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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Buy some, Gather some, Re-Use some… Build! Everyone is on a budget, but it should not stop you from have the kind of homestead you want. We all have our priorities. Ours are paying bills. 🙂

But, we do have priorities that diverge from basic living needs. For my husband it is everything music. He is always dreaming of the next piece of equipment or a guitar. Right now, I am trying to work some art supplies into the mix. We want to take our son to some swimming lessons at the YMCA over the Summer and maybe British Soccer Camp for a week (shhhh!). And sometimes we will actually all go out to eat! All these are necessities in my book. Why bother working so hard if you aren’t going to be able to enjoy yourself?

So, back to the dilemma. How do you go about building when materials are so pricey? My motto is “Trash Picking!”. I am always processing uses for things I see along the roadside. Freecycle and craig’s list “Free” section are possibilities too.

Recently, making sure I had time to kill and some energy in pocket, I went to the DIY store (in this case – Lowes). I went back and forth looking at all the edge glued wood pieces. There were paint and premium grades. So, of course, I start looking at the lower priced paint quality boards. There were certainly very different levels of quality to choose from within the pile of boards – all priced the same.

I found (the last time I was shopping) 1′ x 2″ pine that was one price in the trimming board section and less than half that price on the construction side of the lumber section. These strips of wood were not warped and looked fine.

Craig’s list had yielded me an old table a while back. The top was worn and warped, but the leg stand was heavy metal and solid. It has these holes all around the frame edge for screws. I took the old top off.

The following shows the 4 edge glued boards that I purchase for $6.90 each (3 boards were pressure-glued together to make each whole piece). The framing strips were 88 cents each (these will end up on the underside of the table). I have some polyurethane in the garage. Or we could use Old English furniture oil or regular linseed oil from the farm supply store. Again, the base was free.

Old top on floor to the right

New table in progress

My favorite part is that this is an EASY project. A bit of carpenters glue between each of the 4 large pieces that will make up the length of the table, screws for the strips/frame and wood conditioner will complete the task. (PS: Our Ryobi miter saw was cheap and is an extremely handy tool. The stabilizer strips will be cut to size in seconds.)

Hopefully, this big farm table will turn out well – and under $50.00.

Note: If you would rather just buy something, IKEA a great place for basic funiture. We do not get the particle board pieces. If you want something to last a while, go for the solid wood pieces like the BJURSTA dining table.

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