The New Table

The brand new dining room table is complete. The stain is set, the polyurethane dry and the sanding done. It does not smell very good at the moment, but that will fade.

I am very happy with the result. And it compliments the random eye patches we have on the wall quite well.

So here’s the project!

Everything starts with a plan.  This table was based on schematics found here:  It was altered and adapted, but for the most part the project was the same.

We built the table in the basement workshop of my in-laws, a nice change of pace from our usual workplace of our garage or the back yard.  With rains rolling in and mosquitoes friggin’ everywhere, indoors was awesome.  However, that meant saw dust flying around every where and needing to reconfigure lighting.  Shadows and cutting angles do not make good friends.


We had a helper too.  He saw notes and numbers being scratched into the lumber and needed to participate as well.  He broke a measuring tape pretending it was a lightsaber and decided that this was the weekend he needed to be super cuddly and attention starved.  Lessons learned, build around the four year old and make him feel like he is part of the process or he will ensure nothing gets done.  However, hearing him make measurements using units of measure that are just slightly off was pretty fun.  For awhile our table was going to be 4 tonnes and an inch.  I do not know what this meant, but he stood by his measurement.


My father in law likes to help too.  He’s less cute about the measurements, but much more helpful.

The original plans called for 4×4 legs.  We opted for 2x4s with some extra bracing.  The space available is limited and I just saw more surface area for little ones to collide with.  With the extra bracing the table supports a grown adult sitting on it.  Not a habit I promote, but the thing is sturdy.


Eventually the thing was lugged back to our house for finishing touches like sanding and stain.  Neither of which I was allowed to participate in.  So the kids and I ran through the back yard and did an occasional check on my wife.  The buzzing sound of a belt sander is inescapable once the thing fires on.  It was pretty much the most important sound the baby has ever heard by the way he kept running to it.  So we took a photo of the process from the safety (and dust free) of the patio.


To get that rustic farm house table look and feel, we enlisted the aid of the firstborn and a tiny chain.  The intent was for him to whip the table, dent it up and make it look used.  Like the distressed jeans of the table world.  It turns out he’s a pacifist at heart.  I was shocked.  He wanted nothing to do with actually hurting the table.  I think the idea offended him.  

Let’s talk stain for a moment.  Prior to this project, I had no experience with wood stain.  I thought it worked like paint and my wife giggled at my ignorance.  Probably why she would not let me do any finish work.  There are scores of stain options out there.  The rest of the decisions concerning the table felt easy by comparison.  Ultimately we went the classic American Walnut.  Though I was displeased at the lack of proper capitalization.




The only thing left now is finding a better candle holder place mat.  Nice to have the candles back, but the wax catcher needs an update.  Suggestions welcome!








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