Jess Farm Table

When my nephew Ryan and his wife Makayla bought their farmhouse in western Michigan, a maple tree over three feet in diameter was literally pressing against the back wall of their new home. Soon, they had the old tree felled and hired a crew to mill it into thick slabs and dry them in a kiln. I love wood with a good story, so when Ryan called to ask about helping them build a big farm table with the maple from the tree, I was honored and practically jumped at the opportunity to create another piece of heirloom furniture in my workshop.

Shortly after our conversation, Ryan arrived at the shop with a pickup truck loaded with thick, wide slabs of kiln dried maple. Due to the age and condition of the maple tree when it came down, it was soon apparent that we would have to be very strategic about how to best utilize this special wood.

Because their new old farmhouse had a spacious dining room that would easily accommodate a large table, the target size for our project was eight feet long and forty-two inches wide. With a few photos selected for design inspiration, we came up with a SketchUp model that everyone approved. Because of the sizes involved, this project was done in two phases, the nearly two inch thick table top and a sturdy table base to support it.

The following series of project photos will illustrate the steps take to bring this project to fruition … and to its final destination, about twenty feet from where the legacy maple tree had grown for at least over one hundred years!