farm table

I loooove me a farmhouse table, and I’ve been working on this one since the start of the year. I had to scour lumber yards all over the city for the perfect White Oak, and I got a little carried away with the joinery, so it’s been slow going, but in the end it’ll be great so whatayagonnado?

The legs are 5″x5″, and I went with the quadralinear Craftsman technique to let me mill a bunch of boards like these:

And join them all together to make nice, chunky legs like this one:

I splined the long mitered corners to get them tight and make sure they don’t come apart any time this century.

You can see the diagonal splines below. They’re made of walnut, and cut across the grain for strength.

The top of each leg is plugged with 8″ of kiln dried redwood for the mortise and tenon joints that attach the apron.

The bottoms are plugged and finished with a raised oak cap to make them nice and furniturey and create the right shadow line at the floor.

The design has no bracing between the legs, so it was super important to attach them securely to the apron.

I went with a hidden corner brace and double bed bolts, one above the other, for extra stability and adjustment.

Cranking down on the bolts pulls the joint tight. Add a dash of 21st century glue, and these will be stable for decades.

My clients live close to the ocean, and moisture will be a factor in the table’s lifespan. It’s nine feet by four feet, and a panel that size is going to move a lot with changing humidity, so I made these oak hooks to connect it to the base.

That’s the small L-shaped block with the screw, above. They’re cut on the bias for strength, and they’re centered in oversized slot mortises, making room for the top to expand in any direction without stressing the joints.

I could have screwed on some metal ones from Woodcraft, but where’s the fun in that?

Moisture was also on my mind when it came to going Shaker with the breadboard ends. After the top panel was glued and flattened, I cut a blind tenon in each end and mortises in the cap.

The breadboard gets glued on just in the center.

The rest of it is attached with wooden pegs, two per board, driven in from the bottom.

The pegs go right through the tenon and into the other side of the mortise, locking the whole thing tight. The holes in the tenon are oval, allowing side to side movement so the top can expand without cupping or cracking. For the wood nerds out there, I draw-bored them, making it a (ahem) blind, draw-bored, lock tenon.

Fun with sawdust.

I closed off the peg holes with end grain walnut plugs. No-one will ever see them, but they make me really happy.

The base is braced with five cross members to keep the apron straight and square. They’re set into blind half-lap joints, and pocket screwed into the apron.

The top went from this:

To this:

With an awful lot of this in between:

The top is five 8/4 boards, a hair under 2″ thick.

The center board is the most highly figured, and shows some features from its life as a tree.

One end has a patch of insect bore holes that I filled with clear epoxy resin and sanded flush with the top so the surface is flat and food safe, and the patina (including chemical stain from the bugs) is left intact.

Now all I have to do is work out how to deliver it in the torrential rain that’s pounding on the workshop roof.

Update: Delivered! Thanks for the help, Sam. Check out how it looks …

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