01 February 2010

A low stress patient

Last weekend, I built a table.

I probably put the people who know me through the unnecessary worry that I would lop off a finger. We have a work table in our kitchen, but it's tough to sit around it becuase of the bottom shelf. M. found the Vermont Butcher Block and Board company who made us a tabletop the same width as our work table using alternating maple and walnut for a lot cheaper than I could have on my own.


I based the design on plans we found at This Old House.


I fastened the butcher block to an apron of red oak we stained with Minwax Walnut using 1/2 inch holes in the crossbeams and screws through fender washers so that the table top could shrink and expand without warping. I fastened square block legs of oak to the apron with corner braces.

The toughest joints of all were where the X-shaped hanger met the legs. I wanted that shape so that sitting stools could be tucked under the table. I cut a mortise and tenon joint into the corner of each leg and ran a carriage bolt in from the outside of each leg. I also put a locking caster on the bottom of each leg so we could roll the table around.

It was nice to know that if I messed up, all I would be sacrificing was a piece of lumber. I had been imagining several ways to screw it up for the past few weeks, so I had committed most of the errors in my mind. The casters didn't screw in flush but otherwise assembly went well. M. handled staining and touch up.
Last Saturday I took the kids to Lowe's for the free Build and Grow workshop, and they each made a Tic-Tac-Toe game box. When we were done, I found three stools that were a little scratched up, and the friendly people at Lowe's gave us 20% off for the blemishes!
Bit by bit the kids have begun using the table to for breakfast, so mission accomplished!


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  2. Chris,

    What a beautiful compliment to your kitchen.
    I LOVE natural wood. Nice job. :)

    xo xo

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