Intro: Another Farmhouse Table (and Benches)
So, I've followed this website for a while, made a few things from here and have a number of things I'd like to submit, but here's my first. I hope it goes well.
I like to reuse as many things as I possibly can, for as many different things as I can, and that includes things from my own house. This project started with our old dining room table set. We bought it when we first met and it served as our dining room table until we had two kids and they turned it into a jungle gym, and rendered it nearly unusable. Literally, corners so wobbly we thought the whole table could go down at any moment, taking one of our kids with it. It had to be done.....it had to be taken apart!
Unfortunately, I didn't get to take pictures of this thing before it got torn down, but I've provided a few pix of it in various states of disrepair, and all I can say is, there was enough food, syrup, Kool-Aid and God knows what other sticky stuff to host an invasion of the ants in may garage. It was time for a new dining room table!
Step 1: Step 1: Old Table Replacement
Step one was to replace the busted old table we had. It was from Value City Furniture, so dismantling was fairly simple and allowed for reuse of their parts. You can see the chair and benches from the table, but I don't have an actual picture of the the table.
The table pictured here is one I found in a friend's backyard and turned it into our temporary dining table. It was a metal frame that I sanded down and used re-purposed wood to fill in as a temporary fix (that's a different instructible) until my wife got the table she wanted.
Step 2: New Table....the Beginnings
Everything on this table, except for the pocket screws, are re-purposed. This is the lumber I started with. I'm 42 years old, and I "helped" my dad and his friend unload this into our barn when I was 10 years old (My dad reminds of just how much "help" I was!). These boards are floor joists from a school house that was torn down app. 20-30 minutes from our farm. They are generally 22-24' long and anywhere from 1 1/2' to 3" thick. General estimation on age is somewhere between 100-150 years old.
Step 3: Reuse the Old Table
This is the best shot of the old table, because that's basically half of the table, minus the legs (they'll be incorporated here in a minute), the leaf, and the other half. A little sanding, some cuts and some chains, and that's a new desk for my daughter. Like I said, I like to re-purpose everything!
Step 4: First Steps: the Frame
The first thing I did was dismantle the table that we had. I needed the legs (insert ZZ-Top riff here). Everything else was going to be made from the ancient schoolhouse wood. In the first picture, the legs look well aged b/c they were partially sanded from the original white. Then I got bored with sanding them, so I spray painted them a flat green that I had in the garage, which obviously looked awful. But!! I thought it would allow me to cover them with white that I could distress. I could skip steps!! Not so much! Any surface that had the original paint had to be sanded, so I sanded (this will become a theme).
Step 5: The Frame
What I ended up doing, was taking some of the biggest boards from my pile (Dad stills says I can only have "so many" boards) and cutting them to make the aprons of the table. The "original table" (the metal framed one) was 40" x 60". My dear wife requested (after I sanded that metal table for app. 6 million hours) that I make her one that is longer and narrower.....and have no metal! So, the plan ended up with a table that is app 34" x 78" with two benches, farmhouse style, that fit underneath.
I used one of the bigger pieces for the aprons. I used the table saw to cut them down to 2 1/4" wide by 3 1/2" deep. These aprons are massive and all custom cut for this table.
Step 6: The Frame: Put It Together
This step....pocket screw the heck out of it!!! I am a firm believer that the more screws you put in it, the better it is. The first picture shows the corner screws that came from the factory. I felt like I could make it more secure doing pocket screws on my own. In the first pic, you can see that there are two at either end of the apron, tying into the legs. There is also one underneath, adding more stability to the table.
BUT!! I wanted to make it a table my kids.....and their kids.....could use. So I added more stability. Aside from pocket screwing the heck out of this table, I added two cross members, just in case someone wanted to get up there and dance.
Step 7: Planing
I have no pictures of the planing. It's boring. I have the smaller DeWalt planer (12.5"??) and if you keep the blades sharp, it does a heck of a job! BUT! Once they go dull.....you might as well sand them with the palm of your hand. I planed 4, 1.5"-1.75", 7.5" boards, all down to the same thickness. I used a hand planer and a belt sander for part of this job. That was a task.
Step 8: Adding a Table Top
At this point, I decided I needed to put all of the table top pieces on before I could sand them down to the same level. I used clamps to get three pieces together while they got pocket screwed to the frame, but the fourth required ratchet straps.
I decided that since I had my neighbor's sander, I should work smarter, not harder.....two sanders is better than one!
When I finished, I simply strapped a straight edge along the ends of the table and made both ends equal lengths from the legs.
Step 9: Finishing
Once everything was put together, I moved it into our extremely overcrowded garage/workshop. I decided to go with a light stain (two coats) and a semi-gloss polyurethane. After each coat of poly, I lightly sanded it with 400 grit sandpaper before applying another coat. Three coats later, I got the look I was going for.
Step 10: Benches
Here is the final product, with benches. The steps involved for making the benches were basically identical to making the table, just on a smaller scale.