by Todd Walker
Part of building resilience and self-reliance is taking ACTION! “Doing the stuff” as I call it.
After rearranging our house a few weeks back, Dirt Road Girl found a plan for a farmhouse table at Ana White’s site. She prints it and I’ve got my weekend project.
Ana’s plan was easy to follow and used basic DiY skills. Nothing advanced in this build. Here’s what I used.
Plan: Farmhouse Table on Ana’s site
Estimated Cost: $150 – I bought new lumber and lots of screws.
Estimated Time Investment: 10-20 hours. I spent about 5 hours each day (Sat. & Sun.) so far.
Skill Level: Beginner if you’ve ever used a circular saw. Intermediate if you just asked what a circular saw looks like.
Wood Used: Pine framing lumber from a box store. It’s rough but we like rough. You won’t get a splinter at Walker’s Diner, but you’ll see all the “character” of the wood.
Finish Used: We bought a weathered wood stain and will seal it with linseed oil (part II in a later post).
My pics don’t offer a start to finish tutorial with every detail. For that, go to Ana’s site. She offers great details for cut dimensions with 3D diagrams. This is more of an encouragement for reluctant DiYers to start doing the stuff and practice self-reliance skills.
Basic Tools Needed: Measuring tape, square, hammer, eye and ear protection, drill, circular saw, paint brush or rag for stain, sander, screws – lots of screws.
Supplemental tools… if you have them. I have never found anything resembling a straight 2×2 in a lumber yard. I bought 2×4’s and ripped them on my table saw. You could do the entire project with the basic tools list if you had to. I used two pipe vises to squeeze the table boards together. My miter saw was used to cut the 2×2’s, 2×4’s, and 2×6’s. The 2×8 was cut with the basic circular saw. I used a wood chisel to do the notches. Use an impact driver for sinking screws if you have one. If not, a regular drill will do the job.
Step 1: Cut the boards to size from the cut list on Ana’s site. I was supposed to shorten the table to 84 inches in length but got side tracked and made it the original length of 96 inches. Oh well, we have extra space for Thanksgiving dinner now.
Step 2: Follow the plans to begin assembly on each part of the table.
Glue and screw all the pieces together. I used 2 1/2 inch screws for the whole project except for attaching the bread boards to the legs. I used 3 1/2 inch screws there.
You’ll want to do your sanding on the frame before you attach the 2×2 supports. It makes things easier. Flipping the table once it is assembled is difficult. The beast weighs a ton.
Ana tells you to attach both bread boards before the 2×6’s go in place. I secured one bread board then centered one table top board. I’m glad I did. Even pre-cutting the table top boards carefully, there was small gaps at the other end between the bread board and table top boards. I remedied that by cutting an 1/8 off the 7 table top boards with a circular saw once they were screwed to the table frame. This made a tight fit for the bread board end.
There are three exposed screws in the end of each table top board. I flipped the table on its side and screwed the boards from underneath through the 2×2 supports. Two screws per board. If you want to hide all screws, you’ll need to work from the underbelly of the table. The exposed screws fits our personality and Hillbilly Industrial decor just fine.
Part II will show the finished product, hopefully next weekend. Stay tuned.
Grocery Bag and Chair Planter
Not to be outdone, DRG was in the front yard starting plants in containers. We’re probably known as those weirdo’s in our neighborhood. We call it Hillbilly Industrial.
You’ve probably got some extra cloth or plastic shopping bags collecting E. coli bacteria, right? Why not repurpose them into planters. Here’s a few pics from DRG’s creative pursuits yesterday. I love her!
DRG is a very clever girl. She attached chicken wire under the missing seat, lined it with coconut fiber, and planted flowers for our front porch. Hillbilly Industrial indeed!
Keep Doing the Stuff,
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In my opinion, the kitchen table is the most important piece of furniture in a household. It is the place that family and friends share their meals and their lives. The kitchen table can be the place of home industry were the household produces goods rather than just consuming. The household table was once the center of activity for food storage preparation, crafting, and other forms of paid work. The kitchen table used to be the place for teaching our children, but that use has gone out of style, or has been regulated by the state out of existence.
Peter Bane’s book “The Permaculture Handbook” has a wonderful section on what he calls the “country kitchen”.