After we got all our aggression out on the table, I applied a coat of Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner followed by a custom stain I came up with. I’ve purchased several “gray” stains that are supposed to give the wood a weathered, rustic look, but no matter how many coats I add, the gray barely colors the wood at all. I wanted the table to still be light enough to show all the wood grain, but have that old, weathered look to it, and this is the perfect mix I came up with:
To inset the aprons 3/4" from the outer surface of the legs I made a spacer from 2 pieces of plywood. This little jig made it easy to keep the distances uniform and also secure the apron to the leg while fastening. Pic 3 illustrates how the jig, apron and leg are clamped together for fastening. Each apron end is held by three 2 1/2" pocket screws. The pocket holes were made using a Kreg pocket hole jig. I assembled the short ends first and then the rest of the table base making sure the kerf (for clips) was along the top edge. Since this is a long table I also added a cross piece in the middle of the table using pocket screws.