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Which wood to use for my farmhouse style table?

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Forum topic by craftedbyadam posted 12-14-2015 01:40 AM 1015 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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craftedbyadam

17 posts in 360 days


12-14-2015 01:40 AM

Ok guys and gals I am new to woodworking but have a bunch of projects under my belt now. I’m taking on a farmhouse table which isn’t very difficult to make but the cost for nice lumber is…
I just did a kitchen island with some african sepele that was just fabulous but I’d like a different grain on this table.

Table will be 60”x38” and 1.5-2” thick.

What species of wood do yall recommend? Yes I’m from the south…
I have a good supplier that can get just about any type of wood that is legal to purchase. I don’t want to spend a fortune But I’d like to know roughly what you guys think it should cost in lumber for the species woOd that you recommend


24 replies so far

View ThomasChippendale's profile

ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 397 days


#1 posted 12-14-2015 01:56 AM

White Oak for around $6/pmp. Its hard, durable, rustic and beautiful. The top will run around $200.

-- PJ

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1116 days


#2 posted 12-14-2015 02:03 AM

Hard to go wrong with white oak or hickory. Both should be maybe 4$/bdft

-- -Dan

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 616 days


#3 posted 12-14-2015 03:15 AM

I am not from the South but what about some Southern pine or Cyprus?

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3022 posts in 1716 days


#4 posted 12-14-2015 03:20 AM

+1 to conifer’s suggestion of cypress. It’s a bit soft, so if you go with cypress, you can expect to see some dents and dings in the tabletop.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1774 days


#5 posted 12-14-2015 06:53 AM

Not sure what look you want but I’ve seen some cool looking tables made from “pecky woods and mesquite that were quit nice. Pecky Cyprus is interesting.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 945 days


#6 posted 12-14-2015 01:02 PM

My experience with oak is very durable but can be a major PITA to surface plane because very prone to tear out and notorious for grain direction changes, particularly with quarter sawn.

I built a kitchen of hickory. Its extremely hard and can also be difficult to work with. When selecting, it can be difficult to match board grain/color plus it tends to have sapwood mixed in (which gives its character but may be objectionable to some)..

Its a matter of personal choice, but I don’t think you can beat the look of Walnut or Maple for a dining table.
Prices can vary quite a bit depending on quality.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1979 days


#7 posted 12-14-2015 01:11 PM

My vote would go for Southern Black Cherry, since you are in the South.
Beautiful wood, durable, easy to work and should not be too expensive if you find the right supplier.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View craftedbyadam's profile

craftedbyadam

17 posts in 360 days


#8 posted 12-14-2015 03:16 PM

Awesome recommendations and really appreciate the help.

We do want this super strong on top and not able to easily take dings and scratches so I want to stay away from soft woods.

I was thinking oak because of the “farmhouse” look but really like the black cherry idea and my next call is to my favorite lumber shop, Case woodworking in Savannah Georgia.

Here’s a big question everyone could help with as well. The base of the table would be pine to save on cost. Then the top a hardwood. Will my table look bad with a pine base that is stained and a different species hardwood on top like black cherry or maybe even an oak??

Please let me know what you think with the mix there. I noticed a lot of higher end tables were all the same species of wood.

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

354 posts in 925 days


#9 posted 12-14-2015 04:13 PM

Mixing wood species is a great idea. Saves money and looks great still. Instead of staining the base to match the black cherry why not make it contrast by leaving it a light colour.

I look forward to seeing the finished table.

View craftedbyadam's profile

craftedbyadam

17 posts in 360 days


#10 posted 12-14-2015 04:17 PM

I agree with the light color stain for the base. Do you guys think I can still spend under $300 for the top if it’s 66” long x 36” wide AND about 1.5” thick? Most boards seem to sell at 1” thick…

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

354 posts in 925 days


#11 posted 12-14-2015 08:38 PM

Not sure on cost for your area as I am in Canada. However the thicker the more expensive it gets. Maybe use the 1” boards but make it look thick by glueing on a thick edge around it.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4032 posts in 1816 days


#12 posted 12-14-2015 09:19 PM

Will my table look bad with a pine base that is stained and a different species hardwood on top like black cherry or maybe even an oak??

I don’t like pine that is stained dark because of it is prone to blotch and grain reversal. The grain reversal is quite unnatural looking. I would consider poplar for the base. It is prone to blotch as well but so is cherry, so you are going to have to use a sealer of some sort anyway. With poplar you can stain it any color you want and you won’t have to look at reversed grain pine. Clear poplar is as cheap as clear pine and easier to work.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1774 days


#13 posted 12-14-2015 09:31 PM

Dye is a much better option if you must color pine or poplar.

Read this.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/aw-extra-101013-staining-pine

For the conditioner substitute the Charles Neil conditioner.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1768 posts in 603 days


#14 posted 12-14-2015 09:59 PM



I agree with the light color stain for the base. Do you guys think I can still spend under $300 for the top if it s 66” long x 36” wide AND about 1.5” thick? Most boards seem to sell at 1” thick…

- craftedbyadam

My lumber dealer has 8/4 White Oak listed at 6.70/bf right now. That would put you at about $220 for a 66×36 top (doesn’t include any waste) so I’d think you could get out for <300$.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View ThomasChippendale's profile

ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 397 days


#15 posted 12-14-2015 10:36 PM

6/4 white oak is common at our yard, its a good thickness to build doors. It also will give you a better looking table than the eternal 3/4 inch finished size, you can easily finish at 1 1/4 thick which and get a nice look especially since the table is not that large. For the base, I would personally go for oak but if I had to be cost conscious, I would choose a cheaper hardwood, Birch, maple or what is common in your area with a discrete grain texture to contrast the oak. Trying to imitate will look like… trying to immitate.

-- PJ

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