecting perfection with these "reclaimed" and "farmhouse" style tables/furniture. Many people will even go so far to add extra dents and scratches to try and make it look 100 years old. The best part about it is the description from restoration hardware for this $2000 table; "unsealed salvaged wood planks may be somewhat uneven, and may cup or bow slightly over time, further enhancing their rustic one-of-a-kind character; cracks may be present."
So yes, go with the 4x4s Karl and enjoy the imperfection!
Also, good luck notching out the top of those 4x4s!

This is an odd question but where did you get the chairs to go with the table... My husband is going to me this table for us (can't wait) but the thought of paying $100 a chair at a furniture store makes the project (making it to save money) seem like a waste.

Yes the chair problem does plague a few people. Fortunately for me I was able to use the existing chairs from our old table that matched pretty well. Here is a link to our old table we got I think from target: http://www.target.com/p/Dolce-5-pc-Dining-Set/-/A-522699#?lnk=sc_qi_deta...
Like you said though this would obviously defeat the purpose of saving money by building your own table. There are a couple of chairs on Ana's site, but I am not particularly fond of them. You could try what claydowling suggests below and either buy a lathe or build your own to make some very nice custom chairs, but the store bought lathes will run you $500 on up. The build-your-own lathes (while pretty cool) will require more work/time/space than I think you or your husband is looking for. You will find that the majority of people here that are building these tables do one of two things: use their existing chairs, or build benches to use. Some people like me will do a combination of these and build a bench and use their old chairs. Here is a link to the bench I built: http://ana-white.com/2011/12/rustic-x-bench These are actually very simple and look quite good with the tables because you can stain and finish them together.
There are a few different styles of these benches to choose from on the site, but after building a table you may have the ability to design your own and make it look how you want - dont be afraid to modify plans!
Good luck with the build and let me know if you have any other questions.
Jon

There's a great book my wife bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago: Chairmaking Simplified. It showed how to make several common styles of chair. His book was designed to use a lathe, which is expensive to buy, but you can build something called a spring-pole lathe for a couple of dollars in hardware, a bit of lumber, and a little labor. You'll have to use google to get some designs. That's a non-trivial route, but has little startup cost and you would be assured of having the coolest chairs of anybody you know.

You can also use the same chair designs with slight modifications and build them with a draw knife, spoke shave and a hand brace. If you want to do that, I recommend Woodworking with Your Kids by Richard Starr. Amazing book about getting started in woodworking with little money and little skill. He has seventh and eighth grade students making elegant chairs, stools and tables using only those three tools, so I think you'll be fine. And if you made the chairs with your kids, they would be extra cool.

Thanks for the ideas. Yeah, my husband is already grumbling about the table so lathing chairs is NOT something i think i could get him to do (*grin*). I wish i could find a local "Bare Wood" store. When we were stationed in Hawaii they had one and i bought a dresser from them for $65 -- just had to stain and finish it myself... as it saved me $300 from ones i would have purchased from furniture stores it was a steal.

Thanks again for the ideas!

The first time you or your husband tried turning on a lathe, the grumbling would end and you'd be trying to cram another chair in there. Turning is easily the most addictive of woodworking activities.

I agree! If I had the time and/or the money for a lathe I would be addicted too!

can someone explain how to get to the "how to section" so i can see how to notch out the 2x4's?

In the first of the build pictures I see the base of your table and it looks like you are using 4x4s rather than 2 2/4 screwed together. How did you create the hole to rest the 2x4 side boards? Did you use a router or a chisel or something else?