It’s only logical that my first ever woodworking project should be a 12 foot long bar height communal table to be the centerpiece of my house for years to come. Maybe it’s best Sara talked me down to 7 feet, but that does not mean this was a small undertaking. I can’t emphasize enough that I guessed my way through this and I don’t condone any of the techniques used.
So now the tabletop is glued up and shockingly straight. I didn’t get photos of it, but I hacked away at it with a cheap unsharpened hand plane until I realized I was doing nothing but abusing the surface. Pro tip: you can’t plane anything at home.
Now that the top was done, it was time to start on the legs.
I realize I could have taken a few more in between photos, but when I was building the table I didn’t yet know I was going to create a blog. This is like a cooking show: first screw together two boards and second reveal your table!
The biggest lesson learned from this project was that I should have built it using standard pipe sizes. Home supply stores can cut and thread custom lengths but they charge per cut and when I was there they had a lot of trouble threading the cut pipes. If or when I build something else like this I would pick pipe first, and adjust around the dimensions
Once the table was built it was time to stain. I used two coats of standard Min-wax stain, allowing each to dry before sanding and re staining or applying polyurethane.
I hate finishing work, so I thought I could save some time by sanding everything first. I learned, though, that nothing lines up quite as nicely if it’s already been sanded. For the kitchen table, that meant that there were bigger gaps between the boards which were beyond my ability to blend and fill. These little crumb catchers aren’t bad, but I wish I had saved sanding until the end so I could have kept the boards tight.
I put the final coat of stain on the top, and gave if a few coats of polyurethane to make sure I never needed to use a coaster again.