As Artisans Collective continues to grow, so has the need for table space during classes. After researching farmhouse table and kitchen island plans, we chose to design our own farmhouse island height table that measures 96” x 48” x 36”.
Stability is key when designing a sturdy but comfortable farmhouse shop table. Our design choices include a hard New England wood, (Ash) for the table skirt and base, and farmhouse style island legs. We purchased 5/4 lumber and had it properly planed on all 4 sides to a solid and true 1” thickness at our lumber supplier. Costs can be reduced by using less expensive island legs and lumber, but we love both the design appeal and stability of our plan.
(6) 34 ½” x 4” Atlanta Island Post Legs $43.56 each (Osborne Wood Products, Inc.)
Ash Table Skirt - 6” Wide, 1” Thick
(2) 92” - ½” dado trim 4” on both ends, dado trim 4” from center (44” - 48”)
(2) 44” - ½” dado trim away 3 ½” on both ends
Ash Base Skirt 3” Wide 1” Thick
1x4 Common Board
1X2 Common Board
(1) 37 ¼”
(4) 14” Brackets 45 degree Angle on each corner
Scrap wood for the bottom shelf
(2) 4’ x 8’ MDF ¾”
(2) 2” Trim (2) 8’4” and (2) 4’4” Custom fit with mitered corners.
Ryobi 10 in. Portable Table Saw with Quick Stand
Ryobi 18V ONE+™ 18GA CORDLESS BRAD NAILER
Freud 6" Pro Dado Set (SD206)
Ryobi One+ 18V Lithium Ion 1/2" Drill Driver P208B
Ryobi 18V ONE+™ 5 IN. RANDOM ORBIT SANDER
Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System
Ryobi Drill and Drive Kit (60-Piece)
Kreg Pocket-Hole Screws 1 ¼” Fine-Thread for use with Hardwoods
18 Everbilt Wood Screws - 2 ½” Flat Head Phillips
GripRite Drywall Coarse Thread Screws 1”
GripRite Drywall Coarse Thread Screws 1½
DeWalt Brad Nails 1 ¼”
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue
DAP Plastic Wood-X All Purpose Wood Filler
QUICK GRIP BAR CLAMPS
ANNIE SLOAN Chalk Paint:
Annie Sloan Black Wax
McCloskey Man O’War - Spar Varnish
Zisser Bulls Eye Clear Shellac
Why Inset with a Dado Blade?
We opted to use a Dado blade and inset the table skirting into the legs. This balances the load and gives the table greater strength. We took out half an inch from the table legs and the boards to have them lay flush. If you prefer to skip the Dado blade effort, then modify the table skirt cut list and attach wood by drilling pocket holes and use Kreg pocket hole screws.
Carefully plan and mark measurements on all table skirting and legs before you begin cutting away material. Follow the lay out plan below and mark the inside and outside placement on each leg and board. Taking a few minutes to measure and mock up material will prevent mistakes and expedite the process at the table saw.
Dado Blades and Leg Cuts
We looked at our Ryobi manual to find the correct throat plate for a dado blade. There are several sections on a dado blade, so the throat plate needs to be wider than the regular throat plate size. The new plate arrived in a few days and we were ready to go! It is not difficult to change the blade, just make certain to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for stacking your Dado Blades onto your table saw. Pay attention to staggering the blades so they properly chip away wood from the board or table legs. Once your blades are set, change out the throat plate. Set the Dado blade to ½” depth and test using scrap lumber to ensure the depth is accurate.
Prepare the top of the leg posts with cuts facing the outside of the table frame.
Set the rip fence to 4”, run the top of the leg through the Dado blade, and continue to carefully run the leg through the dado blade until the 4 inches of wood is chipped away. Turning the leg, repeat the process, again, starting 4” from the top of the leg and chip away ½” of material until 4” of the wood is removed. Cut two outward facing sides on the top of 4 corner posts and the outward side of the 2 middle posts. The mitre gauge can help steady the leg as it is pushed through the Dado blade.
Reminder, 4 corner posts and 2 middle posts have now been defined. The next step is to cut the bottom of the leg posts and bottom cuts face the inside of the table. Be careful to ensure your legs are correctly marked when you take them to the saw.
Prepare the bottom of the leg posts with cuts facing the inside of the table frame.
Measure from the edge of your dado blade to the rip fence to ensure the proper length of the cut. Set the rip fence to 2” and run the bottom of through the Dado blade. Now set the rip fence to 5” and run the leg through the dado blade. After the two cuts are made, clear away the remaining wood from between the two cuts.
You may be able to request table legs be precut to accommodate your table build, but honestly, purchasing a decent Dado Blade set will allow you to take on many projects in the future. Spend the money on the tools and watch your abilities and projects grow leaps and bounds!
For the Table Skirt
Cut all of your boards to length according to the cut list.
For the Table Skirt: Make channel cuts on the 6” wide boards with the Dado blade.
Start by setting the rip fence at 4” and take the 92” boards and clear away the first 4” on each end.
The center of the 92” boards also needs a ½” channel. From one end, measure and mark a line at 44” and then a line at 48”. Mark the board so you can clearly see the lines and slowly chip away between the 44” - 48”. Use the mitre gauge and a block of wood on the other side to keep the board straight as you push your wood through the Dado blade.
Finally, set the rip fence at 3 ½” to cut the 44” boards.
Once the wood is cut, take the time to pre-drill and make pocket holes so assembly is a snap. Follow the board guide for pre-drilling all pocket holes. The pocket holes are key for assembling the bottom railing and for attaching the table top.
When going to assemble your table, start off by dry fitting the pieces together to ensure the pieces sit properly. Lay 2 end posts and 1 middle post onto the floor, so the outside of the leg is facing up. Place the 92” board across the posts, pre-drill and counter sink the holes, and attach using 3” wood screws. For increased stability, you should use wood glue. Flip the 3 posts over so the inside of the legs are facing up, and repeat the process with the 90" board that runs along the bottom of the table.
Repeat the process with the other 3 legs.
Once the two halves are done, it's time to stand the structure up! Set up the two halves and dry fit the remaining top skirt, and screw them in. For the bottom skirt we pocket holed the pieces and screwed them in.
For the bottom shelving, add 1x2 railing to both 90" boards along the bottom. To secure them we used what we had lying around, so we ended up with 1½" drywall screws. Finally, to ensure the shelves won't warp in the center, attach one more 90" 1x2 railing with pocket holes and Kreg pocket-hole screws 1 ¼” fine-thread for use with Hardwoods.
With 1x2 common board, insert (4) 43" crossbeams along the top skirt, and (1) 37 ¼” crossbeam in between the two center posts. Finally, insert (4) 14” brackets on a 45 degree angle for each corner.
For the top we glued together (2) 4’ x 8’ MDF ¾” boards and clamped them. We also drove about 40 GripRite 1" Drywall Coarse Thread Screws to make sure the top was completely secure.
With our super sturdy MDF top all ready, we lifted and centered the top onto the base, and secured it using the pocket holes we pre-drilled along the top-skirt and crossbeams and 1¼" Kreg Jig Screws for hardwoods. To hide the edges of the MDF attach 2” trim, custom fit with mitered corners, with DeWalt Brad Nails 1 ¼”.
Finishing Our Farmhouse Table
We painted the base of our table with Paris Grey Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and sealed it with Annie Sloan Black Wax. For the shelves underneath we actually used some laminate flooring we had laying around. We cut it to the appropriate size and sprayed it with a metallic paint to give it an industrial feel.
For the top we sealed the MDF with two layers of Zisser Bulls Eye Clear Shellac so that the MDF didn't soak in too much paint. After, we painted two coats of Country Grey Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Olivia cut out a giant 36" stencil of our Artisan's Collective logo, and Morgan stenciled and cleaned up the edges of the logo onto the table. We painted the trim with Graphite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
To seal the table we wanted a really tough, durable finish, so we opted for McCloskey Man O’War Spar Varnish. As a warning, spar varnish has an intense odor, so making sure there is proper ventilation is key. It takes three coats of varnish, and in between each coat use 1000 grit sandpaper to level the varnish and ensure a smooth seal.
Our farmhouse table is a great new anchor for our shop; it makes the workshop space feel like home. It opened up the possibilities of the types of workshops we could offer for our customers, and gave us the the ability to do bigger, better projects! Be on the lookout over the next few weeks as we keep painting, living, and loving the life we're in.