Monday, November 18, 2013

We made a table!

One of the first things we wanted to accomplish upon moving into our new apartment was building an butcher block island table for the kitchen. My initial vision for the project came from this how-to and images like this. The floor plan in our basement apartment is very open, and we wanted to create more of a division between the kitchen and living area. Also, who doesn't want more counter space?

The cheapest option I found for buying a new butcher block counter top was from Ikea, at about $200. Then I started looking around on Craigslist, and after a few weeks, a table came up for $50. The table top was 3' x 5' and 3" thick. I'm not sure what kind of wood it is, but it's heavy and dark, which is what we were looking for. We had a very interesting time fitting it into our trunk, especially since it was pouring rain and the block was sticking out a couple feet. On the beltway.

On to construction. We loosely went off these plans from Ana White's blog. She has such great stuff on her website! We didn't have access to one of the tools she uses, so my dad helped us figure out how we wanted to attach the legs and shelving.

First was a trip to Home Depot. We were very glad my dad could accompany us and help us get all the right stuff.

We started with cutting the legs and skirt. We just screwed the legs to the skirt, then screwed the skirt to the little 2x1 piece, then screwed the 2x1 to the table. 

Then the shelf.  We decided it'd be easiest to put all the slats down and then make one cut to get the ends all the same length. Spacing out the 15 slats to have even spacing between them was really hard.

When we stood up the table for the first time, it was a little higher than I expected it to be. We wanted it to be taller than counter top, but I guess it seemed even bigger than I imagined. I like it, though. It fits nicely and if we decide to ever put bar stools with it, it'll be a good height for that.

Once the shelf was on, it looked pretty good!

Our goal was to have the table done for our annual caramel apple making. We finished it (well, except for staining) about an hour before Lauren and Steve came over. Success!

It had only been up for less than 24 hours and I was already wondering how I ever lived without a counter in the middle of the kitchen.

The table stayed un-stained for a couple weeks (I have such a "that's good enough" attitude about stuff like this), but on Saturday Beau worked on it while I was out. We were kind of clueless about what kind of stain we wanted to use (and omg all the choices of shades that look exactly the same!) and picked one we thought would be a tad lighter than the table. It ended up being darker than we thought, but I think it looks really good.

I'm having a little bit of trouble figuring out what to put on the shelf. We already have a decent amount of storage space. Maybe some cute serving bowls? I kind of lack of "cute" kitchen stuff. My measuring cups are cheap and plastic from the BYU creamery my freshman year. My pots and pans are mostly mismatched from various inheritances and thrift store finds. I don't think we have more than 3 matching glasses. None of this bothers me, it's just kind of funny when I go to peel a cucumber and pick up my grandpa's vegetable peeler.

Anyway, now we have this great island! I can't say it would have gone this well if it weren't for Pappy!


  1. Great job! It's really pretty. And the apt looks awesome; thanks for the glimpse ;)

  2. That's awesome! It looks great! I have my grandma's table and chairs that badly need refinishing but I have the same "good enough" attitude that keeps me from actually doing it!

  3. How fun!! Nice work. We just made a table too with a big butcher block like top made of 2x6's. Can't wait to see you guys soon.