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Thread: New project - kitchen table

  1. #1
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    New project - kitchen table

    The wife has been longing for a new table, particularly since our youngest is going to be able to sit at the table properly soon. She wanted to buy one, but finances have prevented that. I decided a couple of months ago that I would build her one for Christmas. I then decided to tell her my intentions in order to figure out exactly what she wanted. On the plus, no guesswork. On the negative, I have to actually deliver my promise now. The clock is ticking!

    Here are the things I know:
    1) she wants it to be a farm table
    2) she wants a hardwood top, not ply with a border
    3) I want it to be knockdown construction
    4) she wants to have the apron and legs painted white, the top finished (in a light color)

    Otherwise, I'm not sure what materials I want to make it out of, or even how big it needs to be. Leaf, etc. I know the table needs to sit six normally 1-2-2-1, but I'd also like it to seat up to ten in a pinch. Eight might have to do.

    If you've read my introduction thread you're familiar with the tools I have. I am unsure of how wide to make each board and which way I want to register them to each other. I have an okay biscuit joiner, pocket holes...I could conceivably do splines or dowels as well. I also don't have a jointer, and haven't done much with alternative methods.

    I'm not going to spend the money right now on turned legs (and I can't turn them myself), so I was going to go with a square leg, with perhaps a taper. If you could help me get started I'd be most appreciative. I'd like to keep the budget low, but it doesn't have to scrape the bottom.

  2. #2
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    well since it going to be painted you could use poplar, ash or soft maple whatever is lest expensive in your area. The height at the top of the apron should be 28 inches which is standard for a table you need to allow for seating so I'd go with something about 60 inches long. When I get a few minutes, I'll put something together in sketchup for ya, I'm sure other will pipe in also.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Much obliged. On a somewhat related note, even though I am very good with all sorts of computers, Sketchup remains my nemesis.

  4. #4
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    I can't wait to see the pictures as you go.

    If you have any questions on table making, I am sure Brent can help out

  5. #5
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    Consider a trestle table. It could be made to break down easily. Also a natural top with painted legs is very common.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  6. #6
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    I'd like to suggest a slightly different route - have you considered searching out a used table (e.g. garage sale, good will, flea market, (and don't laugh) even your local transfer station) and re-purposing it? I offer this because I think you may be able to find either a fairly large, stabilized slab already glued up that only requires refinishing or cannibalize some turned legs and paint them to suit.

    I'm 99% sure that this route would still require enough effort on your part to consider it a homemade gift but I think if your lucky, you may find some good donor pieces and save a fair amount of $$.

    For what it's worth, I've done a few times and ended up with some really wonderful walnut, QS white oak and mahogany.

  7. #7
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    Real good idea Peter. The only thing up here in my area we aint allowed to scavange from the transfer station or dump. Seems anti enviromental in the world of recycling today but i can understand why with liabilties etc.

    I have seen some great stuff in those bins. Even tried to bribe the guard but no deal.

    I think another place that is possible to find old stuff to use as components is the goodwill stores and places like Salvation army stores but that involves cash and i have seen them asking for way to high a price.

    Chris another thing you should not discount is going to Habitat for humanity restore it stores. They have tons of stuff you might pick up some lumber from them that you can use or components left over from a Woodworking shop that has closed it doors. Ours had some really gread kitchen cupboard doors recently and loads of other bits and pieces even hardware.

    As to the table itself you may want set yourself a budget to pull off what you want to do. There is going to be some cost for hardware and lumber.

    What i seen done and have on the table i have at home is use of a sliding rack to make the table adjustable with removeable leafs to achieve your expanded version. You could get buy without it with some other design involving sliding wood but it wont be as smooth to operate and set up.

    Here is a link to see what i am refering to they call it a table extender and the picture shows you how it works. You can get these from several places not only LV so shop around i have no clue as to pricing. Dont forget Craigslist and Ebay etc. Some guys might be getting rid of one.


    Here is a picture of one you could make without buy hardware and only using wood i think but you will need to be pretty good with your machining. Check around Paxtons site there is info on how to select these things and use them here and here. I have never dealt with these guys. Just using these links for info for you.

    Thats it for me. Good luck keep us posted on progress.
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 09-03-2010 at 02:53 PM.
    cheers

  8. #8
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Took the wife to the lumber yard yesterday to see what she liked. She settled on cypress over european beech. I'm not familiar with either, and don't know what it would look like finished, or if either could withstand the use. I could always default to a hard maple.

    We decided to not have a leaf of any kind, and we've just about settled on final dimensions. Another question is which way should I orient the boards? Long or short?

  9. #9
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    Hi Chris,

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Hatfield View Post
    She settled on cypress over european beech. I'm not familiar with either, and don't know what it would look like finished, or if either could withstand the use. I could always default to a hard maple.

    We decided to not have a leaf of any kind, and we've just about settled on final dimensions.
    I am interested in the cypress over european beech. What are the dimensions of that lumber you saw? That is, what is the thickness and width of these two woods that are in your local lumber yard? And if you don't mind the bd. ft. prices?

    What final dimensions are you going to use?

    I am sure you will get lots of help here and this info will be a great start.
    Regards,
    Bill Antonacchio

  10. #10
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    To be honest, I didn't pay that much attention to dimensions of anything. I really just wanted to see what she liked, and about how much it ran. I want to say the 5/4 ran about 4.50-4.75/bf, with the cypress differing in price the wider it was. I was thinking about making it either 60 or 66 inches in length, and 36" wide.

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