Monday, October 5, 2015

Custom Farmhouse Table (Pt 1)

Custom Farmhouse Table (Pt 1)

Materials 

  • 1 4x4 x 12'
  • 2 1x6 x 12'
  • 1 1x9 x 10'
  • 2 2x6 x 12'
  • 2" screws
  • 4" Angle Brackets

Tools

  • Cordless drill
  • Miter Saw
  • Sander (belt or planing)

ADHDiY labor

Planning: 5 Hrs
Cutting: 1 Hr
Sanding: 20 Hrs
Assembly:  2 Hrs

Cost: $300


A farmhouse table is a dream from my wife, and something that we have wanted to make, and with the Maple Log Milled, we wanted to build a table, and corresponding bench, out of a single tree.

Pinterest became our friend in finding designs, and we landed upon this:

Courtesy Ana White

While the table materials were supplied from a big box store, ours was supplied directly from our very own tree, that was milled on site.

After spending about 3 hours measuring, discussing, and planning the size and location of the table, I finally got down to getting the dimensions of each of the boards.

I had the design drawn out in a notebook for both the table and the bench.  I followed many of the elements in the above table, but wanted to take on my own design.

I wanted to go with a larger main center board, with corresponding end boards that are of the same width.  Since they were rough-cut at our discretion for size, your results will vary.  Our dining room was a little smaller than 10 feet wide, so to allow for people to walk behind the head of the table, the overall size of the table is 80" x 38".

This, combined with a matching bench, allows us to easily seat 10 at the table.  With small kids, you can seat more.

My neighbor is very generous and allowed me to borrow his workshop in the processing of this project.


First we needed to sand down and remove the rough cut from the boards, ensuring that no splinters will occur and remove surface staining. This brought out the beauty in the wood.

I chose the end boards first to see what lay behind the staining.  It was an end-cut board that was part of the main stem, and was exposed to the elements the most.


I used a drum sander with 120grit sandpaper, and made several passes.  The key is to only remove a little bit of wood in a pass.  The board was slightly cupped, and this resulted in some off sanding when the first few passes were run through.  With each pass, the center of the cup was leveled out and the board was brought true.



Prior to sanding, I was able to slightly discern a large circular grain pattern on one end, what was at one time a knot that had grown.  I was very surprised as the grain lightened and the heart (and soul) of the tree came through.


The "staining" you see is black fungus that feeds on freshly fallen wood, prior to it drying out.  There is also blue and white staining that also feed on fallen trees.  Blue fungus is one of the very first to attack a tree after it is on the ground.  Since we kept the logs whole, only the ends were attacked. the heart of the tree was in very good condition.


After several passes, and a change of sandpaper, the grain came out, and was not disappointing.







I plan on treating the boards with Tim-bor, a combination insecticide and fungicide to kill the mold/fungus spores and any eggs that may be present in the boards prior to sealing.  This will prevent any further deterioration of the wood, and allow us to pass this final piece onto our children.