White Oak Farmhouse Table

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/04/2017 - 15:27

I built this using the Farmhouse Table plans, and we're thrilled with the results. My modifications included making the table longer and narrower to fit our dining room, and building it from some fantastic white oak from a local lumberyard called Boards & Beams in Fairfield, NJ. I used 5/4" thick boards of varying widths for the top, and created deeper overhangs at the ends by making the breadboard ends 10" deep. Unlike a more rustic version using pine, the lumber was extremely expensive, and the oak makes an already heavy table even heavier. Still, it is orders of magnitude less expensive than purchasing a custom table like this, and I only needed to "ship it" from my garage. 

My idea was to match, as closely as my skills would allow, the antique buffet in the photo next to the table. Or at least to build something that would look good next to the buffet. My prior woodworking experience is limited to DIY carpentry and building plywood shelves and radiator covers. I am not a "mortise and tenon" woodworker (although I'd like to learn). The plans are excellent because this was the first "real" furniture I've ever attempted, and it is literally as solid as if it were carved from a single piece of wood. I rented a 12" compound miter saw from Home Depot to make most of the cuts in one day, which worked out extremely well. The visible screw holes I plugged with oak dowls. 

If you decide to build this (or anything) from a hardwood, here are a couple mistakes I made early on that you don't want to repeat. First, EVERY screw into every piece needs a pilot hole. If you have even the slightest thought that your screw is about to strip or break, it is. Second, higher-quality wood is often cut larger than what you find in a big box store. A 2 x 4, which might be 1.5 x 3.5 from Home Depot, can be 1.75 x 3.75. This really matters a lot, and so you have to measure your actual wood and re-calculate every measurement accordingly. The upsides, for me, included fewer warped pieces, less splintering, and greater ease of sanding and finishing.

Thank you very much for posting these plans and for your excellent "how-to" on cutting out the notches. 



Estimated Cost
$900 worth of wood and screws, $50 for saw rental, $15 worth of stain and poly.
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
White oak
Finish Used
Varithane "Provincial" stain, applied with a rag, followed by three coats of Minwax Wipe-on Polyurethane applied with a rag. I used less than 1 pint of stain for the whole table. The Wipe-on is less glossy than a brush-on. It really wants to go on in VERY thin coats. I may have done 4 coats on the top. In between coats, I sanded with wet-dry grits of 800-1000. The result is a very even finish (but not as even as a professionally applied finish) that you can still feel the grain through, and there are no brush strokes to deal with.
Recommended Skill Level

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