This project starts with me finding some reclaimed wood on Craigslist. I went to buy only a few pieces to bring home for a small project, but then the salvage guy made me a deal that I couldn’t refuse. He needed the wood off of his trailer and actually offered to drive 40 + miles to deliver it onto my driveway at no extra charge.
So quite unexpectedly, I found that I had myself a pile of Douglas fir floor framing lumber. It was reclaimed from a 90 year old farmhouse in Brentwood, California. For those of you familiar with California, this is not the Brentwood of O.J. Simpson fame, but lies between the bay area and the central valley. It’s not easy to explain to your wife how you went to buy just a few pieces or wood, and came home with the trailer load. In an act of nervous desperation, trying to explain how it all happened, I blurted out that I could make us a dining room table. That was all it took. I had myself my next project and the wood was permitted to sit in the driveway for a few months. I found in the pile, true 2×6, most of which were 20′ long. I also owned 5 – 6×6, that were 20 feet long. The salvage guy told me he had cut these down from an original length of 40 feet. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t go to your local home center and buy lumber of that length today!
We decided on a Tuscan style rustic farm table that could sit 10 comfortably and 12 with two people at each end. I wanted to use the 6 x6’s at the top of the table, and selected the 3 best, re-sawing them down to 3×6. I left the original circular saw blade marks, nail holes and cracks in the wood, working around them, as the real character and the story of the wood lives in these markings.
Then I cut off four pieces of the 6 x 6 that I could turn on the lathe to make the legs.
Fir is such a soft wood and tends to take stain vary dark, so I first applied a sealer coat of 1 part Sand and Sealer to 1 parts denatured alcohol.
This prevented the wood from absorbing too much stain and getting too dark. I tried several stains on sample pieces . I decided on a medium oak stain that I applied vary lightly . The finish I used was wipe on urethane satin top coat by General Finish. I let the last coat dry for 72 hours and then rubbed it out with an old piece of steel wool 0000 and orange oil, which provided a silky smooth finish.