How many hours would a 14 ft table take you?

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Forum topic by millssnell posted 09-25-2011 07:08 AM 2475 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 2740 days

09-25-2011 07:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine sander jointer planer tablesaw milling finishing sanding rustic

I know that these questions are entirely subjective and that your answers are not “the standard”, since I am learning that no such thing exists in wood working.

I just finished a project for a friend, and well it is probably the largest thing I will ever build. It has been a great deal of fun, but now I am trying to gauge the cost and amount of time that it may have taken others.

The table is 14 feet long, 38 inches wide and the legs are 2, 2×6’s thick in order to form the X. The one picture is the initial purchase of lumber, but about 90% of that wood was used for the table. All the wood was rough sawn and had to be planned down. Believe it or not, I got all of that wood for 40 dollars!

The top was built in two halves, each was (5) 2×8’s wide, and about 6 1/2 feet long. Both halves were joined together in the middle by tongue and grove cut with the router, the breadboard ends and middle connecter are 2×6’s. The apron is made of 2×4’s. I had to move the pieces of the table to it’s final resting place in a garage/barn, and assemble, sand, stain, and finish it there. Sanding alone took me about 5-6 hours and that may be a little short. The final finish is Minwax, Early American with a Wipe on Poly to top it off.

I would love to know how much you would charge for a table like this, and also how many hours you think it would take you to complete. I’ll probably be posting this to the projects page soon.

Also, I would seriously welcome any feedback, comments, criticism or thoughts on different ways to do it. I am 22 years old, and I know that there are a lot of “gray haired crowns of wisdom” out there. I have plenty of other pictures if you would like to see other aspects as well.

7 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18686 posts in 2536 days

#1 posted 09-25-2011 03:07 PM

So for my “gray haired crowns of wisdom”. If your serous about woodworking for a living, or making money at woodworking, YOU NEED TO TRACK YOUR TIME AND EXPENSES.

With the right equipment you could build that table in a day. If you want the “I built it with hand tools” approach, the “hand crafted”, “Made in Vermont” by the grey haird craftsman, it’ll take longer, and there is everything in between.

So does “with the right equipment” make it cheaper? Only if your going to make 100 of them. And you still need to know what that equipment cost to run.

I don’t ttrack my woodworking time anymore, because I am no longer trying to make a living at it. But anybody in this group that is a successful woodworking entrepreneur can tell you exactly how long the last one took to build, how long the next one should take to build, what his material cost was, and how much his electric bill was. Even if they don’t know they knows it.

How long did it take you to build it? If it took 5 hours to sand, may I recommend a good smoothing plane?

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2952 days

#2 posted 09-25-2011 03:50 PM

I also second Don, and would add can the market bear the cost for you to make a profit. As to how many hours it would take me, would be hard to say as I look at my time more as enjoyment and don’t keep track of time.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View maljr1980's profile


171 posts in 2425 days

#3 posted 09-25-2011 09:14 PM

i like to use biscuits and dog bones for kd assemblies, but if you like the tongue and groove go for it

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2472 days

#4 posted 09-26-2011 04:26 AM

Charge enough to buy the next batch of materials, when you have built enough you’ll know how much to charge. Even at my age I’m amazed at what little people will take for things they no longer want, and how much they’re willing to pay for my non-wood working skills. (i.e. things they can’t do)

Oh yea GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

85 posts in 2594 days

#5 posted 10-01-2011 10:50 PM

When I build tables I use locking glue joints. This allows me to glue up things like table tops in very time. A 14 long table I would do it in one peice. Then if needed, Cut it in half and use lose tenons to glue the two halves together. You really need to keep detailed records of time ,materail,cost and finishes used on every project. In my shop a simple table like this could be built and finished in one day.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3862 days

#6 posted 10-02-2011 02:08 PM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3449 days

#7 posted 10-02-2011 03:54 PM

Excluding the finish, I agree with Don. For me, it would be about an 8 to 10 hour project with power tools.
Some of that time is simply time to let the glue set.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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