I really am a great big chicken at heart! (Just in case the name of the blog didn’t give that away already.)
I have been scared to death to actually try to BUILD something on my own…but oh, how I’ve wanted to.
Moving to a new house with a lovely empty dining room seemed to be the perfect opportunity to overcome my fear.
I chose to make a modification of Ana White’s Farmhouse Table.
Yeah, that’s me….never really built anything before (unless you count the laundry tower, but I have to change things like I know what I’m doing!!)
(via Ana White)
It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?? But for my purposes, I knew I had to make some changes. For one thing, eight people have to sit around the table every day. Although I love the look of the stretchers between the legs, let’s be honest—they would be a major pain for anyone sitting at the ends.
I also love the look of Pottery Barn’s Solomon table, so I chose to make mine look more like that.
(via Pottery Barn)
I adjusted the measurements of my table so I would end up with one 78” long x 40” wide, and plenty of space between the legs for three chairs! I figured out all the cuts beforehand, and had a very nice man at Home Depot make them for me. Oh, and one “extra” I had him do was to make a clean cut off the end before he started making the necessary measurements. That way I knew I had all nice square cuts.
I came home and sanded…sanded…and sanded some more. I started with 60 grit, then 120 grit, and finally with 220.
When I got the table base assembled, I was almost as proud of it as I am of my children, and I sent pictures via text messaging to several friends and sisters!
What I don’t have a picture of is that I added two 2x2 cross braces to keep the table square. Alternatively, I think I could have added diagonal braces near each leg, but…I chose the other route!
Note: The apron boards are flush to the top of the table legs, but set back about 1/4”. I just used a piece of 1/4” scrap to offset them a bit.
Then there was the tabletop. As you can see, I used three 2x8’s and two 2x10’s to give me a top that is about 40” wide. The boards are all held together with pocket screws, about six per board. The “breadboard” ends are also 2x8’s.
I will mention here that I did a pretty darn good job of picking out boards that were not bowed, or bent, or warped, or just plain wonky!
I had to have a Home Depot employee help me sort out a good 4x4x10 piece (for the legs), and I’m sure he got sick of me rejecting board…after board…after board. The others I managed on my own, and I had quite a pile of rejects left over when I was done!
However, I did have to go get one more 2x8 when I started assembling the table, as I hadn’t caught it’s funky little c-curve!
There was more sanding of the tabletop, and then the fun part!
I love staining. It’s such instant gratification.
I put two coats of Minwax Weathered Oak on everything, and I really liked it. It’s got a gray tint to it, but it’s not overpowering like a true gray stain, or even like the color you get using the vinegar-and-steel wool method. However, in the end I decided I wanted a little more brown tone, so I mixed a little dark walnut stain in the last batch.
Rather than using pocket holes, I used metal L-brackets to attach the top to the base. I gave everything three coats of Minwax Hand-rubbed Polyurethane, followed by one coat of Minwax Dark Wax. I really dislike rustic furniture with a glossy finish, and this avoided that nicely!
And this is how it turned out…
I’m going to admit that while I was proud of it, I wasn’t IN LOVE with it right away. I think that may have more to do with the color than anything; against the dark floors, everything just seemed too…brown. I knew I wanted to do white or black (or another color?) chairs with it, though, so I figured I would like it better “all together.”
But just for an experiment, I thought…why not list it on Craigslist and see what happens???
Well, I did…and it sold!
Huh. Back to the drawing board, I guess!
And wouldn’t you know it…I bought the wood to make a bench for it just this morning ;-)
I think I have officially been bitten by the building bug!