The Start of a barn wood shadow box table

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Blog entry by Cory posted 07-13-2010 05:42 PM 5123 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Over the 4th of July long weekend we had our family over to our house to spend the weekend playing games and building tables. To make a long story short, my wife’s family had a barn on their childhood property. The barn blew over when hurricane Ike came through and they wanted to do something with the barn wood to remind them of the great times on the property.

I came up with a design for a shadowbox type sofa/entry table. All the siblings bought into the design and agreed to build four tables together over the 4th weekend (one for each sibling). Here’s the barn wood we grabbed from their family farm:

My brothers-in-law don’t have a lot of building experience, but all are proficient with tools. I milled up some of the boards ahead of time to save time, but we all did a lot of work to make as much progress as possible in a few short days. I won’t bore you with the steps of cutting to length the poplar boards, but here are three of the table frames assembled with pocket hole screws.

The legs are 2×2 poplar that I bought at Lowe’s. I tapered 2 sides using a simple jig I made. The top of the table will be a frame with a routed lip to hold a 1/4” piece of glass. Again, i won’t bore you with pictures of that process, but here is my BIL Ritchie sanding one of the top frames:

The wives “supervising” our hard work:

Here’s my BIL Brent filling some imperfections in the legs:

Here I am showing Ritchie, Daniel, and Brent how to square up the routed lip for the glass that will cover the barn wood:

More to come soon! Thanks for looking.


-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

8 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3009 days

#1 posted 07-13-2010 05:46 PM

This looks like a great family project :)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3671 days

#2 posted 07-13-2010 05:46 PM

very cool. those boards cleaned up real well. how thick were they to begin with?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View swirt's profile


2773 posts in 2995 days

#3 posted 07-13-2010 05:47 PM

Sounds like a great project(s). Looking forward to seeing the results.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3442 days

#4 posted 07-13-2010 05:53 PM

Purp: The lumber for the tables themselves was just store bought poplar. We chose poplar because everyone is going to paint their tables. The barn wood that will be in the shadow box looks like white oak to me. It’s pretty warped, twisted, and weathered so we couldn’t use it for the actual table. I milled up a few pieces just to see what it would look like and it’s pretty cool, though. By the time you get it flat and straight, you’re left with about 1/2” thick boards. I might use it to make a box or some picture frames.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Gary's profile


9333 posts in 3456 days

#5 posted 07-13-2010 06:58 PM

The project looks great. The family thing makes it really special. BTW….do you have a maid taking care of your shop?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3442 days

#6 posted 07-13-2010 08:07 PM

Gary: Yes, I do. He’s the mope wearing the orange shirt!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3144 days

#7 posted 07-13-2010 08:48 PM

Will be looking forward for the completed project.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3765 days

#8 posted 07-14-2010 01:27 PM

Great project…thinking to my self…”Why is it all my BIL’s want to do is drink my beer when it is daylight and rum at night?”

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

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