DIY Farmhouse Table/Desk Tutorial

I mentioned yesterday that I was smitten for a new piece of furniture that my husband and I built.  I thought the entire thing would be far more complicated than it truly was, which is always a relief when a new DIY is involved.

The table measures in at 56" wide by 38" deep and was assembled with wood from our local Home Depot as well as legs from an online woodworking store.  Because we had measured and taped out the desk ahead of time, we knew our dimensions heading into the project and asked the kind friends at HD to cut down the top piece of wood for us right at the store.  Always much easier when you can make that happen.

The items that we found to be most useful during this project were:

    As I mentioned, we had the oversized top birch piece cut to our exact dimensions at the home improvement store.  The poplar frame, birch top and pine legs are all similar wood grain and finish to ultimately yield a consistency within the staining process.

    Once we were ready to build the desk, we selected the side that looked prettiest for the top, and put that side face down.  The first step was to mark 2 inches in from each edge to determine placement of the table legs.

    From there, we cut down the 2x2 treated lumber to fit between each leg.  These pieces were cut from inexpensive wood which would not be visible upon completion of the desk due to their placement as a frame/support for the top.

    A second piece of wood was cut for between each leg as well, this time out of 1x3 poplar, which would be visible on the end product. 

    {feel free to ignore my stain testing on the bottom of the desk - still haven't selected a winner}

    Once the pieces were cut to the correct size and mocked up on the table, each portion of the frame was given the Kreg Jig treatment.  Bryan says that the jig has become one of his most favorite tools that he owns.  And of course I am smitten that it nicely conceals assembly hardware {the wood screws in this case}.

    The goal was to create a very sturdy base for the oversized top, so the next step was to attach the inexpensive wood frame to the decorative poplar frame.   We started by gluing the two pieces together with wood glue.  This step is crucial as the wood glue adds so much additional strength to to the project vs. using hardware only.  The pieces were then clamped together to allow for dry time and were ultimately screwed together.

    And here is why we love the Kreg Jig!  See how it allowed us to screw the base pieces to the legs?  Yet it will all be concealed for the end result.  So good!

    Next we flipped the base over and celebrated.  I may have sang, "Everything is awesome!  Everything is cool when we're part of a team!  Everything is awesome...."  OK sorry, back on track Jen.

    When we purchased the top, we knew we would have to find a solution for the unfinished edge.  After digging through different options in the lumber aisle, we settled on the same poplar finish we utilized for the base, but in a 1x2.  A couple miter cuts and a few taps of the brad nailer later and the edge was trimmed out nicely.

    We were in the market for a new can of wood putty, and decided to give the Dap Plastic Wood a try. 

    you are not seeing things... the label was upside down on the can

    Bryan and I each used our finger to fill in all of the nail holes and the seam on the top of the table where the new edge was added.  After the putty was dry, I lightly sanded the entire top with a fine grit sanding block.

    There were a few spots that were not sanding flat, so we whipped out the palm sander {still with fine grit paper}, which really finished it off nicely.

    And a look at the lovely corner...

    We left the table in two parts to move it to the office, and once there, we just used small L brackets like these to attach the top.  However, you could also just carefully screw right up through the 2x2 into the top {just make sure the screws you select are not too long that they would come through the top.  We want to be able to remove the top at any time to get the table up and down our stairs which is why we just selected some L brackets, however, if you are looking affix it as strong as possible, add some wood glue when screwing it in.

    And more shots of our labor of love up close and personal and to gain more perspective of the flow of the space.

    With this desk, I have a great work space for my laptop and for my notes / daily planner, with access to my files right below.  Such a productive setup!

    As I shared yesterday, I am still wavering on finish options.  The assembly was pretty quick and straight forward, but that doesn't mean I want to rush into something that will cause re-work or regret down the line.  I have tried at least 8 different stain colors and combinations and haven't fallen for any yet as they are either too grey, too black, too dark or too orange... I have a few more options to play with within my stash, but again, if anyone has favorite stain selections that yield a result similar to this beautiful desk, I would love to hear about them.

    A few more colorful projects in the works and this case of a space will be closed!

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