Last Updated on February 4, 2016 by Kristi Linauer
Remember a while back when I talked about dining table options, and I was leaning towards a modern style table from Restoration Hardware? Well, that plan has been scrapped. I know you’re shocked. 🙂
Here has been my problem with dining table decisions. My dining room is small, so I need a table that’s about six feet long. But when my family comes over (and my sister has already determined that when I get my dining room finished, we’re going to start having family game night here), I’ll need a much bigger table. So I need a table that can extend and can accept at least two leaves.
Also, I’ve been thinking about and looking at just about every style of leg option out there, and it seems like so many styles have legs that just get in the way — either someone has to straddle a table leg while seated, or the person at the end has to prop their feet up on a support bar, or something like that. Trestle tables are the perfect example of this…
Toscana Table from Pottery Barn
I think trestle tables are really pretty, and there are so many great DIY options out there that can save you hundreds or possibly over a thousand dollars. But look at the chairs on the end. It looks like the people sitting there would have their legs jammed up against the table legs. Of course, if you build your own, the legs can be moved in more towards the center of the table to give more leg room to the end chairs, but the more they’re moved in, the less room you’ll have for chairs on the sides unless you make someone straddle the table leg.
It just seems like there are so many tables and styles of tables that look so pretty, but seem so impractical.
So I finally decided that the most practical, as far as seating goes, are pedestal tables and farmhouse tables. I don’t want a pedestal table, so I’ve been looking at farmhouse style tables for several weeks now. I’ve looked at DIY options, as well as ready made, and finally yesterday I came across the perfect table for my dining room! It’s the Harvest Dining Table from Williams Sonoma.
Harvest Dining Table from Williams Sonoma
I love the light, natural finish on the pine table, and it’s the perfect length. Without the leaves, it’s 72 inches long. But with the leaves, it extends to 116 inches long and can seat 10 people comfortably. It’s perfect! But the price…not so much. With shipping and everything, it comes to about $2500. I’m just not going to pay that for a dining table.
So I’m going to build my own. I started searching around and found that Osborne Wood has really good prices on table legs. I finally decided on this leg called the Old English Country Dining Table Leg…
And the best part? I wanted pine, just like the Williams Sonoma table, and the pine legs were only $28.96 each! That’s an amazing price for turned table legs! They’re not going to be as chunky as the Williams Sonoma table legs, but I’m okay with thinner legs.
And I also got a pair of these table slides.
Those slides accept four 12-inch leaves, so that will extend my 72-inch table to a total of 12o inches.
I feel like this is going to be a building project on a whole new level for me, which is good. I like to challenge myself to continue learning and reaching for the next level in my building skills, so I’ll definitely be learning new things with this project.
I’m also thinking that I might take this opportunity to buy a tool that I’ve wanted for a very long time — a planer. If you have a planer and have any recommendations, I’d love to hear your input! It’s a big purchase for me (I usually don’t spend that much money on tools), and right now I’m leaning towards this Dewalt that runs about $600.
It has a high rating and great reviews. But again, if you have any suggestions regarding tabletop planers, I’d love to hear them! I really don’t want to spend much more than about $600 on a planer, and if I can find a good, reliable one for less, then that’s even better!
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!
DebJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:52 am
If you don’t need the planer, although you said you really wanted it), you could look to a local woodworker to plane the top to your specs. Sometimes woodworking or word turning clubs are great resources for craftspersons. Only if you want the table sooner rather than later and are not ready ot make the purchase yet.
Kelly BJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:54 am
Love the table! Looks like the one we have. Only problem with pine is it can easily get knicked on the lega so be careful. But you probably know that already. Cant wait to see what the finished table looks like and the process you go through to finish it.
DebJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:55 am
Just rent one, you will save a lot.
Lisa JohnsonJanuary 25, 2016 at 9:35 am
Hi- I love your table choice! Regarding the planer- have you checked out the possibility of going to a woodworking club, and using theirs? The good thing about that is you can check it out and maybe get some pointers and help along the way. My criteria on purchasing expensive tools is how many projects do I actually have lined up that I would need the tool for, and how much storage space and maintenance will it need if I do purchase it- hope that helps.
Julie @ follow your heart woodworkingJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:55 am
That planer should be fine for what you are doing, but you really need a good way to take the chips away from the machine. You can hook it up to a large shop vac, if that’s all you have, but really look into how you will remove the large amount of shavings that come off of it, more than any other machine.
Also, please don’t just screw your tabletop directly to the aprons. I wrote a post on it, once upon a time, unless there is no wood movement where you are.
EileenJanuary 25, 2016 at 10:37 am
Julie thank you!! I’ve been preparing to build a farmhouse table based on one of the many blog plans out there and I did not know this!! I read your article after seeing your comment. How would pocket holes fare, in your opinion, as a means to attach the boards of the table top together? Do you have any articles on how to “kerf”? THANKS!!
Julie @ follow your heart woodworkingJanuary 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm
I really don’t know why everyone uses pocket holes to attach boards together side-by-side (well, I do know, it’s marketing). The best way to attach boards of a table top (or even boards to make a sign), is to simply glue them together with yellow wood glue and clamps. As for a kerf, it is just a line made with a table saw that cuts into the wood, usually the width of the blade and about 1/8″ to 1/4″ deep, depending on the application.
SuzanneJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:52 pm
My hubby built our table and used table fasteners that he got from Rockler. They allow for expansion and contraction in humid it dry weather. I would be happy to share pics but not sure to do that.
SuzanneJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:53 pm
Oops he glued the boards for the top but then used the fasteners for the base.
Charles MontgomeryJanuary 31, 2016 at 1:17 pm
If you buy the dewalt you mention you won’t need help getting the chips away from the machine. That machine has a built in blower so the chips will get thrown out the exhaust port. You may want to hook up a dust collection bag to the port, or to the end of a hose connected to the port so the chips don’t fly all over the place. I have a DW735 connected to my 2hp dust collector and I usually don’t need to turn the dust collector on, the dewalt just blows the chips all the way into the collector on its own.
nonnaJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:55 am
Kristi…I just had to pop in here and say how much I love the idea of the farmhouse table…what a perfect solution and its beautiful!! Can’t wait to see it in your dining room…I wanted to add..I used my husband’s power saw for the first time the other day..Im working on a craft project…turned out well..and I still have all my fingers so I may try it again..lol..
Mark TisdaleJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:56 am
Ohhh, I’m looking forward to seeing this project unfold! The moment I saw that farmhouse style table with the legs, I could picture you making that. After all it’s just a bigger version of the coffee tables and such you’ve done!
No suggestions on the planer. I come here for tool recommendations. 😉
Gail VandeBrinkJanuary 25, 2016 at 9:11 am
Glad you found Osborne Wood Products they are a wonderful company to work with and have great prices too. My husband is a builder and when we remodeled our kitchen island we bought 3 oak island table leggs for the price of what one leg would have cost from his salesman at the lumber yard he uses. I also want to make a farmhouse table, so looking forward to watching you build yours. Love all your great projects!
JustinJanuary 25, 2016 at 9:12 am
There is also a small functional problem with farmhouse tables (like the one shown above) that you don’t realize until you have one and try to squeeze as many chairs in as you can. Because the legs are more or less in the corner of the table top, the outer-most chair is right up against the table leg. It gives you plenty of room for your feet while seated, but trying to get-up gets tricky, unless the chair slides really easily (like wheels easy). You have to back your chair out all the way for your legs to clear the table leg or the person to the side of you. You can’t just swing them out. They’re trapped under the table. And this is hard to do without elbowing your neighbor since you don’t really have any leverage.
I say this not to dissuade you from using a farmhouse table…I think it’s a great choice. But if you plan to put a rug under it (as I suspect you will), those chairs are not going to slide well.
One workaround is to omit the rug and put felt bottoms on the chairs so they slide easily without marking the floor. I don’t think this will really be an option for you. Another option is to move the legs in a foot or so so that you don’t have to pull your chair all the way out to pivot your legs. A third option might be to have chairs with wheels, but that probably won’t work design-wise.
Do yourself a favor and find a table like the one you’re building and try out what I’m talking about before settling on a design. I think it’ll really help.
angelaJanuary 25, 2016 at 9:52 am
i was thinking some what the same thing with every table you will have some trouble with the legs. the table that you like I have seen on the ends that it has extensions.
Sue2January 25, 2016 at 12:30 pm
The leg thing is why after having a long library table for many years, I opted for a round table that can open with several leaves to make room for family and friends. No leg problems for anyone and it is round until needed saving much space.
AdeleJanuary 25, 2016 at 2:20 pm
Round tables, especially on a pedestal do eliminate the table leg problems and could make family game night easier. They do take up more width, though, which can be a problem with a narrow dining room. I like the number I can get at my round table with or without the extensions but I am planning to change to a custom-built rectangular one because my dining room is so narrow and functions as the walkway from the front of the house to the back of the house. When fully extended and everyone is seated, I find it easier to go out the back door and around the house to get to the living room than to make everyone move!
My sister’s dining room isn’t large (though wider than mine) and my mother recommended she get an oval table–almost as functional as a round table but cuts corners to make getting around it easier when fully extend. It has worked out well.
JustinJanuary 25, 2016 at 3:16 pm
I prefer round tables too, except for the fact that I like to entertain and have more people than could comfortably sit even with 2 leaves. I have a pair of 6-foot folding buffet tables that we use. It’d be nice to be able to put one buffet table end-to-end with the dining room table instead of using both buffet tables in a different room, but with a round table (oval with the leaf), it just doesn’t work well. You get that awkward bump-out where the two tables join.
Makes me wish a square/rectangular pedestal table was a thing. That’d be the best of both worlds. 🙂 It’d probably be tipsy on the corners, though.
Gilmer GalJanuary 25, 2016 at 1:58 pm
It makes sense to try a table out before buying or building. This is an excellent tip! I happen to love chairs that have wheels. Can’t wait to see the new masterpiece!
GuerrinaJanuary 25, 2016 at 10:03 am
Beautiful style. Justin does have some valid points as well. Do you plan to stain? I have 4 chunky turned legs from an antique table (I was able to save them from a friend’s bonfire) almost identical to the pic. Hoping to use them on a bathroom vanity!
Mary Anne LoobyJanuary 25, 2016 at 10:17 am
A farm table is a much better choice. In the interest of space, you might consider a drop leaf farm table. You can keep it small while not in use to make the room appear larger and also to give Matt room to get around, and when you are entertaining you can raise the drop leafs and insert your boards. We have a similar table in our dining room. It was built by an Amish farmer. Under the table we have similar moving parts as the osbourne that you showed. Ours is a bit more complicated with about five moving parts. We have twelve boards, each one foot wide. When our table is fully opened with all boards and the drop leafs up, it is 20 feet long. Our table is a gate leg, but our farmer built other drop leaf tables without the gate leg. Our neighbors had one made and it had slide out supports. It now resides in my brothers home, as our neighbors moved to Seattle and sold most of their furniture and purchased new. Since they are all hand made, along with the china closets and servers, they will become family heirlooms.
As far as the planner goes, you should look into a local lumbar yard. I know if you take your wood to them they will run it through the planner for a nominal charge. I does make for a beautiful finish for a table top. When Phil and I retire, I plan to take some of my boards back to my Amish farmer and have him cut them down to six inches wide and run them through the planner to remove the cherry finish. I want to get them back to the original look of cherry which is very light. I will then railroad them together in different sizes to make a top and I plan to use the base from my antique Irish pine farm table for the base. I won’t have a “formal dining” space in my new home, there will be a dedicated space but it will not be formal. Hopefully one of my children will take the table and chairs and china closet and server. I will keep my hunt board since it is a favorite piece and can do double duty in a lot of places. Good luck with your table, hope I have given you some things to think over. Blessings.
PennyJanuary 25, 2016 at 11:48 am
Are you be to post pics of the pieces you’ve mentioned? They all sound wonderful.
Sheri HepworthJanuary 25, 2016 at 10:30 am
First paragraph; last sentence: “I know you’re shocked.” I knew you were taking us on another decorating adventure!
SueJanuary 25, 2016 at 10:40 am
I like your table design and think you will like the expansion aspect. It should work well for Matt.
SusanJanuary 25, 2016 at 10:57 am
I am so jealous! I have wanted a planer for a long time but get told no pretty regularly by the hub. There is always something else to spend the money on, but it doesn’t stop me from looking at them whenever I am at the Depot. However, for a table you shouldn’t need one (but you should still get it).
I have built several tables and instead of planer you need a belt sander. You will not be able to put more than 12 inches in the planer so you will still need to line up the separate pieces and will have bumps where the sections shift. The biggest help I have found when needing a flat table surface is to use clamps and wood boards to sandwich your boards together to eliminate the shift when you Kreg the pieces together. I know I am not explaining it well but think of your table top (top and bottom) being held at either end by two 2×4 (or 1×3, whatever you have) so it lays flat, and then clamp from one side to the other.
Ana-White.com has great table plans, but none that slide so I am excited to see what you do. Good luck!!!!
Mrs PoPJanuary 25, 2016 at 11:25 am
We’re going to be making our butcher block counters and a dining room table to match – have the wood and the planer, but haven’t quite gotten around to starting them yet! Just as well because the table extension hardware looks really neat! Maybe we need to incorporate that into our plans…
FWIW, we did a lot of research and ended up with a 13″ Delta planer (it was a little more than $300) that we’ll be using for this project. We’ll be planing mostly cherry wood (maybe some walnut), so not particularly hard woods. Haven’t gotten around to using it a ton, but it came highly recommended.
Ellen W.January 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm
Gorgeous! I love that table, and I think it will look beautiful in your space. I know you’ve been asking about fireplace surround colors, but I’ve missed what color you are painting your walls. Did you choose that yet?
LindiaJanuary 25, 2016 at 1:34 pm
I love the farm house table that Sausha from Sweet Pickins built. Of course you wouldn’t have to make it so chippy and you could do yours with leaves to extend it. 🙂
TheresaJanuary 25, 2016 at 1:36 pm
Maybe it’s the photo, but I’m having trouble putting together the mix of wood tones. The pine in the table seems cool and kind of gray, whereas the top of the buffet and the your floors are much warmer. Seems like they’re going to clash. I’m sure you can address it with stain, though. I like the style of the table! And am jealous you’ll be able to expand it out so far!
DeMiJanuary 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm
I’ve had the RYOBI AP1301 planer in my notes for a while to check out because I read an article in Wood magazine that highly recommended it. And it’s only a couple hundred dollars. I don’t have any first hand knowledge of it though.
DebJanuary 25, 2016 at 1:59 pm
I think Osborne will make a chunkier table leg. They have a custom option. Might not be that much more?
anJanuary 25, 2016 at 2:28 pm
Said with love: I think you should pull back from your impulses and use a “make due” table until you finish all but the family room. Embarking on furniture building is really a distraction from what you need to do. And $ invested in a planer is $ you won’t have for whatever unexpected expenses occur. Bite the bullet and finish the house.
KarenJanuary 25, 2016 at 3:33 pm
Wow. I did not see anyone answer your question about planers. We have a planer. I LOVE it. It makes working with reclaimed wood a dream. Yes, there is a lot of wood left on the floor when I am finished, and yes, I have to wear a mask and saftey glasses but it has taken hours off my sanding. I only have to do finish sanding on the wood and it ensures that every board is the same width.
Susan CJanuary 25, 2016 at 3:39 pm
Just wanted to suggest you check with your local pawn shops, maybe even craigslist for your expensive tools. That is something people invest in, then find they never use it or didn’t get into the hobby or craft like they thought they would. It is also something people get rid of when money is tight. It’s worth checking for as you might find a fairly new one, in great shop at quite a savings.
CarolynJanuary 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm
We used to host a lot of family game nights. Our large rectangular dining room table was awkward to use, even with all the leaves taken out. Everyone was too far apart, particularly for boardgames. We started pulling out the card table and crowded around it. Eventually I bought a secondhand round pedestal table, and it was perfect,
I think the suggestion to try out tables first was spot on.
TonyaJanuary 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm
I own the Dewalt DW734. It costs about $400 and I love it. Did an entire 17 ft table top out of planed pallet wood. All the wood needed to be the same thickness for the glass sheets to lay evenly and the planer did it’s job perfectly. I will mention that planing wood will create an enormous amount of sawdust so you need a really good vacuum. I used a Shop Vac with a strong motor but the key was the hose. You have to buy the larger diameter hose separately to prevent your shavings from constantly clogging everything up and slowing you down. Also the Dewalt already comes with the right adapter for the larger hose so it works out in the end.
AliceJanuary 25, 2016 at 6:59 pm
I have the Dewalt 734R. It has been put through its paces for several years and I look forward to having several more years out of it as well. I wouldn’t want to be without it. You can get a reconditioned one here for $360. It’s only 1/2″ narrower than the one you’ve shown. But, as others have mentioned, these are very messy, so do be prepared for that. I look forward to seeing your beautiful table!
SusanJanuary 25, 2016 at 7:29 pm
The table will be lovely in your home! Love the eclectic vibe you are creating.
Regardig table construction. I have a dining table that is 72 inches by 42 inches. Three wood/ metal gear slides that allow me to add three leaves for a total of 124 inches; my table is Italian Provencial with an oval top and square tapered legs. There is also an additon of two legs underneath the slide mechanism that supports the table when it is fully extended. You might want to look into table supports that are necessary at certain lengths or certain number of leaves added for suppost. The legs under the table do not move and the leaves rest on the supports above teh legs. Just saying check it out!
LindaJanuary 25, 2016 at 9:50 pm
Huby has a 12″ Delta that cost around 350.00?……he says Grizzly has one for 325 for a 12 and .5 inch. He says 600 is way too much to spend on a planer. Jet is first choice with Dewalt being third choice ( just his personal preference)
HeatherBJanuary 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm
As far as leg issues go, I think the double pedestal like you got from your sister is the best, preferably with leaves to add (I know you nixed hers for other reasons). Nice ones that extend can be a bit tricky to find, especially because trestle and farmhouse tables seem to be all the rage these days. I had a lot of the same issues, and looked (forever) for a regency style that would work, and I’m very pleased with what I found. It isn’t exactly what I wanted (rectangular with rounded corners as opposed to oval), but has allowed me to easily add benches and chairs wherever without a problem, including double seating at the head when needed!
We have a farmhouse style in our breakfast area, and it really isn’t great for the reasons mentioned by others above. Will probably switch to a round or oval pedestal in the future.
jeanne in AustinFebruary 3, 2016 at 6:01 pm
Regarding planers: IMHO, you should first decide how much you will actually use it. If it will be used heavily, then go for the DeWalt. If just occasional use, even if it’s a lot at one time, go for the Ryobi. I’ve had one for 20 years and never had problems. Don’t use it often, but when I do, it gets a workout! The blades are easy to replace and easy to get.
This is a good review that might help you decide what to buy:
By the way, build a platform with wheels for the planer and take it outside to work. The shavings can be used for mulch or compost.
I like having my own planer for single boards, but when I want a large surface planed, like a table top, I take it to a professional woodworker who has a wide belt sander. Smoothes it with no chipouts so saves a lot of work and headaches.