From Abandoned Wood to Family Farm Table

For years and years, I have been eying dining tables, dreaming of my someday farm table.  Of course, we all see the beautiful tables at Restoration Hardware, Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn, West, Elm, etc. and we drool.  And then we get smacked in the face when we look at the price tag.  I felt like my “dream” farm table was out of reach, just because what I wanted (reclaimed wood, rough-sawn, practical design that would fit a lot of people) would take me years be able to afford.  And even then, braces, soccer and food for 3 boys would always outweigh my desire for a new table.

We had a table that worked perfectly fine, but it had some problems for our growing family.  It was a hand-me-down from my parents, when they upgraded to a larger table for their home.  The main issue with the table was that due to the way the legs were placed, it was difficult for us to seat many folks around it.  We have a lot of guests and large family gatherings, so it’s frustrating when a table takes up a bunch of room but can only seat 4 comfortably (6 was possibly as well, but not as comfortable).

The other thing that wasn’t working for us is that it had a “skirt” around the bottom of the tabletop.  This wasn’t an ugly feature by any means, but it made it near impossible to cross your legs under the table, fit a booster seat under the table, or if you were taller, fit comfortably under the table.

Did our old table look fine?  Yes, it wasn’t bad at all from a design standpoint, just functionality in our space wasn’t working.

So my dream husband found some abandoned lumber and built a table.


Cost: less than $150 (mostly for wood glue, a few clamps, and the Waterlox that we chose to finish the table with).  My husband is a pretty talented guy, so he whipped this baby up in his spare time, all the design coming out of that smart brain of his.  We looked at a lot of tables, mostly on Restoration Hardware, for inspiration.

My requirements were:

  • The legs and support had to be set in the middle, so we could squash as many people around it as we wanted, without being inhibited by the table legs.
  • The top needed to be high enough to comfortably sit under, and no table skirt.

Now I feel like I have built you up for a big exciting reveal.  It’s not that exciting, it’s only a table.  But it’s our table and it’s perfect for our family!

full shot with light
farm table 2 sarahandtheboysblog

These are vintage Ethan-Allen chairs that I picked up second-hand. I adore anything close to the Windsor-style, and these are a variation of that style (from what I can tell, they are maple, Ethan-Allen by Baumritter Heirloom Nutmeg. Good news is that they are plentiful on ebay, so I’m on the lookout for more locally to add to my set).

close up farm table resized sarahandtheboys

Close up of it’s distressed goodness.

long shot resized sarahandtheboysblog

Those horizontal lines are the original rough-sawn cuts. They add so much character. When Nathan made the table, he took a lot of care to level it out, without completely removing the cuts.

farm table LR view

This table is SOLID oak. The table separates from the bottom, so we carried it into the house in two pieces. I’m telling you, it’s one of the heaviest things I have ever carried. Old wood is so amazing.

another view resized

nail close up sarahandtheboysblog

One of my favorite details are the antique nails. Technically the table is held together by other more substantial pieces of hardware.  These nails are just for decoration, but add so much character and old-world feel.

profile view table sarahandtheboys

A fancy blogger would have staged her kitchen for these photos. I was just lucky to get a shot of the table when it wasn’t covered in food, schoolwork, or art projects. Judge my kitchen if you want, or just feel comforted that my house is a mess just like yours.

underneath farm table sarahandthe boys

I’m hoping that sometime this year our cheap (and very beat up) flooring will be replaced (going to start getting bids for that tomorrow. I’m telling you, it never ends around here).

fruit closeup resized sarahandtheboysblog

This is sort of a backwards reveal. I’m starting with the pretty pictures and over the next post I’ll show you how we went from abandoned-about-to-be-burned wood to this beauty. I’ll share more on the finish we chose (and why) and some things we learned along the way.

***edit*** To see how Nathan made this table, check out this post!

{PS How do you follow this blog? From Facebook? I love Facebook “likes”, but Facebook is sort of testy and only shares posts with you when it’s in the mood. Sign up for emails–top right side of screen I think–if you want to sure you will be able to read each post!}

7 thoughts on “From Abandoned Wood to Family Farm Table

  1. Pingback: How We Went From Scrap Wood to Family Farm Table | Sarah And The Boys

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