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Hobbies: A $500 farmhouse table for under $90

Sean Welsh
Baltimore Sun

My wife and I had the same dinner table since we got married: a tiny, lightweight Ikea number that included four chairs.

Just married and living in a townhouse with a dog, it was all we needed. And it was the right price: under $200 for the table and chairs.

Flash forward about 12 years and we were due for a new table — two homes and three kids later, the tiny Ikea model had outlived its usefulness for us.

After procrastinating for about a year, I finally got us an upgraded table this spring — well, I built it. For under $100.

This isn’t the first time I’ve built something for our home. My wife and I built loft beds for our two older kids in successive years. They made fun projects and meaningful Christmas gifts. They were also affordable and relatively easy to make, thanks to plans from another handy parent’s website.

So I went back to the well, using Ana White’s website again with a weekend project last month while my wife was out of town.

A trip to Home Depot and about $80 later, I had all the supplies I needed — granted, a lot of the tools I’d already grabbed for past projects. But Home Depot made all the major cuts I needed to the specs on Ana’s website.

Flash forward a few hours over two days — this can be done in a day if you don’t have three “helpers” under the age of 9, including an ornery 6-year-old obsessed with using the drill — and we had a new farmhouse table large enough to seat eight people comfortably.

It wasn’t without some frustrations.

But this is a doable project for the amateur woodworker.

If you have a weekend free — I won’t know what that’s like again until after Little League season wraps up in early June — this is a doable project. And it’ll improve your home fivefold what you spend.

Now I just need to find time to stain it.

Once that’s done, it’ll be on to another weekend project — perhaps a bench for the table, a new bed with storage space or the outdoor seating I’ve been coveting for our deck.

For plans on this project, visit http://bit.ly/2oRuBU0