Guys, we did a thing. Wade and I built our own farmhouse dining table. When I walk downstairs in the morning to get ready for work I can’t help but glance at our dining table and stop to stare in awe that we actually built it ourselves. A lot of blood, sweat, tears – and a whole helluva lot of relationship-building – went into this table. And we couldn’t be more proud.
So what’s the story behind us wanting to take on this project? For starters I knew I wanted a large, solid wood dining table that photographed well with plated food (food blogger problems) and had enough space to invite some guests over to share a homemade meal with us. Once we moved into our home my heart longed for making memories of creating and collaborating on some delicious meals to share with friends at our own dining table. I also knew that if we were to purchase the type of farmhouse table I wanted it would most likely cost us at least $1000. Realizing I could build a farmhouse table for less than a quarter the price, I knew I’d stumbled across our first major DIY furniture project.
It just so happens that a coworker of mine mentioned that she had created her own farmhouse dining table with her husband a couple years ago. She introduced me to Ana White – the lovely lady behind the DIY wood furniture blog, ana-white.com. Ana has plans and complete instructions for constructing your very own farmhouse dining table, which can be found here. It was these plans, along with the encouragement that I knew someone else who had used them successfully to build the table, that started it all.
I took Ana’s plans as a guide because I knew we didn’t want our dining table to be quite as long as hers was. The type of wood we used was a mix of southern yellow pine and cedar. We had to use cedar for the legs because it turns out that untreated southern yellow pine 4×4’s are extremely difficult to find – even in a city as big as Austin. This was only the first of many lessons I would learn along the way of our construction adventure.
When I started this project I knew there’d be some lessons learned along the way. I just didn’t realize just how many there would be…
- I learned the right and wrong way to pick out wood for a project at The Home Depot.
- I learned that the accuracy of the cut you will get on your wood pieces from the helpers at The Home Depot varies greatly depending on how nice and knowledgeable the helper is.
- I learned how to use a power saw.
- I learned how to create pocket holes with a kreg jig.
- I learned that using a hand saw to cut through southern yellow pine is much easier than using a hand saw to cut through cedar.
- I learned how to fix a problem of warped wood so that you can reach a closer level of flatness – especially important for a table top.
- I learned that building homemade construction projects with my husband is not the best activity to build our relationship…but in the end we came out alright.
The total cost of our farmhouse table is unknown because I lost some of the receipts along the way. But my best guess is roughly $200 – and that’s even after having to make some unexpected purchases after we made some mistakes. That’s 1/5 of the price of a nice, solid wood farmhouse table you would buy from a retail store.
If you’re curious about the chairs, we bought 4 of these chairs when they were on sale during Black Friday from Target.com. And we plan on building a bench to go on the far side of the dining table, big enough to seat two to three people.
Was it hard? Hell yes, it was. Did it take a long time? It took twice as long as I thought it would. Was it a fun experience? Yes and no. This was our first DIY wood building project so I’d probably enjoy doing a second one now that I have a bit of experience under my nonexistent tool belt. Is it perfect? No, but I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t want this table to look like it was made in a factory. I wanted it to look like it was handmade with love (and some anger and frustration…but mostly it was love) Was it worth it? Definitely. I love this table – even Wade loves it! – and I cannot wait to start sharing all kinds of delicious dishes with friends and family as we make memories at this table.
Have you created any furniture from scratch?
*If you’re thinking of building this table, message me for tips and tricks at enticinghealthyeating (at) gmail.com*