Adventures in Table Making – Part II

Standard

Here it is!  The table that I have been working on these past few weeks.   The table top, which I discussed in Part I, is now married to the base.  (Que Wedding March)

The Base

The base comes from these plans on http://www.ana-white com, the Narrow Farmhouse Table.

Except, her plans are for a table 96″ long and 30″ deep.  I loved the tapered legs in this plan, so I modified her plans down to 66″ long and 20″ deep in keeping with my intent and location.

Tapered Legs

The challenging part of this plan (click illustration above for Ana’s plan) was the tapered leg.  The goal, of course, was to have 8 uniformly tapered legs.

After a few failed attempts to make perfect cuts with a circular saw and a jig saw, I ran screaming to the internet looking for a better solution.  And I found this…..

Tablesaw Tapering Jig

Click the illustration above to get the directions for making this Jig for the tablesaw.  It was quick and easy to make with scraps I had on hand.

After making the jig, then I set up my saw for the 1×3 sized legs.  The fence was set to ensure that the saw blade entered the wood at the appropriate place and then I loosened the screw to get the angle that I wanted.

I was able to make 4 identical legs from the 1×3 boards.

Then I set up the jig for the 1×4 board by making the same adjustments to the fence and the screw to ensure I was getting the exact angle cut that I needed.

Once I got the hang of  it, and I did have to make adjustments to the screw a few times to get exactly the angle that I wanted, it was quick work to make the 4 identical legs from the 1×4 boards.

After all the cuts were made, I clamped the boards together to sand them to ensure they remained identical.

Then I glued and nailed the 1×4/1×3 combo’s together to get 4 distinct leg sections.

Be sure to follow Ana’s Leg diagram in Step 3 to ensure you are creating the correct combinations.

Framing the Base

I made some changes to the base from the original plans.  First, I removed the leg braces.  Since the table is not as deep as the original, it didn’t require the additional bracing.  Also,  I did not want to detract from the beautiful legs.

I did add the bracing and instantly regretted it.  I removed both of them with a swift whack of the hammer (while bracing the legs).

Second, I replaced the 1×6 apron with a 1×4 apron.  Again, the smaller table did not need that type of super structure and the 1×4 allowed more leg clearance when using a chair with a standard seat base height of 18″.

Using clamps, glue and a nail gun, I attached the apron to the legs.

Prepping the Base for the Table Top

The original plan for adding a table top to the base was to attach individual 1×8 boards screwed through the top.  Instead, I had created a single piece table top that I wanted to attach through the bottom.

So, rather than adding the 2×2 table supports as shown in Step 6:

I added corner brackets and a single 2×2 support in the middle which I glued and nailed into place.  The corner brackets are there to screw down the table top from the underside.

Painting

I used a color board to decide on a paint color for the base.  I matched this color board up with the stained top to get an understanding of how the colors would work together.  Plus, I can take the color board into the target room to see how the colors work in the lighting it will live in.

I did attempt to use just a clear lacquer finish to bring out the beauty of the select pine, but I’m afraid my cheap nail gun made too many blemishes that needed corrections and the lacquer would only accentuate the wood putty.  So, I decide a painted base was in order.

I applied three thin coats of white primer.

Followed by three thin coats of Satin Ivory Silk

Followed by two thin coats of Clear Matte.  After allowing the base to dry for 24 hours, I was ready to attach the table top.

Attaching the Table Top

I carefully laid the table top upside down onto some towels and then placed the inverted base on top.  I carefully measure and remeasure the overhang and made some reference marks.  In the case that the base is not perfectly square, the reference marks will allow it to be squared up as it is screwed down.

The Scary Part

I cannot count how many times I have ruined a beautiful finish by accidentally choosing the wrong screw size.   Since I was attaching the top to the base from the underside, there was the risk that I would end up piercing the finished topside if I was not careful.  Nightmarish stuff.

First, I made absolutely positive that I had the correct screw size (1 ¼”) for all 4 screws by stacking two 1×3 scrapes and ensuring the screw would not protrude, even if slightly countersunk.

Second, I knew I needed to make pilot holes to ensure that the wood would not split and I was concerned that I would drill through the finished topside.  To prevent this, there are two methods.

1) Use a piece of tape to mark on the drill bit the depth to which you want to drill.

2) Countersink your drill bit into the chuck to the desired depth.  Measure your depth with the 1 ¼ screw.

Next, I made pilot holes and then sunk the screws working in opposite corners to allow for squaring up as I went.

I made sure the Base was flush with the table top and did not overtighten.

So, I have gone from this:

Desk Mock Up

To this:

Narrow Farmhouse Table

Lots more to share with you regarding the final wood/color choices, costs, project time and some building tips.  I will save this for tomorrow while I savor my finished table.  Sometimes I walk into my bedroom several times a day just to look at it.

I will also be linking this on www.ana-white.com as a brag post.

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3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Adventures in Table Making – Wrap Up « Single Mom Thriving

  2. You are very meticulous in your photo explanations. Thank you! I’m sure this post will be extremely helpful for those of us wishing to build a table like this. Your work is wonderful and the table is gorgeous! Love the blend of colors on the top and how well the legs paired up with the top. Keep up the great work.

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