My Dad makes these amazing farm tables. Amazing, in that I refuse to work with power tools and wouldn’t have the patience to do all of the measuring and mathematics involved in building one of these guys!
But, Dad is a bit of a perfectionist. If he had it his way, every piece of wood would be planed, joined, sanded smooth until all the imperfections were completely eliminated. So, between the two of us, he can build a perfectly cut and measured farm table made of beautifully embellished and imperfect wood!
Truly, this is a two person (Father/Daughter) process from start to finish. Well…he does most of the work while I just make it look pretty! I do help load and pick out the wood, however. It typically involves one of the rolling ladders at Home Depot and a pile of cast off boards that are too evenly cut or don’t have enough cracks or knots.
While Dad hands me board, I load or discard based on the look of the wood.
So, what am I looking for? Deep wood grain that will take the stain in varying shades and show a degree of the original color when it is sanded smooth. I’m also looking for knots…lots of knots.
We use Douglas Fir to build these guys which is both affordable but also a really pretty and generally knotty pine. If the knots have cracks or grooves that go out from them, that’s even better. I also like the sides of the wood to be varied. Meaning, I don’t want a perfectly straight edge that butts right up to the next wood. The gentle variation adds great visual interest and the irregularity that comes most frequently with reclaimed lumber.
This was one of those projects that absorbed several weeks of time but was never visible or present at the shop. It was long days working at Dad’s workshop after store hours staining and oiling the boards and was among the many pieces of commissioned work I did in September!
We delivered the table to this beautiful farm house in La Verne complete with a backyard barn! I was swooning over this property! And, I love how they juxtaposed the rustic feel of the farm table with the contemporary chairs.
If you’re looking to build your own farm table, you can get the plans for free here. Or, if you’re more like me and don’t have the time or desire to pick wood, measure twice and sometimes cut twice, then Dad can build one for you, too!