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Kim Werker

Farmhouse Table

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Greetings from the country! This place is a serious fixer-upper, and so far we've furnished it almost entirely with shelving our neighbour was getting rid of. Makes for the appearance of a mess! Everything exposed. Also that for seating all we have are some camping chairs and ancient hideous folding chairs.

We brought an old round of wood with IKEA legs to serve as a temporary kitchen table, and it seats four somewhat comfortably (thankfully we're only three).

But! We have friends and family coming out, and I declared that we need to make a proper table.

So yesterday I went to a wood pile I'd noticed last week (this place was somewhat neglected for years; we've found two bathtubs on the acreage so far – nearly half a kilometre away from each other!), and discovered in all my jogging I've severely neglected my upper body. #weakling

With the kid's help and also the help of a utility trailer, we hauled quite a lot of discarded lumber up to the house, then G and I made a plan for a table, inspired in part by the simplicity of this plan. But seriously modified because the lumber we're using is hulking and aged and in parts rough hewn and, we discovered, mostly pressure treated. (Pressure treated wood is not food safe. This made our decision for us about whether we'd simply oil the finished surface or varnish it into submission. Varnish it is!)

We're making the table 6-feet by about 38 inches, which is about all our space can accommodate. We figure if needed, ten people can squish around it, which is a major improvement over our rickety four.

We cut the 2x8s into planks to be the table surface yesterday, and cut four posts into legs so the finished table will be 30-inches tall. We also cut two salvaged 2x6s to be cross-braces for the tabletop.

Today we'll cut and attach a full apron for attaching the tabletop planks, and we'll finish that bit. The table will be too big to get into the house, so after we make the tabletop and I sand it into submission and then sand the legs, we'll varnish it all in pieces, then eventually (hopefully by Saturday?) bring it inside and assemble it in place.

I'm far less sore this morning than I'd thought I'd be, so yay! Here's to getting that upper-body strength by making stuff.

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@Kim Werkerwith power tools! Watch out, world!

That’s a great photo. (That orange thing behind you looks like some sort of Construction Site Transformer. It has many...limbs...of mysterious origin and function, plus it’s a colour that would show up well against a green screen. What IS it?)

I think what you and your family are doing up there is amazing. The amount of work and the scale of the project are so daunting, but you’re just digging in wherever you can and making surprising progress. !!

Save a place for me at that table. I have little upper-body strength to speak of either but power tools are FUN. 😉 

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1 hour ago, Sandi Wiseheart said:

That orange thing behind you looks like some sort of Construction Site Transformer. It has many...limbs...of mysterious origin and function, plus it’s a colour that would show up well against a green screen. What IS it?

😂That, friend, is our tractor. It doesn't have many limbs, but it does have a few implements, one of which is sitting beside it and may look like it's attached, but it isn't. On the front (far side, in the photo) is a bucket (like a bulldozer), and on the back (low rectangular thing) is a box scraper (used for levelling things like paths or driveways). The implement to the side is a brush cutter (used for... cutting brush).

For now, we're using the beast (it's actually small, for a tractor) to clear paths, level the driveway, mow down tall grasses (that aren't being cut for hay), clear small sections of land (to level, eventually, for camping), etc. Soon we'll use the front bucket to scoop gravel from elsewhere to aid in levelling the driveway.

We're quickly learning that it's all about having the right tool for the job.

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Oh my GOODNESS. I didn’t realize a tractor could have interchangeable parts. No wonder it looked so odd. 

The box scraper was the bit that was stumping me. I had not seen one before and I kept trying to imagine what it might do and was coming up flails. The levellers I have seen here are giant big things for levelling entire lots. 

It almost always IS about having the right tool for the job, isn’t it? Whether you are making hay or making yarn or whatever. 

I love that you are calling it “the beast”. I think you need to paint that on the side of the tractor with big claws and flames or something. 

I’m eagerly awaiting the next chapter in your adventures up there. What will Kim and her gang make or attempt next? 😉🙃❤️

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I finally have a few minutes this morning for a table update. Update: It's finished! We've been using it since Sunday evening (though only lightly, since we needed to let the varnish cure; it's been in regular use since Tuesday).

It's wide (around 39"), so we had to assemble it inside. Thankfully, we had friends to help lug it around.

It took about three full days of work to make it, with the bulk of time in sanding and planing the table surface. Then a full day of on-and-off varnishing.

It seats eight a bit tightly and ten if we squish. :)

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Thanks, @Gayle!

And @Corrie! One day I will write extensively about these (men's) overalls and how even work-clothing manufacturers make men's clothing better, more flexible and in a greater size range than women's! GRR.

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