As Jordan and I are putting our house together, one thing that we wanted was a bigger table for our dining room. We looked around at a few places, but nothing really caught our eye. Then one day I pulled out Ana White's book, The Handbuilt Home, and saw the plans for the farmhouse table. I knew right then, that's what we were going to do. I built our TV stand a few years ago for a woodshop class at BYU, but haven't built anything big since. This was the perfect project to jump back in with. It wasn't too difficult, and I love how it turned out.
Jordan and I love working with our hands and had so much fun building this together. I know people always talk about having hobbies with your spouse, and I definitely wouldn't mind if this became one of our hobbies. I loved spending time with him out in the "shop" (aka garage).
For this project we used regular old pine from Home Depot. In Ana White's book, she outlines the whole project from start to finish, which is wonderful, since the part I hated the most in my woodshop class was working out the plans. She tells gives you a shopping list, a cutting list, tells you all of the tools you'll need and then gives you step by step instructions. It is GREAT! One of the best parts about this project was that the wood cost us less than $100. We're positive that we couldn't have found a table this big for less than $100 (even at IKEA, and if we did it wouldn't be solid wood, like this one).
I think this table could be completely assembled in a day, if you don't have a 1 year old baby. But unfortunately (really it's fortunately) we have one of those cute 1 year olds, so it took us a little bit longer, since we could only work during nap time and after her bed time.
Once we got the base all put together, and everything sanded, it was time to start staining. To make things easier, we only wanted to work with water based stains. We found these great Minwax stains, and loved how they turned out. We used a pre-stain, then two different colors of wood stain, and a polycrylic protective finish.
The wood stains can be made lots of different colors, we chose Vermont Maple for the top, and a yellow for the bottom. We ended up doing 2-3 coats on everything. I had never used wood stain before, and I just have to say, I LOVE IT! It is sooooo much easier than paint, and I really like how it looks. I like that you can see the wood grain through it.
After everything was stained and the top coat had dried, we attached the top, and then moved it into the house, which was totally tricky, seeing as this thing is HUGE. We had to carry it around to the back of our house and in through our sliding glass door, while the table was tipped over on it's side.
We could fit 8 chairs around the table but we currently only have 4. Someday it will be fun to get all 8 chairs around this table, fill them with people and have a delicious dinner. We still have lots of house projects left (including a built-in desk/bookshelf where the current desk is), but for now, this table definitely upgraded our table/dining situation and I love how it turned out!