Friday, September 28, 2012

Kitchen table

So I made a table.

We really needed a kitchen table, in addition to other things in there that will be coming later, and Spouse and I disagreed on they style. I wanted a formica '50s jobbie like I used to have years ago and he preferred a farmhouse style. The ones I like, however, are rather expensive. So I went with farmhouse and decided to make it myself.

I found the Ana White site, which has TONS of plans of every level. The Narrow Farmhouse Table was the style I was looking for, but not the size. Fortunately the plans are very clear and I was able to alter it to make the table the size I needed.

table legs and apron
I decided to go for a cheaper wood for the bottom of the table and paint it. My main concern was just that it be sturdy so I went for poplar. In retrosepct, I think I should have gone for something heavier as the table top is oak which is incredibly heavy. All the planks were purchsed in standard widths and cut to the right length at Home Depot. That saved me a lot of time and probably kept me from making a complete dog's breakfast of the project.

The legs are supposed to be tapered and since Home Depot doesn't do custom cuts, I did have some actuall cutting to do. Fortunately, I have a circular saw. Unfortunately, I'm afraid of it. Or rather I was afraid of it! Eight cuts later I think I finally got the hang of it! (If we discount the mistake in cutting the support planks)

Starting to look like a table!
After the bottom was put together wth glue, screws and nails (many thanks to Spouse for doing all the nails!)  it was time to get the oak plans on. They're mounted with glue and screws to the apron and with some more to a single support plank the middle underneath. All the countersunk screws were then covered with wood fill and it all left over night.

I should probably clarify the actual time on this. I started the table on a Sunday with buying and cutting the wood and getting the base together. Monday after work I cut the support and did some more sanding. Wednesday was getting the top on and Thursday was sanding and finishing.  The entire project wasn't that long but as I was doing it in small chuncks between getting home and having dinner it did take a while.


So last night was finish night! After some sanding, and I really should have sanded the legs more, but I think they'll be fine, I painted the bottom Mid-Century White. I wanted the top stained but really don't like working with traditional stain. I searched around online and found it is indeed possible to stain with tea! So the top is stained with a very strong tea reduction. It will be sealed soon with an oil and bee's wax mix, also home made.

Things I would do differently:
The next table I make will have more similar wood top and bottom, at least by weight.
I'd like to try pocket holes for the screws to really hide them and make it look professional.
In addition to making my own stain, I'd like to try making my own paint as well. I think a home made milk paint, which will develop a patina over time, would be very nice with the farmhouse style.

So, there's my table. The next kitchen project will be a kitchen island to be used in lieu of counter and cabinets in a vacent corner. This one will be Spouse's project but I know I'll at least be making the stain again, if not horning in a bit on the contruction.

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