I wanted a kitchen table that was made out of solid planks of wood, wide, and rustic. I knew I couldn’t have all three so I decided to build my own. I didn’t want a table that was too small because I hated that I couldn’t even put a bowl of mashed potatoes in the center without everyone else’s plates being pushed over the edge.
It also couldn’t be too big because it squeezed into my 8 foot by 10.5 foot kitchen area. It sounds big, but I needed room for chairs and I was also backed up against my glass slider.
Let me just say, this table turned out incredible. Now then, how did I build it? My overall dimensions for the table were 65.5 inches long, 46.5 inches wide, and 31.5 inches tall.
This worked out perfectly for my limited space while maximizing it to the last inch. On top of that, it was the perfect height for chairs and enough leg room. Since everything was made of 2 by whatever’s (except the legs which were 4×4’s), it was ridiculously strong, and also ridiculously heavy.
Step 1: Table Top
I built the top of the table with five 2×10’s and 2×8’s on the end. I started by adhering the 2×10’s. How did I pull off this feat? With none other than the Kreg Jig, and a ton of wood glue. Check out other post on the Kreg Jig, if you don’t know what that is.
I drilled pocket holes every 6 or 8 inches on one side of 4 of the 2×10’s. I left the center 2×10 untouched since it would be drilled in on both sides by the other 2×10’s. I made sure I drilled all of the pocket holes and laid them out, before adhering any of them. I then used a ton of glue in between each board and screwed them in. I wiped up the excess glue.
For the two 2×8 end pieces, I measured and cut them after the 2×10’s were all screwed together. I made sure at least 1 pocket hole aligned with each 2×10. Also, I made sure not to make it too close to the end or the wood could crack. Again, I used a ton of wood glue and screwed them in.
The great thing about the Kreg Jig is that you don’t necessarily need wood clamps because you’re screwing everything together until the glue dries. That said, it doesn’t hurt to clamp it together either.
The legs were 4×4’s and just cut to the height I needed. When measuring the legs height, keep in mind the side skirt will also come down 3 inches (as a 2×4 isn’t exactly 4 inches) and the table top will add another 1.5 inches. Make sure you have enough clearance with the side skirt in place.
Step 3: Side Skirt
The side skirt was made of 2×4’s and to find the correct length, I needed to lay out the legs. With the table top flipped upside down, I laid out the legs so that half of the leg was on the end pieces (2×8’s) and the other half was on the 2×10’s. After I had the legs laid out, equally placed, and where I wanted them, I measured the distance between each leg and that would be how long each 2×4 needed to be.
After they were cut to size, I drilled pocket holes again every 6 to 8 inches. I also made sure that each 2×4 had two pocket holes drilled on each end, because those are the holes where screws will attach to the legs. While keeping the legs in place (although not drilled or glued) for reference, I used a bunch of wood glue and drilled the side skirts in.
After the glue dried, I attached the side skirts to the legs. I did not use any wood glue for the legs since I knew I would move this table and some point and the legs would come off.
Step 4: Braces
Lastly, I used 4 diagonal braces on the bottom of the table top, again using 2×4’s. These four 2×4’s made a diamond shape on the bottom of the table top, ideally just touching each other. They needed to be cut on an angle (angle depends on your dimensions) although not perfect because no one will see them.
I didn’t need to drill any pocket holes for this because I could just screw them in into the table top, as long as the screws weren’t long enough to puncture the top or side skirts. I did use a ton of wood glue again.
I then sanded and stained it. The stain I used had built in polyurethane so it gave it a nice top coat to protect it from spills. The best thing is that this table has imperfections and flaws because I used basic wood planks with knots, holes, and nicks already showing. Since I have small children, it makes their spills and scratches just add character to this table.
I did end up building a bench to go along with this farmhouse kitchen table because it saved space and money on additional chairs. I’ll get into that in another post. When all is said it done, this table seats 6 comfortably and leaves plenty of room for serving dishes in the center.