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Forum topic by GreenAsCanB posted 05-27-2015 09:47 PM 1773 views 1 time favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GreenAsCanB

6 posts in 556 days


05-27-2015 09:47 PM

Hey guys. I’m really new to woodworking (as in, haven’t done anything yet!) but I’m wanting to build a table very similar to this 19th century French Farm table for my family of 8. It looks incredibly simple but I don’t even know where to begin. Could yall help me decide on a basic plan of attack for this?

I’ve done some research into different joinery techniques but I think I’m just getting lost in the mountain of information now.

Thanks so much!

-- Just a newbie looking for help :-)


29 replies so far

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4167 posts in 3203 days


#1 posted 05-27-2015 10:06 PM

The challenge with a project like that with “big Honkin timbers” is you need Big Honkin tools to cut it up, and ginormous muscles to move it/flip it over etc.

The joinery is all simple enough but it looks like you will need at least a 12 inch bladed table saw to have that 4 inch thick slab be cut.
Alternative is that you can make it “only” 3 inches thick, which is more common slab sizes available…and you would have to cut things to rough size with a Skil Saw.

It would be a beast.

Figure material like that will cost about 1400 for oak.
Below is 30 inches wide in the middle. 3 inches thick and 10 feet long, weighing 400 pounds. You would have to buy 2 to make your table top +legs and parts.
Each Slab is 700 bucks.
http://www.specialtyslabwood.com/store/indexc187.html?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_7_23&products_id=625

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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Dabcan

252 posts in 2131 days


#2 posted 05-27-2015 10:24 PM

Just curious, but wouldn’t the seasonal movement in the top of the table force the legs apart in the summer time?

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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madts

1680 posts in 1800 days


#3 posted 05-27-2015 10:29 PM

DrDirt, that sure was some kind of encouragement.
There are other ways of going about the same project. Use lighter lumber. Get the lumber cut at the lumberyard. Mine do that.
So Geena have at it. It is a big project. Plan carefully and you will have an heirloom.

Think positive.

Madts

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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FellingStudio

93 posts in 1143 days


#4 posted 05-27-2015 10:35 PM

Take a woodworking class at your local community college. You will get instruction, help in moving large chunks of wood, and most importantly access to a shop with the tools necessary to do the project.

Lumber will probably run at least $1500.

Have fun, and good luck.

-- Jesse Felling - http://www.fellingstudio.com

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3652 posts in 1726 days


#5 posted 05-27-2015 10:46 PM

Hey friend, welcome to lumberjocks! You keep hitting this outfit your going to learn so much. Now I’m no expert but that table has all the hallmarks of being a darn fine woodworking bench. Also the jointery I see is remarkably similar to that used to make a Roubo workbench. Funny isn’t it, Andre Roubo was French! May I suggest that you check out the workbench smackdown forum. I’m certain you’ll find all kinds of information, ideas, inspirations and techniques. Also check out You Tube for woodworking benches, again you will learn a lot there.

Go forth and conquer!!

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6565 posts in 1610 days


#6 posted 05-27-2015 10:56 PM


Just curious, but wouldn t the seasonal movement in the top of the table force the legs apart in the summer time?

- Dabcan

Not if you have the grain run vertically. Turn the timbers/boards 90 deg as you would in a workbench. And then you can use wood thinner than 3-4”. Just need more for a glue up.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

384 posts in 2040 days


#7 posted 05-27-2015 11:32 PM

First step is getting the wood. You’ve heard some guesstimates, say $1500 – $1800. Still interested?

Have you actually seen that table? While the look is substantial, you might not appreciate HOW substantial it would be in reality. Too big and heavy to move. There are ways to build something with a comparable look with much thinner, more readily available, cheaper wood – that you MIGHT be able to move (with help).

New to woodworking might mean no woodworking tools. If you have none at all, it is a largish investment to get fully equipped. Mind you, its a lifetime of returns – if you like it.

Still game? It would be one helluva great project . . .

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1112 days


#8 posted 05-27-2015 11:54 PM

How complicated this project is, is up to you.

If you want the same joinery that is in the picture, it’s not particularly HARD, but it’s probably a lot more time consuming that you’re thinking. This all gets easier if you make the pieces smaller (the table in the photo, scaled to seat 8, probably weighs around 800-1000 lbs).

Now, you can make the table out of thinner wood, which will simplify the process and save a lot of money on wood, but it will change the look. You can also simplify the joinery to save time, but this will take away a little bit from the showiness of the piece.

I guess I don’t know what to tell you without knowing what tools you have and what compromises you’re willing to make.

I think I would make it out of pine or another inexpensive wood, make the tabletop only 2” thick, change the double dovetailed tenons that attach the legs to the top to a single blind tenon, and change the stretcher double tenons to single blind tenons. Scale the legs down a bit to match the thinner table top.

-- -Dan

View Beams37's profile

Beams37

163 posts in 650 days


#9 posted 05-28-2015 12:28 AM

First off, I will be following this thread. I think that is an awesome piece to be inspired by. If you are looking to recreate, that will be a PIA to handle.

I’m with others (and what I think I would do if I built one) in the fact that I would use it for inspiration, but go with a smaller timber. Maybe some nice 4×4’s or even bigger pieces made of lighter woods (pine?). I would also have everything cut at the lumber yard or wherever you plan to buy the wood.

Keep us updated with your project.

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

View GreenAsCanB's profile

GreenAsCanB

6 posts in 556 days


#10 posted 05-28-2015 12:29 AM

Thank you all so much for your responses! I gotta say, from some of the forums elsewhere that I’ve read through over the years I was expecting yall to be a lot less helpful!

Okay, so I’m aware that piece is heavy as hell… lol But I love the chunky look to it and the incredibly simple design. It is completely frill-less and I love that.

I don’t have any tools of my own (yet) but have plenty of friends who are willing to let me borrow theirs. What if I gave the appearance of chunkiness and simplicity without all the weight/cost (for my very first piece it probably wouldn’t be the smartest to buy some beautiful chunk of wood I will most likely destroy haha)?

I love taking up new hobbies but I never want to settle for ‘this is the Easy way to do this…’, I want to do things the Right way.

My main hang-up right now is joinery. Most tutorials I see talk about using pocket holes (I hope that’s the right name!). Is this a good method that actual woodworkers would use or is this a method that would be laughed at in circles like this?

I am just loving looking at everyone’s work on here. I think a love for woodworking runs in my family and I’m just sorry it’s taken me almost 30 years to embrace it myself!

Thanks again!

-- Just a newbie looking for help :-)

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GreenAsCanB

6 posts in 556 days


#11 posted 05-28-2015 12:30 AM

P.S. is that table top just one piece of wood you think?! Geez!!!

-- Just a newbie looking for help :-)

View GreenAsCanB's profile

GreenAsCanB

6 posts in 556 days


#12 posted 05-28-2015 12:35 AM

“I think I would make it out of pine or another inexpensive wood, make the tabletop only 2” thick, change the double dovetailed tenons that attach the legs to the top to a single blind tenon, and change the stretcher double tenons to single blind tenons. Scale the legs down a bit to match the thinner table top.”
- Pezking7p

Pezking – What exactly Is going on there to hold the legs to the table top? That has been the most confusing part to me when looking at this picture.

-- Just a newbie looking for help :-)

View GreenAsCanB's profile

GreenAsCanB

6 posts in 556 days


#13 posted 05-28-2015 01:14 AM



Hey friend, welcome to lumberjocks! You keep hitting this outfit your going to learn so much. Now I m no expert but that table has all the hallmarks of being a darn fine woodworking bench. Also the jointery I see is remarkably similar to that used to make a Roubo workbench. Funny isn t it, Andre Roubo was French! May I suggest that you check out the workbench smackdown forum. I m certain you ll find all kinds of information, ideas, inspirations and techniques. Also check out You Tube for woodworking benches, again you will learn a lot there.

Go forth and conquer!!

- BurlyBob

I just went and watched a video by Stumpy Nubs about the Roubo Workbench… you’re right! It’s so similar! Thank you for giving me a direction for research!!!

-- Just a newbie looking for help :-)

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3548 posts in 1228 days


#14 posted 05-28-2015 01:38 AM

A table like that for family of 8 needs some modification in design. Assuming 3 people on each side and 1 at each end, would require a slab of about 12 to 14’ long. (3 feet per person and 2’ overhand for then ends)
So, either you have to extend the ends further out from the legs or insert the legs further in. I would personally prefer extending the ends. The leg joints to the table top can be cut using a circular saw. Cut the dovetail on the legs and mark where the center of the legs will go on bench top. Measure the front, mark it on the bench (1/2 of the measurement on each side of the line) . Measure the thickness and mark it. Measure the back and mark. Connect the short line in front to the back one and you have your angle. Set your circular saw to match the angle and cut the two lines and make additional straight cuts to the dept so it can easily be chiseled out. The rest should be easier. I am sure other can come up with simpler way of doing it. Good luck

-- earthartandfoods.com

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 902 days


#15 posted 05-28-2015 02:00 AM

I couldn’t help myself. I sketched your table in SketchUp. You can see, I think, how the parts go together. Mortise and tenon joints, with a “Roubo-style” leg joint.

Please don’t put this together with pocket screws! If you want to do a “practice table” with pocket screws, fine. But use some lighter, cheaper wood. Don’t waste good timber on a table that will fall apart.

Pocket screws are great for some stuff (mostly light-weight, non-stressed connections) but do not, IMO, make a sturdy enough joint for a heavy piece of furniture.

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