Farmhouse inspired table

Submitted by adidas30 on Mon, 07/25/2011 - 09:12

My first furniture project was Ana's Tryde Coffee Table. All along though, the goal was to learn enough to be able to make a dining room table. I love the coffee table, and I love Ana's Farmhouse table plans, but I was worried about getting food and stuff stuck in between the table top boards.

So I decided to embark on the adventure of learning how to make a solid table top that I could rest on top of Ana's base design. The result is below, and although it took about 6 months of learning, practicing, and prototyping, I am finally done!

Because I made a solid top, I was able to skip the support beams on the base, which hopefully reduced the weight a little bit.

I don't have a blog, but I added some additional comments in my Picasa Album.

Estimated Cost
$600 total -- The 2 inch thick ash was expensive -- and still half the price oak!
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Ash for the top, Pine for the base
Finish Used
For the stain, I used General Finishes Medium Brown. It is similar to Minwax Special Walnut, which I used on my pine coffee table, but it looked a lot better than the Minwax on the Ash. For the finish, I used Minwax Polyurathane, thinned 50% with mineral spirits (Paint thinner), and wiped it on with old t-shirts. No brushing required (which means no brush strokes), but as it is thinner you need more coats. I have about 3 coats on the bottom of the table, 4 coats on the legs and base, and about 7 coats on the table top. After much research online, it seems that the general wisdom is that if you want a satin finish, you should use the gloss for all coats except for the last 1 or 2 coats, and that is what I did. 2 satin coats on top, and 1 satin coat on the base. The reason is that the satin has "flatteners" in it, and that if you do all coats with satin, it could get a little cloudy. Hope that quick summary helps.

I bought Minwax paste finishing wax, that I plan to run on the top within the next week. I was told that helps protect the polyurathane, and gives it a nice rubbed look. I tried it on a test piece and although it looks good, I didn't think it made a huge difference in looks.
Recommended Skill Level


Crystal_thenewgirl (not verified)

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 11:52

You said you prototyped and practiced, but what did you actually do to make it a solid top????


Thu, 12/22/2011 - 13:53

He did was is known as a panel glue-up. They aren't terribly difficult once you've done one. The first one is exciting though. My technique is a bit simpler than what he used, but everyone needs to adapt a method suited to their available tools and knowledge.

If you want to try something like this, check local sawmills and timber suppliers first. adidas30, around here (Ann Arbor, MI), I can lay hands on a single slab of oak or walnut big enough for that table for half to a third that price. The bigger challenge is finding a friend with a big enough truck who is also strong enough to help me shift that beast. Still, what you paid is way less than what you'd pay to buy a table like that.


Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:46

Crystal: Take a look at the blog link in my post. It links to a picasa photo album that shows a few of the steps along the way. Clay is exactly right. Now that I have done one, the next will not be so bad. It took a long time to learn how to do it right the first time, but it was really fun and extremely satisfying.

Clay -- I'm jealous. I felt silly spending so much on the Ash, but it was half the price of the oak. I think the ash was around 4 dollars per board foot, and the white oak was 7.80 per board foot. Good lumber yards are hard to find in DC. I had to venture over to MD.

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