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Project Information

This was my first attempt at a table, and it included many firsts (mortice & tennon, ripping boards, etc.). I learned sooo much from it, and it took a pretty good while. It all started with my wife wanting a farm table. I talked her into letting me give it a try. Soon, it became a special project, something that would be able to let "the Girl's" (6 & 8 yrs old) fight over one day. It was special, because it was my first, and I was able to reclaim the lumber myself. It had to be old wood, where could I get it?
After she gave me the go, some friends (completely unaware) casually said they were getting ready to demolish & burn a house that was over 100 yrs old. Whoa!! They said I could get in there and get all I wanted, less for them to deal with. It was tough, but with a chain saw, wrecking bar, and a sledge hammer, I was able to get just enough for one table (all heart pine). Took it all home and started prepping it. I got to buy a hand plane & used it to get the edges for the top boards. It was fun making those curls!
After mulling over how to attach the top, and getting some great input from other jocks, I got the top on using the cut nails I pulled from the lumber on top and using screws on the ends from underneath. The table is 90" long and 38" wide. Legs are 4×4 tapered on two sides down to 3×3. The rails and three runners are 2×4, and the top is made from 1X6's. I drilled and pinned the M&T's with dowels. I attached three runners across the middle by countersinking screws from the side aprons and filling the holes with dowels.
I am proud of the build, but very disappointed in the finish. It turned out much darker than I wanted, and even looked more dark when I got it inside with different lighting. It has two coats of clear finish (laquer). My wife says she loves it, maybe she does. The pictures didn't do me any favors either (something else I'll have to improve on). Overall, it was a great experience and I hope to improve from here on. I welcome your thoughts. Thanks!

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Comments

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206 Posts
Oooo, you may be a little dissapointed, but i think the table is absolutely beautiful! The dark colour is proof of the age and patina of the wood. I wouldn't have been able to contain myself with an opportunity to loot an old building like that. You can never have enough of that aged wood. To some that wood is more valuable than any exotic that you can buy in a store.
 

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If you wanted this table to look like an antique, I don't think you could have done a better job. I agree with BeachedBones that the finish is fine.
 

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Pine can be a booger to color evenly. As a rustic table / farm table I think it is appropriate to have a little bit of variation in the color. For lack of a better work, I think that makes it look "authentic".

You started it and you finished it! Along the way you learned something. Job well done!
 

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Yes, later in life, your daughters will be fighting each other for it. Wish I could get my hands on recycled wood like that… for me, that would be preferable than using new wood.

The finish seems perfect for the style… take pride in it as is.
 

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Good use of old used wood. I think a lot of people would love to have a table like that.
 

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The color is perfect for an old table. Just the way old shellac would age. Great job.
 

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You did a great job on the table. In no way would I be disappointed. Farm tables are supposed to look rustic and old. Job well done.
 

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I am disappointed also, (disappointed that it is not in my own kitchen) . Great work.
 

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A great table. be proud or your work and listen to your wife. She loves it. If she didn't she'll tell ya.
 

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I think the colour honours the history of the wood…
the table is WONDERFUL and I love it, too.
You had better start building something equally as beautiful so the girls don't have to fight - and they will both want this!!
Well done.
 

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So. If you haven't got it by now …. Good job.

The color's fine. It may not be what you were originally shooting for, but it's a pretty color on its own.

Lines are great and the finish, I think, does the piece justice.

I'm starting to get a hanker to start learning some M&T techniques. Thanks for the inspiration.
 

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man great looking table….good job
 

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That table is perfect. The design, the lines, the wood, and the finish. You should be proud of it. I'd like to make something similar. Perhaps I could contact you to find out what you learned from it before I attempt it.
 

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Wow! You are all confidence builders. Thank you for the kind reviews. I think I will stop complaining, and start enjoying.
My next endeavor will be to reclaim more of that wood before it goes up in smoke, so that I can take your advice Ms Debbie.
Davey, I'll be more than happy to share my experience with this build.
Thanks again to you all. I feel better about it now.
 

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Wow - I wish my first project was still in one piece let alone as something as beautiful as this table. May I suggest that under the top (if you have not already, either in sharpee of wood burner) sign your name, date, and where you got the wood and indicate that it was your first.

Your first (or second) born will treasure it forever and someday when she is moving or waxing the floors and the table gets turned over and she sees her daddy's signature. Well, you know. . . . . .
 

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A beautiful piece of furniture.
 

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I agree with the others. I made a farm table using old floorboards from my 1735 house. It was a challenge to not make it "too perfect" because the table would not fit in. If the table was bright blonde pine you would lose all the charm. Let me also say that every ding, bump, scratch are welcome because it make the table that much more worn. This is the only piece of woodworking I can look at and not see the imperfections…because all the imperfections are supposed to be there.

Nice job and if nothing else think of the money you save by making the table and not paying for a class to learn everything you did :)

Lastly you have a story to tell. Everyone I have over to eat dinner we tell the story about reclaiming the lumber and the making of the table.

Tim
 

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We are our own worst critics. We remember every flaw…and can see it stand out to the detriment of every nice piece that we did. That said…I don't see anything there to complain about….to me it looks very good for a first or later attempt. Using reclaimed wood is a very difficult option….especially if you don't have a bevy of tools to surface, straighten and edge the wood. Concentrate on the plus, leave the negative as part of the learning process…finish is a tough part of the project….after many years I still feel like an amateur when it comes to selecting…and applying the proper products….sometimes I feel like it is just luck…
 
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