Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Pottery Barn Dining Table Knockoff.

I've always wanted a huge dining room table. Over the past few years I've stalked many blogs that made farmhouse tables (more specifically the Pottery Barn Benchwright). (See: Ana-White and here, Perfectly Imperfect, Contemporary Harbor and many many more.) I took in as much knowledge as I could and started forming a plan. (This plan included getting my dad on-board to help, but lucky for me he is always on-board for a building project.) All of the tables I read about were too small and they all faked the 4x4 through parts, I had to figure out how to make it nearly 9 feet long (ended up 8 feet 8 inches) and how to make the legs more legit. (Oh and for less than 300 bucks!)

I am super lucky to have such wonderful friends and family. It truly took a village to build this thing. <3

It all started in my friend Alan's cabinet shop where we (they: Alan, Dad and Chris) cut all the boards and used Alan's awesome skills to give this table an upgrade.
The upgrade started with Alan building a template.
After the template was built, Alan, Dad and Chris used a plunge router to create holes in the 4x4 legs to allow the cross piece in the legs to really go through, unlike many of the knockoffs we found. Chris gets a few bonus points for dedication to our project. He showed up in his dress clothes after a hard night of partying. :)
Then we took the boards back to our house where I began laying out the tabletop. Dad and I decided which boards worked best where. Once it was all set, I got to use my favorite building tool (the kreg jig) to drill a ton of pocket holes to join the boards together. Once the holes were all drilled, dad and I started joining boards with lots of glue and the pocket holes.

Then it looked like this! We were starting to get excited! Then I sanded. And sanded. And sanded.
And sanded a little more.

Next I started the finishing process on the bottom first:
2 coats of wood conditioner
2 coats of weathered oak
2 coats of special walnut
4 coats of poly

Then I got to do it all over again to the top.

Then to the legs...

Hey look, my turnbuckle came in the mail!!

Once the table was finished dad and Chris put the legs on. After that, they drilled holes and put the rods and turnbuckle on the bottom (that I had spray painted with a brown paint.) I got to supervise this part because Miles wanted nothing but his mommy at the time.
Holy crap it is done. We did it. We built a table.
And in time for Thanksgiving. Success!!! (14 people around that baby!)

All I can say is THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To Dad, Alan, Chris and Paul.

Paul is always a stanch supporter of my insane ideas and enables me to have the free-time to do these crazy things. Love you!


  1. WOW, that looks amazing! So glad you got to squeeze in some time to do something for yourself! :)

  2. Laura... it looks amazing! Congratulations!

  3. This is so gorgeous. Of course, you're now locked into hosting Thanksgiving for the next 30 years or so but it's such a small price to pay! :-)