Ana White Dining Table

Ana White Dining Table

This was a great way to start off and build a table for my daughter-in-law as my first furniture job! I modified these plans and built a 108″x56″ table plus a 15” extension created seating for 4 and 2 on the ends (no extensions)—yes big is better! A 95″ bench for kids was built for one side. This allows dinners with food on the center of the table leaving plenty of room for plates and glasses and plenty of elbow room. First dinner was Thanksgiving for 12 without the extensions! Major changes were raising the table height 1 1/2″s for better leg clearance, elimination of the leg cross pieces (length x width) and created sliding breadboards on each end to allow insertion of table leafs. This eliminated the 2×2’s on the extensions for better storage and the visible table end 2×2 slots! I added a second 2×4 between the legs (width) to allow the end of the table’s frame 2×4 to be attached to the breadboard (and not the legs!) and then constructed 2×2’s to act as “slide hardware” as pictured in Tommy and Ellie’s drawings. This allowed support while extending the breadboard out creating the space for insertion of the table leaf. I used wood table pins (tapered) on the breadboard and leaf joints to align the table and leaf when compressed and locked them together with Align-n-Lock cam locks–be aware of hardware close tolerances. During glue/screw assembly of the table top boards, I screwed 2-2×4’s from the table frame (pre-cut) to minimize table warping. Lesson learned—-pre-cut your slots in all designated boards and place two of these boards close to the ends. This will be critical to minimize the table ends (4-2×12’s and 2-2×6’s) from moving/warping after aligning and inserting the table pins. This will also help “setting” the table top onto the frame at the correct height. Even then I still had to drill out the receiver holes from minor movement and stain/finish material on/in pins/holes. Finishing went from brushing urethane on the bench to $17 Harbor Freight sprayer to finish the table top—best move ever! The finish on the table top was top notch using water based urethane straight from the can! Started project on a Wednesday and moved table and bench in on the following Wednesday afternoon. Thanks Tommy and Ellie for a great plan to start off with!
ana white dining table 1

Ana White Dining Table

I recently came across the blog Ana-White.com. It’s an amazing resource for do-it-yourself builders with great detailed building plans.  So far, I’ve used a couple plans for inspiration and techniques but have yet to follow one to a “t.” This is the original plan that led to motivating me to build the table. I also went to Restoration Hardware and checked out the table with my own eyes. I noticed a couple of crucial differences between the Ana-White plan and the actual Restoration Hardware table that I wanted to implement. The Restoration Hardware table used big, wide planks for the tabletop (so I used 4-2×12’s for the top), had big beefy table legs and cross beams (so I used 4×4’s), and I also really liked that it had two 15” extensions that could be added on (so I included that in my design).
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Ana White Dining Table

In the blog feature, Ana also includes step by step instructions on creating your very own Farm Dining Table. The designs include: Materials & Tools, Material Cut List, Step by Step Instructions with Diagrams, as well as Finishing instructions. Be sure to check out Ana’s amazing farm table, and make plans to create one of your very own!
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Ana White Dining Table

Oh my, I really like this table, alot! I would even like it for an indoor table. Great job on building it!!! I also really liked your family/picture blocks that you posted…they are awesome and on my list for next project. Keep up the great work, yours and ana’s projects are so inspiring.
ana white dining table 4

Ana White Dining Table

We had the same shrinkage problem with a dining room table. When we remodeled the kitchen in our home in Tennessee we used a formal dining room table for the island top (EVERYONE loved it – the realtors said it got more attention than any home improvement they had seen). So when we moved to florida we thought we would do a similar one for our island here. I found a great craigs list deal on a table stored in a carport. I stripped and refinished it, my husband took the skirt off and we mounted it same as last time. 3 months later it look awful! I didn’t think about all the humidity in a carport here! Live and learn… May try your table (top) this go around, love it!
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Ana White Dining Table

Love how your table turned out. We had paid someone a pretty penny initially to make a farmhouse table for us and boy was is a disaster a few months later. Looked terrible and there were huge gaps. I was heartbroken as well. We did not give up, but instead of taking that table apart, we built a new one ourselves. We bought 60 year old wood from an old schoolhouse for the tabletop and bench boards. The rest was purchased from Lowes for the table and bench frames. This time the table turned out much better, but even with that really old wood which had been in a warehouse, our table top still has a little bit of shrinkage where the breadboards meet the rest. It’s not enough to take the top apart and correct at this point, but still slightly annoying. I think your right on when you mentioned only buying kiln dry wood for your next furniture build. I wish more DIY blogs/sites would talk more about building with damp wood.
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Ana White Dining Table

I am so in love with how this table turned out. It was a lot of hard work, but to know that we built a table together and saved a TON of money doing it, was a lot of fun. Plus this is a table that we can hopefully hand down through the generations. The finished table is about 8′ long and almost 4′ wide. Without the extensions, the table can seat 8-10 people.
ana white dining table 7

Ana White Dining Table

We did not give up, but instead of taking that table apart, we built a new one ourselves. We bought 60 year old wood from an old schoolhouse for the tabletop and bench boards. The rest was purchased from Lowes for the table and bench frames. This time the table turned out much better, but even with that really old wood which had been in a warehouse, our table top still has a little bit of shrinkage where the breadboards meet the rest. It’s not enough to take the top apart and correct at this point, but still slightly annoying. I think your right on when you mentioned only buying kiln dry wood for your next furniture build. I wish more DIY blogs/sites would talk more about building with damp wood.
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This is fabulous. I have been wanting a table like this for my dining room. Do you think it would work as an inside table? Also, I have never done wood working in my life, where did you buy your wood? Just a home improvement store?
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It’s a totally GREAT table! However, I would’ve like to have seen you “bite the bullet”, so to speak, and use cedar or redwood for this specific project. The table would have cost more (still not anywhere near $2K) but those woods are much more appropriate for this table’s outdoor placement. It may not directly be exposed to driving rain, but it’s going to be subject to huge swings in temperature and humidity. I would be concerned that despite the waterproof finish, the pine will cup and twist.
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One thing we did learn about this table is how important it is to make sure the wood is good and dry prior to building. The 2x12s for the tabletop were still somewhat wet when we put them together. After about 2 weeks, we noticed the wood shrinking. The breadboard ends started out being flush with the outside 2×12 planks. After a few weeks, they were sticking out by 1/4 inch on each side. There were also huge gaps between the other planks. I was heartbroken, but wasn’t going to give up on our tabletop and convinced my husband that we could just fix it. We ended up taking the table top off, taking it apart, sanding and refinishing it, then reattaching the pieces tight together again. We trimmed up the breadboard ends and made everything nice and flush again. It unfortunately is something you may run into when purchasing wood from a big box store. If you can, try to purchase the dryest wood possible, or purchase from a lumber yard that sells kiln dried wood. We haven’t had a problem since and the table is everyone’s favorite when they come over.
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This Picture doesn’t show it, but I did build a matching bench and grill table. For the measurements, I just cut the ones for the table in half and it was perfect height.