Mac’s Farmhouse Style Kitchen Table

My wife has wanted a new kitchen/dining room table for some time, and I must admit, I did too. The one we had was a 48” round table and 4 chairs. It had a wrought iron look to the legs and chairs but the chairs wouldn’t go under the table far enough to be out of the way. Our kitchen is not very large so the round table was really in the way. We wanted something rectangular shaped and big enough to seat our growing family plus guests.

My wife has liked the farmhouse style after seeing one at a friend’s house. She found one online that just happened to come with plans. I had to tweak the plans a bit to suit our needs. The original plans called for stretchers under the table to better stabilize the legs, but if I had put those in, once again our chairs would not have been able to go under all the way. That was a major issue for us. So I took the stretchers out and to my delight the table is still very sturdy.

I originally wanted to use Knotty Pine but found it to be expensive and more than I wanted to spend. I settled on Cypress since it too has some pretty good knots and is relatively inexpensive. I made the top out of four 2×10 Cypress boards, the breadboards, apron and top supports are made from 2×4s. It is very difficult to find untreated 4×4s in my area so I had to call several places before I was able to find some. They turned out to be Yellow Pine but since I was going to stain it a dark color, I didn’t think it would make a difference.

As for the assembly…I decided to put the entire piece together using pocket screws. I did have to glue the extensions to get the 13.5” that I wanted. The extensions have two 2×2s screwed to the underneath to be able to slide the extension into the two 2×2 holes in the end aprons. I also glued the end aprons to the top supports in order to make sure the holes for the extensions lined up. Other than that, no glue anywhere else on the table. The finished size of the table is 68-5/8L x 36-5/8W x 30H. Length is 82-1/8 with the extensions.

We decided to finish the table in a contrasting color to our cabinets since matching may not be that easy. I used Minwax Polyshades Mission Oak. As this was my first build, I wanted easy finishing if at all possible. I used Minwax PreStain since the wood had never been stained before and then one coat of the Mission Oak, wiped on. I then covered that with 2 more coats of Minwax Polyurethane since I wasn’t sure if the stain/poly mix would protect enough.

All in all I am very pleased with how my first furniture build turned out considering the limited space, tools, and experience! I plan on making 2 benches with backs for the long sides to allow more seating per side.

Comments

  1. So let me get this straight, Knotty Pine is more expensive than Cypress in North Carolina?! What’s next, Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

  2. John July 19, 2013

    That’s a lovely table. A couple of questions about the table top – did you distress the top yourself or did those boards come with that appearance. Each of the boards appears distinct – are they edge joined and if so, did you bevel the boards before joining them?

    Thanks!

    John
    Cedar Park, Texas

  3. Nice effort Mac,
    I agree that lower stretchers should not be required given the dimensions of the legs and the aprons.
    I haven’t used pocket screws, but wonder about their long-term durability when subjected to lateral and/or racking stresses when moving the table around. Is there any mechanical interlocking such as mortises and tenons to help the cause?
    Looks great and should serve you well for many years.

  4. Looks great! To answer Tom’s question, this looks to be a modified version of the “farmhouse table” from Ana White’s site, (am I right, Mac?). If so, then it doesn’t have mortise and tenon joinery. I adore her site, lots of great ideas for useful items! But, you won’t see any “true” joinery techniques used in her plans. That original plan called for a variation of a lap joint used for the stretches that were left off in Mac’s build (good call, Mac! I thought that looked like an “ankle banger” of a design). Maybe someone knows what the joint is called and can educate me? It looks like a lap joint, but only one board has a shoulder and cheek cut into it. In other words it is a giant dado cut into the 4×4 legs that is deep enough for a 2×4 to sit flush inside. Does that have a name?

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