18 June 2012

Rustic Farm Table

There are some fundamental realities in having health related diets... you can't afford an "oops" or just let one meal slide and do the fast food thing... because your in a rush.  The reality is, you eat most of your meals at home.  We eat most of our meals at home.  We have two small children and we don't watch much TV as it is... so all of our meals are at our dining room table.

We were given a wonderful table right before we got married... 5 years ago... it was a hand-me-down from some family friends and we cherished it.  The table was always slim and had rounded ends so it was hard to put more than two chairs on a side.  A few years ago, our toddler at that time smashed a napkin holder into the table and caused a small crack.  The crack spread and is now threatening the viability of the table.  The table has gotten wobblier (it's a real word) over time.  We have needed a new one for a little while now.  I asked Hannah to find what she liked and we would see what we could do.  

She liked the rustic farm tables, but there was no way we could afford the size and type she wanted... so I pondered... surfed the web... visited Amish furniture craftsman (no joke) and came up with a plan.  I also have the plans in a pdf -->> Rustic Farm Table Plans.  If you use the plans and the table falls apart on you... I take no responsibility, I tweak things as I go and make changes here and there.  Make cuts that are convenient for you.  I made this more durable than it probably needs to be... but I have two small children.  You can make it bigger, smaller, etc... use common sense.  Don't cut your fingers off... that is bad.

Trip to the Hardware Store:

For wood, I used whiteboard (read pine) for everything.  The 4x4s are pressure treated because that is all I could find when I went shopping, but this would also look swanky with 3x3 boards for legs

2-  1x12x6 (for the top)
2-  1x10x6 (for the top)
3-  2x4x8  (for the skirt)
2-  4x4x8  (for the legs... your going to cut them in half)
5-  1x3x4  (for the braces)

1 small box of 1-1/4 inch wood screws
1 small box of 2-1/2 inch wood screws
8- 6" carriage bolts with a washer and nut
12 - 1" x 1/2" brackets

paint, stain, and polyurethane for the way you want it (more on that in a bit)


I started building the top.  Lay the 10" boards next to each other to form the center of the table, and the 12" boards on the outside.  This makes a nice 41" wide table. I cut the braces a little longer than the diagram shows, because I did not want a lot of lip sticking out, but I did want it to be extra sturdy. 

I would go a little longer than the 2 feet 5 inches... but when I drew it up I wasn't sure how much I would need. Try to put two screws in each. Use the 1-1/4 inch screws so that they don't poke through the other side. Use glue, don't use glue, it is up to you. I would at least put glue under the braces. if you have a router table, or a dado blade on your table saw... feel free to join them together with... joints.

Next, build the skirt. Cut the 2x4 so that they are long enough and wide enough to form a box bigger than your braces, but smaller than your table ... doh... thank-you captain obvious.

I used 45 degree cuts so that they boxed in nicely... you don't have to.  I feel like it is sturdier becuase of it, and I prefer the look... but that is me.  Use the 2-1/2" screws for this.  I put three per corner ... two on one side, one on the other.

Cut the 4x4s in half to make them more manageable ... or just cut them the length you need, depending on your setup.  I made sure I had one "factory" end to go on the floor because it makes me feel better.  The table needs to be about 29-1/2" tall, your table top surface is about 3/4" thick, so cut the legs to fit.  I made mine a hair taller so that the highchair can slide under the skirt, but short enough so that the toddler can still reach the table.  Mine is probably 29-3/4" tall.

Also, save yourself some trouble, and don't make the top of the legs flush with the top edge of the skirt, give yourself some room when you cut and attach because you don't want the legs pushing up the table top...  you want the top resting on the skirt.

At this point, make sure everything fits.  If you are ready to attach, use 1" x 1/2" brackets to attach the underside of the skirt to the underside of the table.  4 on each side, 2 on each end.

You have color choices.  I like the cherry on white.  


Wood top with black trim, or all stained are good options too.  I like cherry on white.

I kept the top and the base separate while I painted and stained. Hannah (my wife) did help paint the base... and she did a great job. The girls watched me stain.

 The completed project.

And it fit inside:

1 comment:

  1. Nice table... The "cherry on white" is a nice OU combination (go Sooners!)... oops hope that doesn't make me be bleeped off your blog! Guess the summer time is a good time for you to build tables. I've often admired the rustic farm table look too, so maybe this is a project for my husband - especially since i also like the tiled farm table look, and have a small stash of blue tiles that I've long wanted to put on a table.