Harvest Table on Steroids!

I’ve learned when you have a crane company owner contact you about making a harvest table you’re not going to sway him from his BIG CRANE mentality. When he said he wanted a BIG, BEEFY top, he meant it with all his heart and never once did he back down from that.  I’m certain my eyes bugged out when he told me he wanted the harvest table top to be 3″ thick.  I’m always up for a challenge though so I agreed to take on the job.  The couple wanted a 4’x9′ slightly rustic, old world plank looking table so I deliberately left the top boards a little loosey goosey when joining them together so you could see each individual plank. I pride myself in building heirloom furniture and I hope someone in their family will still be using this big monster 100 years from now! This table was a joy to build and the response I’ve had from it has been overwhelming.  Here are the final pictures of the table with nearly 60 build-it pictures as well. I can’t think of a better place for a harvest table than in the heart of Iowa with the rolling farm fields and corn crib in the background. Gosh….I love Iowa and its people!

In Barnyard Shot Final w WM

Inside No Chairs with WM

Inside With Chairs with WM

Whether you’re a woodworker or not you may find the below work-in-progress pictures interesting.  Let me know if you have any questions…..I’m always happy to share any knowledge I have about woodworking and finish work too. Enjoy!


17 comments for “Harvest Table on Steroids!

  1. Pingback: Harvest Table
  2. Brian MacLeod
    May 4, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I am so impressed with this table. I am an amateur woodworker, ( no one would pay to buy my stuff !), but I have made two tables which are big and hearty like this. ( Not to the level or quality of your workmanship, I can see, but eventually I will get there.) I have had trouble in the past with the bread board ends, but I really like the way you did this. I will attempt this style. Many thanks Brian MacLeod

    • The WoodGal
      May 4, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you Brian. I’ve been doing woodworking now for 25 years so I too started with the simple projects at first. Each year I’d make my late hubby something for Christmas and with each project, I’d seek a new and greater challenge for myself. As you add tools to your collection you’ll find yourself looking for projects that will match the tools that you have. I know they are terribly expensive but things really changed for me when I switched over to Festool tools. That line of tools completely changed the way I do woodworking…especially the Domino machines! I did a YouTube video featuring the XL Domino machine if you’re interested. You’ll find a link to that on my April 4th post here on this site….if you’re interested!

  3. Mark
    May 4, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    What a beautiful piece. Really georgeous

    • The WoodGal
      May 4, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks Mark! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. J Bailey
    May 4, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Ummm. 3 inch thick top, 4 foot by 9 foot. Nifty. Only problem is that your support “beams” will not support that much weight. Sooner or later it will begin to sag in the middle. To support that much weight you would have had to have had more lengthways support than a couple of 2X4’s.

    • The WoodGal
      May 4, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      It’s a valid point J Bailey. I might add though that the table top is not 3″ thick all the way through….just on the bread board ends and a 2.5″ wide strip glued to the underside of the long sides to give it the look of 3″ thick. The middle section is actually just 5/4 boards and the two outside planks are 6/4 boards. The top is attached with floating table clips (to allow for wood movement) so in the case things do start to sag, I can always go back and add more joist to beef things up if need be.

      Thanks for stopping by my site!

  5. Dave Nesting
    May 6, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Hi Ruthie
    Great project – you mentioned getting the Domino XL because of the size of the size of this project.

    If you were just thinking about a domino today… would you get Little brother or Big brother?
    My Gut says little brother…. but I really don’t know.

    • The WoodGal
      May 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Hello…thanks for stopping by my site! I would for sure look at the little brother first. The XL is very big and heavy and most of my projects just don’t call for a tenon and mortise that is that deep and wide. That harvest table was quite unique and the XL was an absolute match for what the machine was made for. I also like to build big heavy arbors so for me the XL will be a tool I’ll be using more of in the future. Hopefully I’ve not confused you more….I’d say follow your gut…if I were buying for the first time again I’d for sure get the little brother!

  6. Robb
    July 8, 2015 at 8:26 am

    What a beautiful table, Must weigh a ton. Wondered why you cut the legs with the trac saw before finishing with the band saw, why not just use the band saw? And what about wood movement on the cross grain bread board ends?

    • The WoodGal
      July 8, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks Robb for the kind words. Yes, this puppy was very heavy so it’ll last for generations to come I hope. Ya, I could have cut them with the bandsaw but the dead straight clean cut I get with the track saw is unbelievable which left very little sanding to do once I sliced it on through with the bandsaw. I allowed for the wood movement on the ends by only glueing the Dominos in certain places. I used over sized holes and wooden dowels to pin it which will allow the wood to breath with the changing seasons. There’s a whole lot of wood on that top so believe me….I made certain to give it plenty of playground room!

  7. john
    July 10, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Ruthie, just happened to see your shop in my new Wood Magazine and got your website from the article. I love your shop as well as your table. Really awesome. Anyway, I subscribed right away, cause like your work and I want to learn from someone who has been doing wood work as long as you have. I paid particular attention to your video about finishing. Whereas you mentioned you love to finish, I find finishing my most difficult and really don’t know what I’m doing half the time. I’m going to see if I can find the General finishes you mentioned. Thanks for the tip and I’ll be watching for your videos. Well done!

    • The WoodGal
      July 11, 2015 at 8:44 am

      It’s wonderful to hear from you John! Thanks for your kind words about my playground, I mean, my shop! Ya, it’s kind of crazy that I love finish work so much…..most people hate that part. My video was a general overview but what I probably need to do is a video that takes you through each step that I go through with the General Finishes product line. If you Google General Finishes you’ll find lots of information on their website. I’ve pretty much switched over to all water based finishing products now and I couldn’t be happier. Please email if you have any questions about finishing…I’m always happy to help people out. woodgal@mac.com

  8. Chris
    August 31, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I bet that took a ton of work but it is absolutely gorgeous!

    • The WoodGal
      August 31, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks Chris….yes, it was one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever taken on…but oh so worth it! I’d love to build another one someday!

  9. Simon
    May 11, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    You obviously put a lot of love and work into that project, how beautiful does oak look when finished! Also love the sturdy look, does it weight a ton?

    • The WoodGal
      May 11, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you Simon! I have to say it was one of the most challenging, but yet most rewarding projects I have ever done. Yes it weighed a mighty amount. It took 4 of us just to carry the top into the house. As far as I know, it’s still working out fine for the family who commissioned me to build it for them.

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