Building a Farmhouse Pub Table

Completed Farmhouse table!

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.

Boards ready to go.
Obligatory “before photo.” Note that this is all common pine lumber and nothing fancy.
Table top boards.
I started by laying out the boards to form the top.
Boards side view.
Notice they are not quite flush. I bought a super cheap plane assuming I could clean that right up.
JB Wood Bond
I am not a patient man. When I learned wood glue takes 24 hours to cure I decided I had to find something quicker. Enter JB Wood Weld: super bond in only 60 seconds! How could this go wrong?
First boards clamped.
I hate specialty tools, but after exhaustive web research of how to build a table top I concluded I had to get some woodworking clamps. I slathered on a heavy mix of JB Wood Bond and clamped these suckers up!
Gluing the last board on the top.
Somehow the first boards glued up nicely, so I mixed up more JB Wood and added the next board! The Dewalt sander at the end was to weigh down one of the boards so they lined up better.

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.

Table legs and skirt joined.
I found these handy metal braces to attach the 4×4 legs to the 2×4 rails. They were not sturdy, but they held the pieces together. As I mentioned before I don’t condone the construction practices used. Lucky for me I got this carpenter’s square from my much more capable Grandpa Buck.

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!

Table base
I formed the base and started screwing things together in whatever way I could think of.


pilot hole test
When I was building this, I knew 4″ screws through the 2×4 skirt weren’t the best way, but I also didn’t have any other ideas.
Screwing the frame to the table top.
Once I drilled pilot holes, I clamped the frame to the top and filled her full of screws. One thing I learned from various web searches was to screw instead of glue the frame to the base so that they can expand and contract better.


Pipe flange
I picked up black pipe pieces, flanges, and everything at Home Depot.

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.

Completed underside.
Here I skipped a few steps again. I stained the underside and built the pipe, then screwed it down.
Unfinished top.
Once the underside was done I flipped it over and finished the top.

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.

Completed table!
Completed table!



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1 Comment

  1. […] Through building my kitchen table, I found that joining boards to form a tabletop is a lot of work. So, I set out to build our end tables from a single piece of lumber. The hairpin leg idea was borrowed from a friend who had previously used them to make a coffee table from the cross section of a tree trunk. […]

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