Working one hour at a time on this table has been slightly frustrating as I like to just start and project and work from start to finish. Basically, the only time I have had to work on this table was during Owen’s naps on the weekend and after he goes to bed.
I knocked out all of the pocket hole screws in one session and it went pretty quickly. I highly recommend picking up a Kreg Jig to make the process easier. You will need a basic clamp or two to hold it still but once you do it once, successfully, it moves very quickly. In the next session I assembled the base and table top and put them together.
The only major issue was getting the table top to line up to be smooth. With dimensional lumber it was almost impossible. I had to keep telling myself that it was ok, its supposed to be a Farmhouse table so a distressed look is allowed. After assembly, I filled all holes and cracks with wood filler. This is where the process became tedious.
Fill holes and cracks, wait, sand, refill holes and cracks (make sure to overfill so you don’t have to go back two times…it sands really easily), wait. Then sand, sand, sand, and more sanding. My brother in law loaned me his belt sander which reduced the time in sanding dramatically (originally I was going to do it all by hand with a $6 foam handle that I picked up at the big blue store — if you don’t have a sander, you may think of picking up a cheap one — its would be well worth it). Sanding took up by far the most time for this project.
Once sanding was complete, I blew off the table with my yard blower and then took a tack cloth to clean up the dust. Then came coats of wood conditioner, stain (Dark Walnut — less than 1/2 quart), and two coats of poly. I basically started staining the base and underside of the table and proceeded to stain the entire table. Then I went back and wiped it down starting with where I started. All in all, my stain came out fairly even although if you want it perfect you should probably stain in stages (again my need to start and finish in one sitting). I didn’t sand between stain and poly or between coats of poly. Everything seemed pretty smooth and the wood took stain really well.
Now that the table is finished, it is time to build the bench. I plan to make some modifications to the Ana White Farmhouse Bench build to use up the rest of the wood that I have on hand. All in all, assuming I don’t have to buy any more supplies (I should have enough left over), the total cost to build the table and bench was $214.37 (including Kreg Jig and a cheap circular saw) and total build time was between 10-12 hours.