I have been wanting to replace my old dining table with a farmhouse table for ages! I wanted a table that was ready for friends and family at any moment without having to add a leaf and rearrange stuff to have everyone fit.
“If you are more fortunate than others, it’s better to build a longer table than a higher fence.”
I don’t know who said it, but they are right. My fortune comes by way of friends and family who often fill my home and my dining room, and we needed a bigger table.
My problem was, none of the plans I could find online really gave me that feeling of “This is the table!”
Sometimes the need for an item in my home floats around in my head and then one day, BAM! The design hits me and I’m ready to go.
Laying on my living room floor one day, playing with my kids, I saw this.
This is the bottom of a cribbage board I use as a bench. I love the feel of exquisite craftsmanship that one peg brings. That was my “Bam” moment. I needed some old style craftsmanship to give my table a little flare that you don’t see everyday.
My table is large! It’s kind of a beast in the table department. The final measurements for the top are 51 3/4 wide and 8’5″ long. It is 31″ high which is about an inch taller than a standard table. It is a bit wider than any mass produced table as well but I always found that other tables were too narrow for family style serving plus table settings.
Let me show you how I finally made a farmhouse table with an old world feel that has become the table of my dreams. Of course, all these measurements can be altered, which is the beauty of building things yourself.
As always, be safe and follow manufacturer instructions for your tools. This is meant to be a guide to help you.
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- 100- 2.5″ Kreg Screws
- 50- 2″ Kreg Screws
- 7- 5/4x8x8 boards
- Not many people know these boards exist, I have included a link to Home Depot so you can see what they are and if your local store has them.
- 2- 5/4x8x6 boards
- 2- 4x4x8 posts
- Please make sure they are not pressure treated. It is easy to make this mistake with 4x4s because most of the time the PT ones are out there in the open and the untreated are tucked in a corner somewhere.
- 10- 2x4x8 boards
- 1- 1″ dowel at least 19″ long
- Found in the moulding section of the hardware store
- 120 grit sand paper
- 220 grit sand paper
- 7- 5/4″x 8″x 8′ boards for the table top.
- These will remain uncut for now.
- 2- 5/4″x 8″x 6′ for the breadboards.
- We will cut this after the other 7 boards are assembled so we get an exact measurement for your table. My table is 50 11/6″ wide so that is how long my breadboards are. Boards aren’t always perfectly sized, shocker.
- 4- 4×4 @30″ for the legs
- 10- 2×4 @ 43 3/4″ studs for supports
- I may have gone a little overboard but I want this table to last forever and warping is not an option.
- 2- 2×4@ 89″ for side aprons
- 2- 2×4 @39.5″ for end aprons
- 1- 2×4 @93.75″ for the stretcher
- 2- 2×4 @48.5″ for the side stretchers
- 4- 1″ wide dowel cut to 4.5″ lengths
You will want to add all of your pocket holes before you get working. You can see all the pocket hole placement here.
- Oscillating Multi Tool
- Circular saw
- Miter Saw (Not necessary but will make some cuts easier that using a circular saw)
- Tape Measure
- I love my Milwaukee Cordless Drill
- Kreg Jig
- Large Speed Square
- 1″ Spade drill bit
- Random Orbit Sander with 120 and 220 sand paper
- A level or board you can clamp to your table top to use as a guide for your circular saw
- Wood Glue
- I used this one.
- I used this one.
Cut holes in the 4×4 legs for the 2×4 side stretchers.
Full disclosure: This is not the first thing I did, but it should have been. So if the pictures seem a little off, that’s because I was winging it, but you can learn from my mistakes.
Use your speed square to make an accurate measurement of 3″ off the bottom of the leg and then mark 3.5″ above the 3″.
Do the same for the width of the 2×4. Measure in 1″ on either side and that will leave 1.5″ width of the 2×4 centered on the 4×4..
You have to transpose the measurements on both sides of the leg so you can be sure you are coming through the leg accurately.
Do this on all 4 legs and then you’re ready to start working your way through them.
Use the blade of the oscillating tool to score the rectangle and then begin cutting your way through.
This takes some time. I cut sections out at a time and then used a chisel to get the little edges cleared until I could easily slide the 2×4 through.
Use some sandpaper around the edges to clean up the cuts a bit.
Attach the apron to the legs 26.5″ up from the bottom.
The holes you just made in the lower portion of the 4×4 will face the same direction as the short apron.
I used a 1/4″ piece of plywood as a guide, under the apron (but not under the leg) to give the slightest inset.
Glue and screw the short apron using 2.5″ screws to two legs for each side before attaching them to the long apron. It is easier to stand the shorter sides on end when you attach them to the long side.
Once both sides are done, attach them to the long apron and stand it up. Get some help for this part, you don’t want to put too much pressure on the joints at this point.
I may have done a happy dance before I took this picture because it started to look like something other than a heap of wood!
Use your right angle clamp to get the last apron in place. If you don’t have one, you are gonna need a helper.
Check for square.
Make sure your table is square before you add the support pieces or absolutely nothing will line up.
Attach the supports that travel the width of the table to support the top.
I can only show you that from under the finished table looking up because I got all wrapped up in the project and forgot to snap a picture of this part.
You get the idea right? I spaced them roughly 12″ apart using 2.5″ screws. I believe industry standard would be 16″ apart, but a little extra support never hurts.
Where the 7 boards end and the breadboard begins, I doubled the supports. I didn’t want the joint unsupported. I waited until the top was in place before I added number 1 and 2. Number 3, as you can see, is the apron.
Attach the side stretchers.
Slide the 2×4 side stretchers into the holes you made in step 1. Leave 1″ extending beyond the leg.
Measure the distance between the legs at the top, and be sure that measurement matches the space between the legs at the bottom so the legs are not bowing out. If the measurements don’t match, use some tie downs to squeeze play them into place.
Mark the 4×4 center, then center that on the 2×4 so you go straight through the center of both.
Then, using a 1″ spade bit, drill a hole through the 4×4 and the 2×4 to make a round hole for your peg.I started on one side and then came through the other side to meet the first hole so that I didn’t splinter the wood.
Insert the dowel through the hole to hold the stretcher in place. You will need a hammer to help. Use a piece of scrap wood to protect the dowel from hammer marks, unless you want them to look a little tattered.
Attach the lengthwise stretcher.
To find the placement, measure the width between legs and mark the dead center. Then measure out from there to mark a perfect measurement for the 2×4 to sit flush on the top and ends. Use the oscillating tool to notch it.
Glue and screw the stretcher in place and putty the screw holes.
Join the 7 boards for the tabletop using 2″ screws and wood glue. Be sure to clamp each joint together before you screw it in. You will need a clamp like this one.
You will need to cut them down a little to make room for the breadboard. Clamp a board to the table top, taking into consideration the width of the circular saw guide, and cut off 5 inches. Repeat the process at the other end to leave an 86″ tabletop with a completely even and flat edge.
All that is left is to cut the breadboard.
Measure the exact width of your table and cut the remaining 8″ boards to fit. You never know if the measurement will be the same on both ends so measure separately.
Attach it to the main table top ends using 2″ screws.
Place the tabletop on the base with an even overhang on each side, then attach the tabletop to the base using the pocket holes you drilled previously and 2″ screws.
The finishing touches.
Sand, stain and polyurethane your table.
Be sure to clean the table after sanding, so that no debris ruins your finish.
I just love the way my mix of chairs look.
This bad boy can seat 12 people!!!! You can fit 4 on either side, comfortably and then 2 on each end.
Look at these legs! Any imperfections in your cut through the 4×4 will be hardly noticeable once its’s all said and done. And if anyone looks hard enough to find the imperfections, tell them to go home!
Isn’t she lovely?
Here is the finished product.
Jeez, I am shocked you made it all the way to the end! This was one looooong post! Thanks for sticking with me. Any questions?
Farmhouse Table At a Glance
You can find a printable version here.