Today I’m going to show you how to build a high quality dining table with breadboard ends! I was commissioned by a former high school teacher that needed a larger dining table for their growing family. Needless to say I was honored and got right to work on the project!
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Here are the tools and items I used for this table:
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How to Build a High Quality Dining Table
- Get the Plans!
- Table Legs
- Make the Apron
- Assemble Farmhouse Table Base
- How to Make Table Top
- Attach Breadboards to Table Top
- Final Farmhouse Table Assembly
- Finish of Choice
- Go Build One!
Get the Plans
I started off this project by prepping the stock to make the table legs. I first cut the legs to their rough length on the miter saw and then ripped them to rough width on the table saw.
After this I flattened one surface on each board before gluing up each leg blank.
This is actually where I’m going to break out into another blog post to cover the finer points of making the table legs. To dive into how to turn a set of identical table legs which you can check that out here!
Make the Aprons
Making the aprons is a pretty straight forward process. I run through the standard milling operations that will be covered in a coming section and bring my pieces down to the dimensions shown in my plans.
Assemble Farmhouse Table Base
Here’s where the fun begins… It’s time for some joinery! For this project all of the joinery was handled with the Festool Domino. Seeing that this is a very expensive tool, there are many alternatives. I’ll share two here:
- Alternative #1 would be pocket hole joinery. Simply drill the pocket holes on the inside of the apron and secure the base with screws through the apron into the leg.
- Alternative #2 would be using table leg hardware like this
Before I start cutting any of the mortises, I need to layout where they will be.
The first mortises I’ll cut are in the ends of each apron.
Next I setup and cut the mortises on one of the legs.
Once this has been done I do a quick test to make sure everything is lining up like I want.
With this test fit looking good, I finish cutting the mortises and move on to assembling the base!
I first go ahead and glue to Dominos into the mortises in the legs. What extra mortises??? I don’t know what you’re talking about… Whoops! I might have measured once, gotten excited about assembly, and cut twice on this one lol! Thankfully this “feature” was hidden by the apron. At any rate, the plans for this farmhouse dining table very clearly show the location of these mortises so no worries there!
I then assemble each “short side” of the table base.
Next I attach the long aprons to the legs. These long parallel clamps really come in handy here. However, if you don’t have super long clamps on hand a ratchet strap can be used to pull the joint tight.
How to Make a Table Top
I like to hold the best boards for the table top for obvious reasons. I start out by looking over all of the boards for the top and deciding where I’ll get the best material possible to make the top.
Then it’s over to the miter saw to rough cut these boards to length.
The next stop is to rip everything down to a size that will fit on my jointer.
With the boards jointed I switch my table saw blade to a glue line rip blade to make a very smooth cut in preparation for gluing up the table top.
I do this initial glue up as three sets of 3 boards. I do this so that I can run the boards through my planer after this initial glue up is cured.
After the boards run through the planer and drum sander, I’m ready to glue up the table top to it’s final size! I used Dominos to help keep the boards aligned. However, a biscuit joiner could be used to aid in this task if a Domino isn’t available.
The final step for building the main portion of this table top is to cut the ends square and to proper length. To accomplish this, I set up my Kreg ACS and have at it!
Attach Breadboards to Table Top
For this build I used a super fast way to attach breadboard ends. I used the Domino. I’ve also covered how to attach breadboard ends using a tongue a groove joint which you can check out here! Anyways, I layout where I want the Dominos on each end of the table first.
Then I cut the mortises on each end of the table top and in the breadboards and lastly glue the breadboards to the main portion of the table top.
Once the glue is cured I grab just the track and plunge saw of my ACS and trim the breadboards flush with the sides of my table top.
Final Farmhouse Table Assembly
To attach the table top to the base I used Z-Clips. These slide into slots in the apron that are typically cut using a biscuit joiner. I didn’t get a shot of these on this table, but again, you can reference the rustic coffee table project to see these in use.
Finish of Choice
For this particular project I went with General Finishes Water Based Stain and General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin to finish off this table! The customers loved the finished result, but once again, sorry I didn’t grab a great photo after finishing the table.
Go Build One!
If you liked this project, you’ll probably love my rustic coffee table with breadboard ends especially since I’ve mentioned it only once or twice in this post!
As always, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments. And until next time, have fun making something!