In this article I will go over the process of building a farmhouse dining table. This is made to the standard 3'x6' size. Affiliate links are used on this page. See my disclosure page for info on affiliate programs.
Tools and Supplies used
Affiliate links are used on this page. See my disclosure page for info on affiliate programs.
I started off by making the legs from non-treated 4x4s. I cut them to length on the miter saw.
Then planed them down to the same thickness.
I then went back to the miter saw to cut the 45° angle on them. The saw could not make it all the way through, so I finished them up with a Japanese Pull Saw
I attached the vertical part of the legs to the horizontal with 3/4" dowels. After finding the centers, I drilled 3/4" holes into the leg pieces. The tape on the drill is used as a depth stop.
Cutting the dowels to length on the miter saw.
Here I glued the legs up in stages, but in the future I will glue up the whole "I" in one go to reduce waiting time.
For all the 2x4s I used, I cut 1/4" off of each side to get rid of the factory rounded edge. I think this gives a better look.
I flush cut the protruding dowels with my pull saw and then cleaned it up with a card scraper.
Back at the miter saw, I cut up the 2x12s which will make up the table top.
And cut the leg supports. These required two different angles, so I cut one side on the miter saw and the other side on the table saw with a tapering jig.
I drilled recessed holes to attach the x-braces to the legs with screws, which will then be filled in with wood plugs.
Time for the top glue up. Off camera I planed and jointed the edges for a nice glue up.
And cleaned up the joints with a card scraper.
The tenons were done with the same router and bit using a straight edge as a guide.
I didn't want the tenon to go all the way to the edge, so I cut off the ends with my pull saw.
I drilled holes to pin the breadboard with dowels. I used a forstner bit to mark the center of the hole in the mortise onto the tenon. I then made another mark a bit more towards the shoulder so when I drove the dowels in, it would pull tight.
I drilled two more holes on either side of the existing ones to help with expansion. I had a bit of a screw up here. I should have been supporting the tenon underneath while chiseling, but since I wasn't I ended up snapping off the unsupported bit. I was able to glue it back together, but lesson learned.
I just glued the center bit here, gluing the entire thing would defeat the purpose. The wood wouldn't be able to expand and the top would probably split.
I finished the top by driving in the dowel and flush cutting with the pull saw.
Here I'm using the miter saw to cut half-laps for the cross braces. I cut sections out and then hammered the chips out. Once I was done, I cleaned it up with a chisel and hand plane.
I clamped up a simple jig to get the braces in position and drilled them into the legs.
Here I used some plug cutters to cut plugs to fill in the screw holes. They are glued in and flush cut with the pull saw.
Finally applying special walnut stain after sanding. I also painted the base white off camera.
The top is attached to the base with four wood screws. The base has oversized holes and the screws have washers on them to allow for wood movement.