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Apr 04, 2017

How to Make a Folding Farmhouse Table from Reclaimed Wood

Make your own folding farm table

On the side, my wife and I sell some of our handiwork at craft fairs, barn sales and vintage markets. When we got started, we had mostly folding plastic tables and white table cloths. And as you know, nothing, except maybe a grilled hot dog on a paper plate on the Fourth of July, looks its best on a folding plastic table and white table cloth.

I was noticing that a lot of the vendors carted in giant farm tables and fixtures to hold all their products, but real farm tables are heavy and I don't even have a truck to carry all of that! So, I got to thinking how could I have the same look and feel of a farmhouse while also being portable. This weekend I tried out an idea and it worked out really well for what we need and I thought I'd share it with you.

I can see this table being used as a portable bar or dinner table for an outdoor party. 

What you'll need:

  1. Reclaimed flooring. You can also call your local hardwood flooring store and ask for discontinued boxes for a bargain. 
  2. 4 Medium-sized ornamental gate hinges
  3. 4 Spun legs. I bought mine at a big-box hardware store and removed the pre-installed leg screws.
  4. A pocket hole drilling kit and screws
  5. Wood Glue
  6. Nail pullers—if your flooring still has nails in it.

One side of your table will have the groove and one will have the tongue, so we need to cut the tongue off, so lets start by removing that at the table saw.

Create your own folding farm table

Next, we'll start gluing up the pieces. I need my table to be about 48" long, so I dug through my pile for that length. To glue this table up properly, you can apply one of two ways. 1) you fill the groove joint with glue and hammer in the tongue joint. 2) coat the tongue joint on both sides of the tongue and hammer on the groove. 

Create your own folding farm table

If you're a slow gluer like me, you may have to clamp up each board as you go, otherwise the glue will start to dry on you and your joints wont be so tight. It's better to take your time than rush through it. Since this piece isn't fine woodworking, I'm not too worried about perfect.

Create your own folding farm table

Once you've glued up all of the boards you need, let it dry for a few hours. Then, it's time to cut the length to size. 

Create your own folding farm table

I set up a cross cut by clamping a long level and running my circular saw across. Do this for both sides.

Create your own folding farm table

Now it's ready for a skirt! I made one with more strips of flooring with the tongue removed. Measured two long pieces and two short pieces to make the rectangle that goes underneath the table. I wanted to make sure that every board was supported since this table will be on the road, so the skirt is wider in the pictures that a typical table skirt is. 

Create your own folding farm table

Create your own folding farm table

With your pocket hole jig, make holes to create 4 butt joints as well as holes to mount the skirt to the table.

Create your own folding farm table

Let's bring it in for a landing! I picked these up at the hardware store. Start by setting the legs on the table where you want them to land. Since this table is really short compared to most, I had to stager the width of the legs so they will fold flush to the table. When unfolded, you really can't tell too much.

Create your own folding farm table

One at a time, pick up each leg and set it flush against the skirt wall. Then, set one of the hinges up against the leg on the center line (Unlike in the picture, don't worry, I centered it before I screwed it in.).

Create your own folding farm table

Create your own folding farm table

There it is, Now all it needs is a coat of paint on the legs and skirt then it's ready for our next market!

Create your own folding farm table

I would imagine the larger the table you make and the larger the legs, the sturdier it will be. Once this table was fully set up on level ground I had pretty minimal wobbling. I think there are some improvements that could be made on that aspect. I'm going to research some folding table parts to see if I can get a hold of the folding arms that you pop into place to really add stability to each leg. I'll report back on my findings!

created at: 05/28/2015

Happy building!

 

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