Simple, Elegant Farmhouse Dining Table for a Friend

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Project by maku posted 11-06-2012 02:26 PM 5521 views 7 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A new colleague recently moved and asked me if I knew of any places to get inexpensive furniture. I named a few places, but suggested just making the kitchen table, that way she could get exactly what she wanted and still inexpensive. She and her husband didn’t know much about wood working…which was great, cause neither do I. :)

I walked them through the process of picking out the lumber – construction pine from the local orange big box store. Then we put this together. She wanted a farmhouse table, with some rustic looks to it, but also clean and elegant. It’s 72” x 42”. The stain is Minwax red mahogany and the finish is homemade wipe-on satin poly. It took about 4 hours to build and a few days to apply stain and several coats of poly. Total cost was $110 with taxes.

The legs are 4×4 douglas fir from the big box store…tapered on 2 sides. The apron is made of 2×4’s. There are (3) 2×4 table top supports under the tabletop as well. The frame is constructed with pocket hole screws and angle supports in each corner. The table top is 2×10’s. She didn’t want them planed flat, she wanted the small grooves for the farmhouse table look. The tabletop is constructed with biscuits for alignment, glued, and pocket hole screws for additional strength. The tabletop is attached with “z” clips in biscuit slots to allow for tabletop expansions.

This was a lot of fun. I’ve never made a table, but figured I could do it. The problems I ran into were: 1) When I made a tapering jig, my table saw couldn’t cut all the way through the 4×4 lumber. So, I ran it through anyways. I used the “grooves/cuts” the table saw made as a guide and ran my band saw in those grooves to finish the cut. It wasn’t super clean, so I cleaned those band saw cuts up on my jointer. 2) The table top cupped a little (appx 1/2”) with the extreme temperature changes in my garage…it got cold! I placed the top out in the sun for a few hours to flatten the table out before I attached it to the base. All in all, this project actually went as planned. I didn’t use any drawings or plans, just mix and match pictures my friend found on the internet of what she liked. Posted some clearer pics, including the underside construction.

Any comments, ideas, or criticism is always appreciated. My goal is to make each project I do the best of my ability at that time and to learn and grow from each one. -Maku

15 comments so far

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 2636 days

#1 posted 11-06-2012 04:27 PM

You sure aren’t going to get any criticism from me. That’s a really nice looking table. Any chance of getting pictures of the underside?

View maku's profile


23 posts in 2197 days

#2 posted 11-06-2012 04:53 PM

Yes…I’ll see if I can stop by this evening and take clearer pictures and re-upload them.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2321 days

#3 posted 11-06-2012 09:04 PM

Pure class and sophistication :) Excellent!

View bampy's profile


75 posts in 2520 days

#4 posted 11-07-2012 12:32 AM

beautiful table, simple but got the job done, i hope the couple enjoyed the project to. it seems more people are useing the pocket hole system, would love to see some more pics of the uderside if you could, i have to build one soon, and it just might be with the pocket system. again Very Nice

View maku's profile


23 posts in 2197 days

#5 posted 11-07-2012 12:50 AM

Thanks for all the compliments. I posted some clearer pics, including some of the underside construction. Pocket holes are super easy and strong. There are lots of threads out there comparing the strength of that joint vs. others. My thought is, if you can’t see it, use it.

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2833 days

#6 posted 11-07-2012 03:13 PM

Great job! I wish I had space for a table like that.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2526 days

#7 posted 11-08-2012 04:59 AM

I really like farmhouse tables and you did a great job. I see there is no stain on the bottom, did you put a finish on the bottom? If not, that will lead to cupping (don’t ask how I know).

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


7196 posts in 3513 days

#8 posted 11-08-2012 05:17 AM

Make one for me too! I really like it!

Rick is correct about finishing the other side, bare wood needs balance.

Veneered woods are always veered on both sides, even the non visible side for the same reason.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3723 days

#9 posted 11-08-2012 06:38 AM

Looks good, a creative and inexpensive way to put a table together.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3213 days

#10 posted 11-08-2012 03:14 PM

Nice work, looks great!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2171 days

#11 posted 11-08-2012 08:17 PM

very nice, I think my wife will want me to get busy on one. I too would be interested in the underside.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View maku's profile


23 posts in 2197 days

#12 posted 11-09-2012 12:11 AM

I did not stain or seal the underside. my commercial store bought table I’ve had for 6 years in my kitchen isn’t sealed or stained on the underside though. I can still do it though. I’m planning on checking the table out in a couple weeks to see how the wood settles in their house. I can take the top off and put some clear coat sealant on the underside.

View patron's profile


13630 posts in 3487 days

#13 posted 11-09-2012 12:35 AM

a very nice look and build
lady must be happy

under sealer is good
do the same as the top

where i first wondered about woodworking
as a small kid
all i got to see
was the unfinished side of the table
and always wondered why they didn’t make it pretty for me too

now i do all sides and hidden parts
for expansion and contraction

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View john_az's profile


105 posts in 2516 days

#14 posted 11-17-2012 05:23 AM

that table will last a while. I like these furniture projects using construction lumber

-- John, Phoenix-AZ

View joseph000's profile


346 posts in 2173 days

#15 posted 07-26-2013 10:24 AM

It is a beautiful and well made table.A dining table should be at a comfortable height with chairs which fit easily underneath and they should be convenient to use, reliable and sturdy and also good looking.Good dining tables will give you many years of use and is therefore an investment piece of furniture.

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