Farm House Table From Reclaimed Barn Wood

 “This is a test.  This is only a test.”

No, you’re not reading the script for that radio announcement from the Emergency Broadcast System.  I’m talking about this commissioned farm house table that I made for Matt and Margaret Epperson.   Matt has a PhD. and teaches at the University of Chicago.  With four growing children, he and Margaret have a busy home.

This project “tested” me in a few different ways.

Shop Space Test

With the end leaves installed, this table measures over ten and one half feet long!  That’s a fairly substantial table, and fitting it in to my “small-ish” shop was, well, intimate.  It’s one of the reasons that I’m starting to get serious about plans for a new garage/ workshop in the next 1-2 years. It’s a vague dream at this point, but it needs to happen.

Materials Test

This was my first time using reclaimed barn wood as the source material for a project.  Yes, it can be hard on your tools, and you need to clean up the boards well and remove all the nails before running them through the planer, but I did enjoy it.  I found the process of discovering what lies beneath the sun-faded surface a bit like opening a present, not knowing what was inside.  Who doesn’t like to open presents?

Skills Test

This was my very first project that required the use of a lathe.  Yes, those huge legs that were turned from 6″ square barn beams were my first-ever lathe turnings.  My good friend Steve Rowan allowed me to use his lathe and gave me a quick course on it’s use and away I went.  Oh, by the way, I’m now the proud owner of my own lathe.  And another by the way, it was Steven Rowan’s daughter, Kim Paton, that took nearly all of the photos of the table that you see here.  She’s the one who always reminds  me of the importance of capturing nice photos of my woodworking pieces.  Thanks Steve and Kim!

Design Test

The table’s design was also a test.  Creating a user-friendly leaf attachment system, dovetailed stretchers that allow it to be taken apart, and an overall look that lines up with the desires of the customer were the primary goals.

Final Test- Customer Satisfaction

The new owner picked up the table a few days ago, and seemed genuinely happy with the project’s outcome.  Matt and Margaret, were able to virtually follow the table’s build process through my uploaded photos on Facebook.  He and I would message back and forth just to work through some of the finer details on design and finish options.

Some of Matt’s comments:

  •  “I’ve never been this excited about a piece of furniture in my life.”
  • “My family spends so much time around the dining room table; eating, doing homework, playing games…I can’t wait to have our first meal around this table.  It’s perfect.”
  • “I found myself going on Facebook late at night, looking at the pictures as you were making it because I was so into it.”

Those are the kinds of remarks that make all of the time invested in creating the table worth it for me.  I’d like to thank Matt and Margaret for placing their trust in me with their order.  THANK YOU! As a result, you fed my crazed addiction to woodworking!

So, what are your thoughts?  How did I stand up to the tests?

My name is Doug, and I’m addicted to woodworking.  This is NOT a test. This is a REAL emergency.

2 thoughts on “Farm House Table From Reclaimed Barn Wood

  1. This table is beautiful I have never seen a farmhouse table that I liked better…can you tell me how wide it is?

  2. Thank you. That’s quite a nice compliment! The table was custom built to the customers specifications at 48″ wide, about 96″ long, with two removable 16″ extension leaves. With the leaves installed, it’s 128″ long. The height was initially around 32″, but I cut it down to 31″ after it received some use and the customer requested this change.

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