Pottery Barn benchwright farmhouse dining table

Submitted by Nathan1342 on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 21:57

UPDATE: For everyone that was asking to see additional photos, I have uploaded them all to flickr. Here is the link: HERE Since doing this table I have built probably 15 more just like this one and developed a much better process then in the pictures above.  If you have any questions or want to chat about it further shoot me a comment or email at nathan1342@gmail.com.

I had originally seen this table on the Pottery Barn website. My wife and I really liked it but couldn't afford to pay the $1200 bucks after tax and shipping. it didn't look to difficult to build so I decided to give it a shot. The wood for the top of the table was almost 3in thick 4.5in wide and 51in long. It was wood from an old pallet that was used to transport a very large air handler. Very heavy dense wood. Since the lengths were only 51 inches I opted to put 2 horizontal pieces on either side to extend the total length to approx 70in. I was inspired by the plans for the benchwright table that I saw on this site but chose to deviate from the plans on here to make it as close to the real thing as possible. I also happen to have access to very thick pieces of hardwood. The only thing I had to buy at lowes were the legs. The legs are 4x4 Douglas fir posts. The top pieces were all glued and screwed together. The ends were also done this way but had a very large lag bolt that held them together to match the pottery barn table. This was originally very rough wood so anything to help get the warp out was used. The legs are set at a 10 degree angle and the table stand 30 in tall. The hardest part of this table was finding the turnbuckle and the threaded rods so it could officially be 99% like the pottery barn table. I also had no idea how hard it was to find left hand threaded anything. I ended up finding everything I need at McMaster.com and my local Fastenal store. To make the brackets that went on either side of the rods i simply bought a piece of 1/8 sheet metal at my local Home depot and cut it to size. They also sold hammered brown paint which gave the metal a worked old look. Once this was all constructed I used two heavy coats of wood conditioner to seal the wood. This was the key to getting the color I wanted. It tells you on the can not to let the wood conditioner dry on the wood but if it does, when you apply the stain you get a 100% consistent color. Worked wonders. It almost felt like I was cheating. I used a water based condition and stained it with rustoleums "dark walnut" stain. Finished it with 5 coats of minwax semi gloss. I only did 5 coats because I was brushing it on and had trouble getting the bubbles out of it. In the final picture it looks much shinier then it is in person. The last picture of when it was still in my garage is a better indication of the final finish. I have a boat load of additional picture, so if you have any questions or want to see more pictures of how it was constructed, shoot me a message. Thanks!

Estimated Cost
300
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Various
Finish Used
Minwax Semi-gloss
Rustoleum Dark Walnut Stain
Minwax water based wood conditioner
Recommended Skill Level
Intermediate

Comments

In reply to by CoreyOrvold

Nathan1342

Tue, 07/30/2013 - 17:18

Hi,

This was actually the easiest thing to find. I just went to my local lowes and picked some up. I can't remember the exact size but they are six inches long and the head is about the size of a half dollar coin. They had a point on them and where threaded for wood not a machined typed bolt but more of a giant wood screw. If you still can't find them let me know and I will look next time I'm at lowes and get u the exact time number.

Thanks!

carterryan

Tue, 07/30/2013 - 09:14

Love the table. Would like to see pics and or a description of the underside of the table. Primarily how are the legs and apron, if there is one, attached to each other. My e-mail is rwf1149@aol.com. Thanks!

Timmah09

Thu, 11/14/2013 - 14:09

Hey, great looking table. I too have become a huge fan of the Benchwright and will start attempting to make one in the next few weeks. I am trying to decide how to connect the legs to the table top. Perhaps you can give some insight on how you did it? I'd also like to check out additional photos: tsmith009@gmail.com

Thanks,

Tim

Nathan1342

Thu, 11/14/2013 - 14:13

Hey Tim,

Thanks! Attaching the legs is actually pretty easy. The pics should help you get a good feel for how I connected them. I'm sure there are many ways to do it but this has proved to be pretty solid. I've had the table in my dining room for a year now and its just as sturdy as the day I moved it in. If you have any other questions let me know!

dee708

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 08:02

Thanks for sharing your table with us! It is truly awesome. I'm planning to build this table and I'd love to see more photos. Please send me the link at dee708@mac.com. Thanks!

dluna33

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 17:08

I can't seem to see your flickr link. That or I'm just toatally cross eyed now from trying to find it lol. Can you shoot me the link. I'm about to start this table for a friend. Not really following plans like you did. Just getting ideas from various pictures and projects. dluna33@gmail.com

dluna33

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 17:08

I can't seem to see your flickr link. That or I'm just toatally cross eyed now from trying to find it lol. Can you shoot me the link. I'm about to start this table for a friend. Not really following plans like you did. Just getting ideas from various pictures and projects. dluna33@gmail.com

tiffanyalexis7

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 22:53

Hi! I love your table and have been looking at how to build it, either yours or Anna's... Im just wondering which plan you would use to build it? It seems Anna's has several issues from the comments, and am wondering if your plan is able to be followed directly or if I'll have to edit it by going through the comments? Thanks!
Tiffany

Nathan1342

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 10:28

Hi tiffany,

I didn't' really follow any plans, I just built it as I went. It really just depends on how you want it to look. If you send me your email address I can send you a ton of pictures of it as I built it.

Thanks!

benmonnig450

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 18:15

Could you message me the link for the Flickr images please? Looking to make a table like this for my wife. Was going to do the Tuscana table but decided that I liked the Benchwright look better.

Also, did you make these chairs yourself? If so, I'd love love love to get those plans from you. I saw chairs just like this at Pottery Barn today but thinking of making our own.

Thanks!

linwoods

Sun, 03/16/2014 - 17:03

Hi Nathan
Looks amazing! Any tips on making the top flat and smooth? Did you run the boards through a machine planer first to S4S? Or did you just hand plane it with lots of love? In the photos it looks like you used some 2x4s clamped to reduce warp as well?
Thanks
Daren

Nathan1342

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 05:53

Hey Daren,

Since this build I've built 7-8 of these exact tables and learned what not to do and perfected things. First don't buy wood from lowes or HD. The moisture content of construction grade lumber is between 15%-19%. I Months to years after you have it inside in a stable environment the wood will dry out and almost always cause cracking. This will be a huge issue when you have the top completely smooth. Movement of even 1/32th of an inch will show. The table on this post is 2 years old and just cracked. This wood was probably 15% mc when i used it. Its down to 7-8% now and has a large crack in the middle of it. It's fixable but you have to sand down the top, fix the issue, and restain and poly it. Buying wood from a lumber yard that is already kiln dried to 8% is the only way to go. And it's not really that much more money. All that being said, buy a hardwood that is surfaced on both sides and straight lined. You can clean up the other edge with a table saw or jointer. When your clamping the top use "clamping culls". If you're not familiar just google them and you can easily make some. Without the Culls you will almost certainly get cupping or bowing of the top. Since the legs bolt to the bottom of the top it is essential that the underside of the top is completely flat relative to all 4 sides otherwise even though you cut your legs at the same length they will be off as much as the top is off. Using culls give you a pretty flat top and then you can take a belt sander or hand sander and smooth in any of the humps and bumps. but the take away from all of this is buy dried wood and unless you have a planer, tablesaw and jointer to mill the wood buy good wood. Lowes wood will result in you wanting to blow your brains out and will crack if you do a smooth top like this.

Just comment on here if you have more questions or want further explanation.

Good Luck!

MissyMugs

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 16:33

Hi there, it looks like this post is a couple of years old and i can't seem to find the link to flikr if the pics are still there. Do you still have them posted? I am so impressed with your table, it is gorgeous, definitely better than the original!

Thanks for sharing :-)

Pricelss

Sat, 07/05/2014 - 06:00

Great table would like to see more pictures. I want to make one for a lake house I've been working on with a rustic theme. I have access to a some large pallets that I think I can plane but retain the rustic flair of the farmhouse look.

phaus

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 19:43

Awesome job! I'm trying to build my own but I'm a bit unsure how to build the structure to attach the legs. I'm also curious how all the hardware looks from different angles. Could you please email me the additional photos? My email is patrickj.haus@gmail.com. Also, what species of wood did you use?

jdricketts

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 09:58

My wife loves the pottery barn table. Now it's time for me to try this out. Can send the link for those additional pictures to me?

Appreciate it!

DOBLESB

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:00

What a great build. I was wondering if you are still providing photos of your table? In addition, were did you find the type of pallet you used?

Thanks for your help!

Prob should have given my email: stevebustillo at hotmail.com

jgravitas

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 21:18

I, too, am interested in seeing the Flickr stream (please send link to jgravitas AT gmail.com). But my question is actually about the mortise/tenon looking joint on the bottom beams. How did you do this--is it a "real" mortise/tenon, or a faux version? I'm trying to figure out how to do the inclined legs while also using a notch joint and the iron turnbuckle, etc. Any guidance appreciated.

Jeana Hayes

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 02:16

It looks amazing! How did you attach the thicker table? I'm a beginner so all help is appreciated.

kelbelle

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 19:00

Hi,

we have been table shopping and are repeatedly drawn to the benchwright style, so we think we want to try to make it. Came across your post while searching, and would love to see your additional pics to help, as we would probably want to change a bit from the original plans as well... You table came out gorgeous!  thanks so much!

kelitaksk@gmail.com

gigialex

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 20:22

Hi!  Great job on this table!  It is beautiful!  I want to build this.  I would love to see the additional pictures that you have.  Thank you so much!  g_aliotti@msn.com