Dining Table Build – The Design

A few months ago, my friend asked me to help him build a dining room table for the new house that he and his wife bought in Colorado. I’m not going to lie, it was both terrifying and exciting. Terrifying, because I had never built anything that required close to the amount of skill required for a flat, square dining table. Exciting, because it was a chance to dive headfirst into something I believed I would really enjoy.

Obviously, the first step was to design the table to fit their needs. 

They love to spend time with family and wanted a table for everyone to gather around. In this case, everyone is 8-12 people, so we decided on a very large table. Approximately 4’ x 8’.

After determining the size, we needed a design. They sent me a few examples for sale that they liked, and then I sketched out a couple of examples for them. 

For some reason, sketching out plans on engineering paper just feels right.

After some feedback, we decided on top option 2 and I started to draw it up in SketchUp. Now, if you are a seasoned woodworker, or someone who knows a little bit about wood movement, you may realize already that top option 2 presents a lot more difficulties regarding expansion and contraction. It also presents a lot of issues with warping, especially using lumber to save on costs. I did not realize that at the time (first time, remember?), but luckily a friend offered some solid advice before I ruined everything in the build. I’ll get into more details later regarding wood movement and how it was handled on this build, but it was a fair amount of work in this design.

That being said, we kept the design as is, and I do not regret it one bit. It was a huge learning experience to build and I think the end result was worth the added difficulties from the beginning.

Back to the SketchUp design.

Everything in this design will be made using Douglas Fir lumber. It will save on costs for such a large table, but should still look nice at the end.
No, I have no plans to build the chairs with this. Putting them in SketchUp helped me figure out the overhang and leg spacing.

The final table design calls for thick table legs, 3” x 3”, and a table-top made from 2” x 6” lumber, ripped down to 5” wide. It’s substantial, and I can’t wait to walk through the build process with you over the next few weeks.

Goals Update

Almost a month ago, I posted an update regarding my weight loss and workshop goals that I set last fall. The weight loss goal in particular had gone poorly, so I’m adding more frequent updates to try and stay accountable to my goals. 

Weight Loss – Two weeks ago, I had dropped 2lbs and weighed in at 174lbs. Today, I have weighed in at….174lbs. Honestly, I’ve done decently well these past couple weeks with eating healthily and exercising constantly. I did enjoy espresso fudge birthday cake almost every day 2 weeks ago, but despite that I’ve weighed in between 173 and 174 consistently. I’m going to keep pushing and see if I can lose at least a pound by next Sunday.

Workshop – Like 2 weeks ago, still no progress on the faux beams. I did drop off the dining room table that I built and am starting to write about! While I still have other things on my to-do list, finishing up that table is a big step towards working on the workshop once again.

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