Our dining room table is done! This has been an idea in the making for months now. I previously talked about the inspiration for this table in Farmhouse Table Part 1. Between building this, traveling for the holidays and running into missing materials, this project took a lot longer than we expected. In the end it was completely worth every day. I hope this will be a part of our family for years to come.
These are the super long instructions! I wanted to make sure to document all the things we learned on this project.
I am breaking the instructions into two parts. The first will be the construction on the table and the second will be the finishing instructions.
Part 1: Farmhouse Table Construction
Cost of Materials:
Total Cost for construction: $105.00
Wood Cut List:
5 – 2X8 @ 5’ 5 -1/2″ (top boards)
This was our first real woodworking project and was filled with many learned lessons, the first being where to buy our wood from. At first we went to Home Depot, this is where I expected to find everything we needed. I went in with my list and filled my cart with a new sander, clamps and sawhorses (yes this was my Christmas present from Alex and I was excited). We picked out our wood filler, wood glue, nails and a stain to try. We also picked up a wood conditioner which we didn’t end up using, I will tell you more about that later. The last and most important thing on the list was the wood. I had gone online beforehand and verified what size boards Home Depot sold but I didn’t think to check on what types of wood they sold in each size. We wanted to buy cheap wood with lots of character, but they only sold the 8×10 and 8×12 in cider which cost a lot more then we wanted to pay. After talking with the helpful Home Depot employee we were referred to the local lumber yard. We were going to buy some of the wood at Home Depot but was told that we should buy all of it from the same place because the appearance of the cuts can vary by location (yet another helpful tip).
With all the wood bought we had the fun task of sanding all of the boards. Alex took charge and powered through this step. A few of the boards were a little damp from the lumber yard (I blame this on the Seattle rain). We had to resand these boards when they dried out.
After the sanding was done we laid out the boards for the table skirt. I held the corner together, using a square, while Alex drilled two pilot holes in each joint. We then drilled a 1/8” counter hole with a depth of about 1/8”, just enough for the head of the screw is recessed into the wood.
Wood glue was then applied to overlapping part of each board.
The boards were then held together again while they were screwed together through the pilot holes using 2”screws.
We then used a pencil to mark out equal spacing on the long side of the skirt for the six cross beams. Pilot holes and counter bores were drilled while using a square on both ends. Wood glue was applied and 2”screws were drilled in completing the frame.
Next we then laid out the table top boards on the frame. Using a tape measure we centered the frame under the boards. Then we drilled a pilot and counter bored holes at the both ends going through the table and into the skirt. We then used 2“ screws to attach the frame to the table.
We then flipped the table over so the top was facing the floor. Using 1 1/4” screws we attached the center boards to the frame through the cross beams.
After all the boards were screwed in we realized that the ends were a little uneven so we added another 1×4 board to each end.
The table was then moved onto two sawhorses and a leg board was placed in each corner. We used clamps to hold the legs in place while drilling four pilot holes and counter bores through the skirt and into two sides of the leg, for a total of 8 screws per leg. We applied glue and drilled 2” screws in all the holes.
Wood filler was then put in all the counter bored holes. After the wood filler dried we sanded down those areas until they were smooth. We finished the construction of the table by sanding the table top to smooth out any spots we had missed before or created during the construction.
Section 2: Staining / finish
Cost of Materials:
Total cost of finishing: $87.00
Overall cost of table: $192
We started off by sampling a couple of different stain colors. We left them on for different lengths of time and put more than one coat on some. We even layered the different colors. In the end we decided that we liked the single coat of Walnut stain left on for 5 minutes.
We got all of our great instructions of how to stain our table from Daly’s in Seattle. The first step was to sand the table, not too smooth because the wood conditioner needs “pores” the sink into.
Using a sponge brush we applied Benite wood conditioner to all the surfaces of the table, top and bottom. We pooled the conditioner on. After the whole table was coated, we wiped off all the surfaces with a rag (very little came off). Wood conditioner helps harden the wood. We were told to use conditioner that requires a 24 hour dry time. The one we got for home depot wanted us to put the stain on within 1 hour of putting the conditioner on. The people a Daly’s said this will reduce the strength of the wood.
Next came the wood stain, we applied a thick coat of it on using a sponge brush. After five minutes we wiped it off using a rag. We let the wood stain dry for 24 hours before moving on.
The last and most time consuming step was to apply coats of Satinthane Polyurethane. This is what give the table a smooth texture and also protects the surface. We did this by applying a heavy coat of polyurethane on all the table surfaces (legs, skirt, & top) but not enough so the liquid pooled. We ended up applying two coats to the whole table and an extra coat on the top. In between each coat we sanded the surfaces using 3M Final Stripping Pads. Because of the cold weather we were told to wait 24 hours between coats (in warmer weather this can drop down to 12 hours).
Yay! The table is done! Ours got done during the snow storm in Seattle, so we had to wait for a break in the snow to carry it up from the garage and through the front door. We love the table! The only thing we might change is the overall height. After we put the pads on the legs to protect the hardwood floor it is about 1 inch too tall. This is an easy fix for the future.
More pictures of the table will be posted at some point.