My Labor FULL Weekend – Part 1

According to my husband, I woke up this past Saturday and just decided that I was we were going to make a table. But truth be told, I’ve been planning on building a dining room table for the past two years. Yes, I said 2 years. Holy bananas! How on earth have I let this project go that long!? The answer? Nerves.

Two years ago at one of my past jobs, my boss was gutting and redoing a carriage house and had two beautiful old doors out waiting for trash. I of course saw a gleaming pile of projects! So that day I drove home with one of the doors strapped to the top of my Jeep. (Insert as many “Lauren what the heck are you doing” faces as possible from both Ryan and my mother).

My goal? To make that puppy my dream dining room table. And so yes, this weekend I decided it was about time to get cracking on the building and stop stressing about how it was going to turn out. (labor day weekend shmayborday weekend). So after a bunch more of those weird looks from Ryan, I finally convinced him to help me and off to Home Depot we went.

Now, I didn’t just go diving into a new project with out a plan (though Ryan seemed to think otherwise when we left the house and I had forgotten to plug in the drill to charge – man will he do anything to try to get out of helping me and my crazy ideas!). I had taken all the measurements and thanks to Ana-White had a good idea of how to construct the support for the table. As an interior designer, I of course had to try to build this thing in my head and on paper first, so I ended up with a (to scale) drawing of the underside construction of the table. I then made a list of the wood sizes and cuts needed so we new exactly how much to purchase.



Since the door measured only 28″ wide, I decided to add an asymmetrical plant to one side to add some width to our table. I just couldn’t imagine having at least 6 people around the table and trying to fit food on it as well. I know I could have done a narrower plank on each side for some symmetry, but as this table is a little “out of the box”, and I love me some asymmetry anyway, I went for the artistic angle.
Adding a  2″x12″  (which is actually 11 1/4″) gave us 39 1/4″ total with for the table – perfect for family entertaining.

Anyway…on to our Home Depot Trip…
Ryan of course had to pick the shiny new cart (out of a sea of old and rusty ones) I don’t know why, but I got a good laugh out of his selection.



So this is our loot. We were smart enough to have our 2×12 cut at HD to 80″ long since we didn’t have a table saw and the miter saw that we did have access to wouldn’t be able to cut that width accurately.

Along with our wood pile we also picked up some screws and wood filler. And if you’re looking at our list above, note that we did not use 2x4s for the legs, and instead opted to use 2×6 planks instead to look a little more proportionate to the table top.

And on to my parent’s house to use their miter saw…(and no we didn’t cut the wood like that, we made sure it was nice and straight before we made our cuts.


And this is what we were left with after all the cuts were made:


Let me show you the breakdown of all these pieces…



So we packed all the cuts (and extra wood) into the Jeep and brought it back to the Traub Mansion to assemble. But not before my little sister Allie (and Mom) talked Ryan into some chalk fun (Allie’s request was a teddy bear… I’m quite impress with my hub’s artistic skills).



First we screwed together the Leg Aprons – this essentially is the frame for the table,however we used nice 1×4 wood since it would be visible once the table was built. We were sure to use a right angle to make sure the table was square. We then attached the corner braces (cut at 45 degree angles) for extra support (and squareness).



After adding the corners, we added the “Support Frame” (as noted in our wood pile above). These are 5  2x4s (not 2x2s as noted in the supply list – the list I was going off of was from Ana-White, but our table was a bit beefier, thus we decided to go with thicker wood pieces) and we decided to lay them face down since we needed to screw through them an into the table top in order to attach the top to the under framing…



That’s the frame all constructed and ready for it’s top! We went back to our garage and got the door…in all of it’s dirty looking state. (I had previously sanded it down when I first brought the table home with an electric sander). We laid the door and extra plank top side down and proceeded to lay the frame on top and attach the two together with 2.5″ screws. (Note: we predrilled all our screw holes which made it easer to countersink the screws, allowing us to fill them with wood filler and hide the construction away)



Thanks hun for snapping a picture of me at work! (His patience and support for all my crazy blogging and stopping to snap pictures is so wonderful and I can’t thank him enough! Especially during a project he wasn’t quite excited for to begin with). While I’m confessing…I wouldn’t recommend wearing flip flops while making a dining table, but heck! I guess I like to live dangerously 😉

We measured on all sides to make sure the frame was centered on table top and screwed the frame into the door first. Ryan then pushed (with all his muscles) the extra plank as close to the door as possible while I screwed the frame to the plank.

Luckily, I noticed early on that the completely assembled door was not going to fit through our front door. So after we finished attaching the frame to the table top we carried it inside to screw in the legs.




After attaching all the legs I had Ryan help me flip it over, and finally his assistance was no longer needed. He was sure to tell me how awesome he thought it looked, and he was happy that we were able to build something so cool. He won’t take any credit for the table, which is so sweet – but honestly I couldn’t have done it without him.

My next step? Wood filler.



Here you can see a countersunk screw and all I had to do was squeeze some filler in the hole, smooth it out and wait for it to dry. Once the filler was dry I just took a sand blog and sanded all the previous screw spots smooth.



And there you have a view of our new dining room table. I’m going to take a breather and wait to show you how I decided to finish off this baby in my next post, but for now just picture me beaming with pride that 2 years of planning wasn’t put to waste. To get to this point, it took us about 7 hours of work – from shopping to sanding (and also included some family chalk time, a Chipotle dinner stop and some excited dance breaks from me).

Even better, Ryan had snapped the last photo from his iPhone and had briefly posted it on Facebook with the caption “my baby can build a table”, which totally made me blush and gleam with pride. Until I realized people were going to see it on his fb post before they saw the project on my blog. (hence the ‘briefly on fb’ part). Be sure to check back to see the final product!

Anyone else do any building this Labor Day weekend? Or am I the only one more excited about constructing than relaxing on such a weekend?


2 comments on “My Labor FULL Weekend – Part 1

  1. Denise says:

    So glad the space it took up in the garage was worth it! Very thorough instructions, I might build one myself! xo

  2. […] Well, first off in early August I was laid off my job. Boo. So while I was chopping my hair, and building tables I was simultaneously on the job hunt. Good news readers, I finally landed a full time position! (not […]

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