A Tale of Two Tables

I come from a family of seven, but grew up with limited extended family. The next two generations are filled with nephews and nieces, grand children , first and second cousins, etc.
Two of my nephews and their wives asked me if I could make them tables using some wood left over from 1) a kitchen remodel and 2) a barn deconstruction. I hope it will be clear which table is which.
This is John and Jennifer's table.
Their table (32" by 54") was designed to fit their kitchen- lighter/more open so as not to obstruct the window. Most of the time the table will be used by two to three people.
Therefore, we made the decision to make benches for additional seating, when required, and would tuck away better when not in use. The base of the table and benches were made using wood (poplar) from decorative beams that were removed as part of the kitchen remodel.
The tabletop and bench seats are maple. They were slightly distressed with a power planer and given a light gray stain/polyurethane finish.
A close-up of the table top.
Tabletop and bench seats were "breadboarded".
Mick and Chris's table was designed and constructed using wood from their barn deconstruction. It is much larger 101" by 42" but fits their family and farmhouse well.
Barn siding.
Sections of barn beams
Sections ff the barn beams were cut-up and reassembled to make the pedestals for the table.
Pedestal prior to assembly
The barn's siding was very weathered so both front and back of the boards were resurface with a thickness planer. The inside (less weathered) surface actually became the exposed part of the table top.
Surfaced backside of the siding.
Unsurfaced barn siding.
I wish I had photos to show the process better, but I don't. Because the barn wood was too unstable to make a top, I actually used it like a veneer. The barnwood was nailed and glued to a piece of plywood. The barn wood overhangs the plywood at the sides and ends. Then additional layers are added just around the perimeter to give the appearance that the table top is thicker and made entirely of barn wood. I know this discussion is confusing, but may become clearer if you study the photos that show the edge of the table.
Finished base
Missing knots were "replaced" with angle cut dowels, Then the knot holes, gaps, and major imperfections were filled with auto body filler (BONDO) that was darked with lampblack. Traditionally such table tops have required a ton of sanding to level things up but a recently purchased power plane made the task significantly easier and left distress marks- adding to the appearance of the top.
Finish tabletop.
I used amber shellac for a sanding sealer, so it added a little color to the table, but for the most par the color comes from the wood (pine) itself. Multiple coats of polyurethane makes for a very durable finish.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Haysha S. Haysha S. on Dec 15, 2016
    Love how the tables came out!

  • Joanie Joanie on Feb 12, 2017
    Hey John: Welcome aboard!! Are you a carpenter? You sure do nice carpentry.....the tables, benches and liquor cabinets are very nice. That is some real craftsman ship there!! Do you drink the liquor or beer or anything? ;))))

    • See 1 previous
    • John Biermacher John Biermacher on May 03, 2017
      Just checking to see if saw my recent post on the "Piano Bookcase".

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