Old barn wood harvest table

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Project by Kdptex posted 11-19-2013 04:31 PM 12666 views 5 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Wood taken from a 40 to 50 year old 24 stall horse barn in middle Tennessee. Table top is maple and white oak (white oak is center board), which were the hay loft floor boards, side skirts and braces are red oak, hosre stall braces, and the legs are white oak, taken from the ceiling rafters of the barn. Top is biscuit jointed and sanded as to leave the character of the original mill work of the wood (note section of bark still on wood). Table ends are breadboarded with Maple. Side skirts and braces are pocket screwed and lag bolts hold the legs to the skirts with white oak cross braces. Demisions of the table are 8’ X 3’. Plans were obtained commercially but modified to fit my needs. 6 Coats of clear satin poly for protection and Watco oil for the legs.

-- Time for sawdust therapy!

19 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5032 days

#1 posted 11-19-2013 04:50 PM

Very cool table ,lots of rustic charm.
I would be concered about wood movement by pocket screwing the top down though.


View Kdptex's profile


13 posts in 3484 days

#2 posted 11-19-2013 04:58 PM

Jim, thanks for the comment, what do you suggest to deal with the wood movement?

-- Time for sawdust therapy!

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5032 days

#3 posted 11-19-2013 05:02 PM

View Kdptex's profile


13 posts in 3484 days

#4 posted 11-19-2013 05:09 PM

Jim, seems I read somewhere that if I was to overdrill the holes in the pocket this would allow for the movement. Are you aware of this?

-- Time for sawdust therapy!

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5032 days

#5 posted 11-19-2013 05:12 PM

The thread I posted covers a number of ways to connect a table top,I suppose you could enlarge the holes in the pocket screws but it might be hard to make them uniform plus it could affect the holding power of the pocket screws. It’s a great looking table I’m sure you can do an adjustment as to how the top is connected and it will last for many years to come.


View Kdptex's profile


13 posts in 3484 days

#6 posted 11-19-2013 05:17 PM

Jim, thank you. Still learning! :-)

-- Time for sawdust therapy!

View wanderingwest's profile


17 posts in 3125 days

#7 posted 11-19-2013 11:51 PM

I like that you used a tongue and groove joint at the end rather than a butt joint with biscuits. I noticed a couple of tables in local stores that used biscuits and an end had busted right off on each table. In both cases it appeared to be glued correctly but was built with reclaimed softwood(probably from a barn or other structure). I imagine your joint has got to be quite a bit stronger.

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5032 days

#8 posted 11-20-2013 12:01 AM

We are all still learning Kd


View Briguy's profile


21 posts in 4351 days

#9 posted 11-20-2013 12:53 AM

I love this. Great looking table and I have been wondering for a long time about methods to attach table tops.

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4488 days

#10 posted 11-20-2013 12:54 AM

Very Nice Work! Thanks For Sharing.


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Don W's profile

Don W

20382 posts in 4023 days

#11 posted 11-20-2013 12:57 AM

It looks great. Let the top move and you are in good shape.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Mike's profile


139 posts in 3496 days

#12 posted 11-20-2013 02:55 AM

Awesome table! The character of that old wood just speaks volumes! Well done.

-- A person of integrity never speaks of it...he walks in it...

View Mike in Wisconsin's profile

Mike in Wisconsin

10 posts in 3366 days

#13 posted 11-20-2013 04:29 AM

My current favorite technique for letting a big tabletop move with the seasons is to make a cleat with slotted holes in it. Screw & glue that to the crosspieces, then drive screws up through the slots and into the tabletop. You might need a washer or two to give the screw enough surface to bear on. The figure 8 fasteners from Rockler are also good, and very easy.

Another important point is that seasonal movement is almost entirely across the grain, not with it. So whatever moving fastener you choose, you should only be putting them on the skirts & braces that go across the grain of the wood.

View hoss12992's profile


4181 posts in 3348 days

#14 posted 11-20-2013 05:39 AM

Absolutely love this table. Thanks for sharing the history of the wood used in it. Very interesting

As a side bar here, the humidity in TN (I live in East TN) really ramps up in the summer, there will be a fair amount of movement, but I find the real problem with wood movement is in winter, according to how you heat your house and how tight your house is. A wood stove will cause alot of movement in the winter, but I have had trouble with pieces that are in REALLY tight houses that heat with gas. To the point that I wont sell to them because they are SO dry and cause alot of problems with the wood. They typically end up with less than 20% humidity.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View CincyRW's profile


165 posts in 3106 days

#15 posted 11-20-2013 12:37 PM

This is really nice! My wife wants me to build her a harvest table, but I want to make mistakes on a few smaller projects, first. I like the way you finished it – just enough to enhance the character of the wood. The leg attachments seem simple but effective. I may very well use bits and pieces of your design when I finally build mine. This is a great looking piece! Well done.

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