The result of this project is what your wife or girlfriend would call a “Rustic,” “Barn,” or “Ranch Style” dining room table. I call it a man table, because it’s made from inexpensive wood, can take a beating, and one day your grandchildren will be serving their kids Thanksgiving dinner on it. Being the man that built that table is, well, manly. I’ve found a few similar tables on Craigslist and furniture sites, starting at around $1200. That’s absurd. I built mine for less than $200, including the chairs I bought for it.

We call them strongbacks and we use them on every tabletop we build. It's just a scrap strip of 3/4" plywood, with 3/4" pocket holes drilled about ever few inches. The strongback is attached to the bottom of the tabletop as the glue dries. The square edge of the plywood prevents the tabletop from warping or cupping as it dries. Then we remove the strongbacks (and save them for the next tabletop) when we attach the tabletop to the base.
If you bought this superb polished table in a store, it would cost you a fortune, but our detailed instructions will help you make one for less than $100. And it looks like highly polished stone, but no-one would know it’s actually made from concrete with a wooden base. Also, you can embellish the top with leaf prints, like the table shown here, or personalize it with glass or mosaic tiles or imprints of seashells.
Limited floor space is a problem in most shops. However, that’s no longer an excuse for kicking up a bunch of dust without a dust collection system as Grizzly now makes a wall-mounted dust collector. It’s equipped with a powerful 1-HP motor prewired for 120V. It features a canister filter with six times the surface area of a standard bag-filter, yet it takes up less space. The filter is easy to keep clean with the hand crank filter-cleaning brush.
The Story of the Farmhouse Table with a Race Track While working my day job one of my managers came to my desk and said “I need your help”. Come to find out she ordered a farmhouse table and bench on Etsy. However the person she ordered it from fell off the face of the earth and left her without a table or her money (Etsy made good on it for her). The reason she ordered the table was because of the three legged bench. She has a young son and was concerned that he would turn over a two legged bench. This one appeared to give her the stability that she wanted. My reply, “I can help!” After seeing the picture of the table she ordered I told her to give me a few days and I could find her an alternative. So I went out to one of my trusted bloggers, Rogue Engineer and found the table I wanted to build. Please check out his site and follow him on social media. After getting her approval of the style and layout, we agreed on a price and some minor adjustments to the plans. She only wanted a 7 foot table and she only wanted one bench, but that bench needed a third leg. So I made the size adjustments and quoted the table. Now the “Curve” A couple of days after we agreed on the project my client called and said she had an idea on the way to work. She needed to find a way to get her son to the dinner table. “Can I add a 1½” wide by 1/8th inch deep race track around the top of the table?” After I caught my breath and recovered I gave her some alternative ideas to avoid creating a race track into what I knew was going to be a beautiful table. She was convinced this is what she wanted, so I said well, this is why we call ourselves Bayne CUSTOM Woodworking. So I agreed and then the adventure began. The Build Instead of recreating what Rogue Engineer already did I will refer you to his free plans on his site. See the link in the opening paragraph.  He will provide the materials list needed. Below I will outline the changes I made and how I built the table and bench. While not huge changes, there are some that I made to meet the client’s requests and some to add my own unique style. The plans call for a table that is 110” while I made mine to fit the client request of 84”. Because I trimmed my boards I ended up with a 40” wide top instead of a 42” wide. She wanted only one bench so I made an 80” bench with 3 legs instead of the 2 legged bench. Let me also state up front that I rarely, if ever, use pine to build anymore, but I did use it on the job because
This is a well built bag that does a good job of consolidating tools. It opens up very wide and is surprisingly compact when closed. I use mine doing HVAC installation to avoid schlepping power tools one at a time. Holds a circular saw, reciprocating saw, angle grinder, hammer drill and the associated bits/discs/blades/batteries/grips. Also have a two foot level and 18" bar folder in there and it still zips closed with zero issues.
You can also use Google image search to research a project. Unlike the PDF search, the image search provides a photo of what the project will look like, which is helpful in determining if you want to pursue building it. By doing an image search for how to build a step stool, you will have a ton of options that all lead to woodworking plans of various quality. (The how to part of these is important—otherwise you’ll just get pictures of step stools.)
If you already have a workshop and the skills for woodworking, you will need to make sure that you have some reliable woodworking plans at your disposal and the necessary woodworking tools to complete the projects you wish to make. There are some websites that offer free woodworking plans, but they are often incomplete or lack sufficient detail to understand properly and this will lead to frustration and loss of interest in woodworking. After spending many years building up your collection of fine woodworking tools and learning to use them, you will no doubt have some neat skills under your belt. Now to make full use of these skills, you will need to find a nice project to work on, one which will do you proud and show off your fancy woodworking skills.
Turning over the sturdy tabletop, I felt a thrill of vindication. Clearly, it wasn’t a mistake in the end to use all three stains for the same project. Before I could consider the job done, though, I would need to apply sealer—Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane—to protect the wood from moisture, UV rays, and the wear and tear of day-to-day life. This was my first time experimenting with a spray-application sealer, and I loved it. Obviously, it’s important to have proper ventilation in your work area, and you’ve got to shake the can vigorously before spraying, but so long as you remember the basics, spraying couldn’t be more straightforward. Holding the Helmsman Spar Urethane can about a foot from the surface, spray in a series of even strokes, always in the same direction, until you’ve completed the first coat. Let the sealer dry for about four hours before applying any additional coats, and for best results, sand the entire surface before each application of a new layer.
You can also use Google image search to research a project. Unlike the PDF search, the image search provides a photo of what the project will look like, which is helpful in determining if you want to pursue building it. By doing an image search for how to build a step stool, you will have a ton of options that all lead to woodworking plans of various quality. (The how to part of these is important—otherwise you’ll just get pictures of step stools.)
Cedar Mini Decorative Planters/Boxes Using Interlocking Dovetail Joints Having a cedar mill within an hour of my shop allows me to work with some very nice wood. While cedar can be brittle, it is wonderful to work with and makes putting these decorative boxes together a breeze. When working with cedar I am always looking for pieces that have what is known as “heartwood”. This is the red portion of the wood. When first planed or sanded, this heartwood is almost pink in color but takes polyurethane or spar finish well giving a vibrant dark red when applied. If left untreated, cedar will turn gray in direct sunlight and a dull red color from normal household light. These boxes have been treated with a wiping polyurethane mix that allows me to apply it with a cotton rag instead of a brush. It’s faster to apply, doesn’t run and dries fast enough to apply two coats in a day. So applying 5-6 coats only takes 2-3 days to accomplish. I assembled the boxes using a dovetail joint which provides both strength and decorative at the same time. A fan shaped tenon that forms a tight interlocking joint when fitted into a corresponding mortise. The dovetails on these boxes are shown on the length of the box and not the end where the handles are located. I use a dovetail jig and a router to make these joints which is more efficient. Depending on how the client will use the box I may or may not drill two holes in the bottom of the box. If they are built to be used as outside planters then I drill 2, half inch holes in the bottom for water to drain. If they are to be used inside as a table center piece or fireplace mantle decorative box, then I do not drill the hole. In the end they are strong, durable and beautiful no matter how they are used.
Here’s an old woodworking adage I enjoy ignoring: “measure twice, cut once.” Honestly, I measure nonce and cut thrice. I often eyeball it. I use pieces I’ve already cut to measure what I need to cut. It’s not a great habit, but I prefer it to measuring everything. And the results usually aren’t that different. At least that’s what I tell myself. I ended up having to sand down the ends of the 2×12’s running the length of the table (where they meet the aprons) because they weren’t exactly the same length.

It might sound weird but you can actually turn an old window into a lovely coffee table. You just need to attach four legs and a handle and you have an original coffee table with a clever storage space inside. If the window already has the dimensions you wanted then it’s perfect. If not, you can adjust your project. You can also feel free to repaint everything.{found on ohgloryvintage}.


Okay, let’s stain this beast. I should explain that we used Rustoleum’s Dark Walnut Ultimate Wood Stain, but we did it wrong. We failed to mix it well before applying it, resulting in a color we really liked–but not the color this stain is designed to create. When we came back to do a second coat, we stirred it well, resulting in a coat that looked like purple paint. I had to sand it off and start over. So, don’t follow my lead here–follow the can’s directions and TEST before staining all of your new masterpiece!
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