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DIY Life: Building a Dining Table from Salvage Wood

I'd always wanted to score a cool old farmhouse dining table, and when we lived on our farm and renovated the kitchen to open it up to the dining room, the scouring of antique stores and websites for both old and new tables began. And boy did that sticker shock kick in! After a while my only search parameter was to find something that was solid wood, and eventually I realized it wasn't going to happen for our budget.

So rather than fret? I remembered how I'd built our kitchen island with salvaged barn wood earlier in the year, thanks to a plan found on the awesome woodworking site Ana White, and decided to revisit her scores of ideas to see if I could find a dining table to my liking, or at least inspiration.

Amen for that! If you've never checked it out, I highly recommend it as they are super easy to follow and yeah, if you haven't discovered the magic of a Kreg jig, you will after seeing how she's found a zillion uses for it to ease the furniture building process!

So two things happened to make this project a success: 1) I followed a plan for the base of a farmhouse table to a tee, and 2) I used my community networks to score the wood for the table top! Turns out the owner of a cafe we frequented back then (pre-pandemic) was a reclaimed wood junkie like me, and upon talking, he had come upon some shiplap siding from an old house on the coast that was being torn down which sounded perfect for my project. And oh how it was! The base of the table was built with scrap 2x6's I had leftover from other projects, and that shiplap became the tabletop (after much sanding and coating with a zero-VOC water-based General Finishes stain).

I've never been so excited about building anything in my life, and to this day, it remains my pride and joy. While to me it's obvious I built it, the great compliment I received was when we had a couple over to the house for a meal, and she came in and said "wow! where did you score that antique farmhouse table?!" and my day was officially made.

Of course it was non-negotiable that whatever house we moved to in our downsizing back to the city would have to have room for it. While it's just the two of us, it's SO nice to have something that easily accommodates having guests over for a meal, not to mention have ALL the dishes on Thanksgiving right there at the table. Woo hoo!

DIY TIP: Like any new project, the key is to go slowly, follow the directions on the plan to a tee, and audit yourself as you go along. The last thing you want to do is build 90% of it realizing one part was screwed in or measured wrong and you have to disassemble half of it to make the fix !


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