Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table

Hey there everyone!! My oh my!! If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that waaaayyyy back in JULY, I posted my new dining table, right after getting it built! I was BEYOND excited to have built a Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table, my Dad and I spent two days getting it built, it was just perfect, we hand planed it, sanded it to a buttery finish…it was time for me to distress and stain it…but I left it sitting in his shop…all this time!! Why do you ask? Well, honestly, because I wanted it to look JUST like my inspiration piece, the West Elm Emmerson Dining Table, but I was sooooo afraid I was not going to be able to pull off the ‘old wood’ look that I wanted, so instead of testing stains for a few days and knocking it out that same week…I let it sit…and sit…and sit some more!! Sometimes I make myself soooo angry!! I do not understand why I get scared and won’t just go for it, I will put it off, and put it off, until all the sudden, one day I jump in knee-deep and just do it, why do I have to procrastinate for days, weeks, or even months before jumping in?? I may never know…but what I do know is that I LOVE my new table!!

Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table

I am THRILLED that I FINALLY finished it!! Now I have a blank slate here in the dining room and I can’t wait to bring so many DIY projects to this room!! Luckily, you can’t see the absolute mess behind me that I created making this room a blank slate! Let’s just get another look at this table shall we!! Hehe!!

Update: I built a matching bench as well! Get the plans for it here, DIY West Elm Emmerson Dining Bench!

DIY Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table and Bench

Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table

I am not sure why in the pictures the legs look so light and the top looks so dark!

Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table

Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table

The best part about this table is, I got to spend some wonderful time with my Dad…annnd I only spent $120 bucks on it!! This beast is MASSIVE and solid…you cannot find a table of this magnitude for such a small price tag! West Elm charges $900-1300, and their version is pallet wood over a frame…it is not a solid slab like they make it look…I actually learned that AFTER making my table (you know, when it takes you six months to get something finished, you can learn a lot in that time…Lol)!! Although pallet wood is free, my husband used to work in a food distribution warehouse where they used to spray pesticides on their pallets all the time, and since I don’t use pesticides in my home, I definitely don’t want to eat off of them!! I did opt to make the bench the simpler way though, using 1x4s over a frame to be like pallet wood! I will be posting the plans for it in just a few days! Let’s get to the building already!

FYI: I built my table 70″ long, if you want a longer table, you will need to adjust your material list because making a 70″ table uses almost every last inch of wood you buy! The overall measurements for this table are ~70″ L x 38″ W x 29.5″ H. This is slightly lower than the average table which is 30″ H and since it is a solid slab, it leaves less than normal leg clearance…with that said my husband who is 6′ 4″ fits perfectly fine under it, and he doesn’t even look like Buddy the Elf sitting at an Elves’ table, so it’s all good!! The width is also slightly more narrow than an average table, but for my space, which is narrow it works perfectly, but if this doesn’t work for you, just add a board or two more!! That’s why I love DIYing!!


-12 – 4x4x8

-2 – 2x3x8 (these only come in 8 ft lengths and I can only find these as select Lowe’s, but you can always just use 1- 2x4x10 instead)

-scrap pieces to make the key (a tapered wedge that holds the stretcher tight)


-wood glue

-planer (optional) – if you do not plane the wood you may need to join the boards with a Kreg Jig HD
or biscuit joiner…I had even thought of using dowel rods all the way through, but if the wood is planed before joining, wood glue is all you need!!

-large clamps


-hand plane (or handheld electric plane)

-belt sander

-circular saw

-guide for your circular saw


Cut List:

-11 – 4×4 @ 70″

-1 – 4×4 @ 56.5″

-12 – 4×4 @ 26″

-4 – 2×3 @ ~8.5″ (make sure to measure)

-4 – 2×3 @ ~21″ (make sure to measure)

-scrap pieces about 8 inches long…I think mine started as a scrap maple 1×3 which actually measured 1×3

Building the DIY West Elm Knockoff Emmerson Dining Table

After listening to my Pops telling me that it should be illegal to build furniture out of pine…LOLOL…we got busy and had this table completed in two afternoons! This build was pretty easy…minus the joints to hold the base sturdy were a little more in depth…but I will offer my simpler version of that when I go over how we built the base!

To start off, we cut our boards to 70″ and planed them down to where they would glue up nicely because even though I wanted a ‘reclaimed wood’ look, I still wanted to start with a nice even tabletop!!

DIY Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

Now, don’t get any crazy ideas…just because I was able to state that step in less than 50 words, does not mean it took less than half a day!! Lol!!

Using large clamps, we laid the boards down flat and generously glued both sides of the boards that would be touching each other.

DIY Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

After getting the glue on all boards, we tightened the clamps, this tends to make the boards want to bow up in the middle, we used 2x4s across the top to make sure they weren’t bowed but we should have clamped them down somehow, because we did end up with a slight bow in the center…which we were able to take out when we planed the top!

DIY Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

Next, we decided what size we wanted the base to be so we could cut the stretcher down to size! We settled on 49 1/8″ for the base (I think we actually settled on 49″ and our imperfections gave us the 1/8″ but however it went, the base is 49 1/8″) the total length of the stretcher being cut at 56.5″…Just a note…if I were doing this over again I would cut the stretcher slightly shorter…the base is the perfect size, I just don’t like the stretcher hanging out quite as far as it does…just my picky opinion!! Haha!

The INSIDE measurements of the base are 42 1/2″ so we used the dado blade and start slimming the ends down 7″ on each side!

DIY Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

We just moved the board over all the way down one side and rolled it over and did the other side and kept repeating this until we had both ends all the way slimmed down like this!

DIY Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

We took off a 1/4″ on each side…hindsight I probably would have only gone 1/8″ but I guess you live and learn!!

Now that the stretcher was ready to go, we could glue up the sides…the hole for the stretcher was cut before we glued them up! After slimming the stretcher down, it measured 3″ x 3″ so on each middle board of our legs, we made a bunch of 1 1/2″ deep cuts on the table saw with a regular blade until it looked like so!

DIY Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

We then just took a chisel and cleaned out this area…I had no idea using a chisel could be that fun!! Lol! It really was!!

Next we checked to make sure that when clamped together the stretcher still fit, and it did, so we glued those puppies right up!

DIY Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

After letting the glue dry overnight on the legs, we were able to trim them down ever so slightly to even up the ends on the table saw…we ran it through one way and had to flip it over and run it through again… too bad the tabletop was a little too large to trim this way!!

Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

Now we had some tedious work to perform on the stretcher…if it was not for my Dad insisting that we do this the ‘right’ way, I would have just taken the 4×4 and cut it at 42 1/2″ and used a Kreg Jig HD (this particular Kreg Jig is made for larger wood such as a 4×4) to connect it the legs of the table, and then place two small slices of the 4×4 on the outside of the legs to look like the way we made the table but without so much complication! Buuuut, since my Dad and I were spending some quality time together 😉 I went ahead and let him have his way, and we did it the ‘correct’ or as I say, complicated way!! LOL!!

First we took some scrap wood and cut the two keys. They are roughly 8″ long, they have to, of course, be angled to wedge just right into the hole, there were no specifics to our exact angle or anything, we just cut them at an angle that looked good! Here’s what the key looked like.

DIY Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

We drew the lines to show where the two ends would be showing past the stretcher, the two to the right of the photo are the actual ones we used, the lines are important because when you mark on your stretcher in the next step, you will need to line these up with the edge of the stretcher!

Next we had to create a hole in the stretcher that this could be wedged into! We placed the stretcher into the legs and marked them where it came out of the legs.

Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

This picture above is of the side of the stretcher…the top of the stretcher is what you see to the bottom of the photo…anyway, of course I don’t have a photo of one of the most important steps that sound really confusing…even though it isn’t!!  So, you need to lay your key on the stretcher with the straight part to the dark line(to the far right) and also line up the lines that were drawn on the key, then trace the angle of the key which makes the angled line you see in the photo! I used this photo and drew the key on top of the picture to show you!

Knockoff West Elm Emerson Dining Table

The arrows are showing how to line the key up with the lines we drew earlier on the actual key! Now on the top of the stretcher, a line needs to be drawn connecting the sides with each other…drawn in between the two arrows below!

Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

The same thing needs to be done across the bottom as well, it will be much more narrow between the bottom lines of course! I hope that all made sense!!

Now let’s get a hole drilled so we can get this baby tackled already!! Ha! So, you drill a hole from the bottom, we used a 1″ drill bit on the drill press to make sure it was straight, but if I would have been in my own garage, I would have just used the drill. So, after listening to my Dad tell me over and over that he didn’t like using the cheap drill bit we had, I talked him into using it anyway and what do you know…it worked just fine!! Like I knew it would!! Lol!

DIY Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

DIY Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

Now chiseling out the rest of the hole, my Dad obviously didn’t trust me with his fancy chisels because he took over and did this step…I’m not complaining because there is no telling how it may have turned out with me hammering those ginormous things!! LOL!! Before chiseling the hole we laid the key long way down the front of the stretcher to get the line you see in the pic below…this was to ensure we didn’t chisel larger than the width of our key…the finished chiseled hole looks like this…

DIY Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

Now you can hammer those suckers in there!! Ooh!! That was a magical moment and full of excitement!! I felt as though we were done! Even though that wasn’t the case!! Haha!!

Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

Woohoo!! Look at how awesome that looks!! Well, another nit picky thing of mine would be that the key should be a little shorter! But oh well now!!

DIY Knockoff Westelm Emerson Dining Table

Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

Well, don’t get too excited just yet…there is more…but don’t get discouraged because it’s not too much more!! Do you see my mixed emotions at this point in this project? Lol!!

Alright, so the base is made and it’s time to finish the top! We hand planed the top and it was some kind of work out but it was a lot of fun as well!!! I just need to hand plane a table every day and I will stay in tip top shape!!! Lol!! My Dad and I took turns planing and when one person felt like they were going to pass out in the 103 degree heat, we would hand it over to the other…if he wouldn’t have been there to share in the work it still would not be done more than likely!!!

So once the top was all nice and level, we belt sanded it and oh how ecstatic I was to see the tabletop smooth as butter…and, of course, I didn’t get any pictures during this process! And this is where I stopped and left the project sitting in my Dad’s shop for 6 months…okay maybe 5, and then one day I decided that I was being ridiculous and I went and picked it up to bring it home and finish it once and for all!!

After bringing it home, I then had to bite the bullet and trim the edges of the table to be nice and even…the table being 3.5″ thick, didn’t really leave me a simple saw option that could cut through it in one swipe, so I chose to use my circular saw and flip the table over and cross my fingers that the two swipes matched up!! I had opposition from everyone telling me it wasn’t going to work…but somehow it worked perfectly!

I set my Bora Calmp to make sure I was getting a straight cut…I love this clamp in times where my Kreg Rip-Cut won’t work…and placed painter’s tape along the edge to avoid splintering as much as I could. I really needed it to not splinter because, in all my heehawing around trying to figure out how I was going to cut the edges, I got antsy and stained the top of the table before cutting!! Lol!

Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

Lucky me…there was not really any splintering!! Then I just repeated this same step after flipping the table over!

Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

And then I wanted to PARTY after both ends turned out great!! Oh and after I took the picture above, I did place painter’s tape along the edge! Phew! That was a task that was haunting me for a while, and afterward of course, I was like, “Why, did I wait so long to do that?”

Now, I just needed to figure out a way to secure the base to the table…I decided after sitting on one side of the table without having anything secured and it didn’t budge, that I was okay with it only having minimal attachment!

After examining West Elm’s version of the table once again, I saw that there were boards encompassing the top of the leg, I figured this would be perfect to keep the tabletop from sliding around but yet I would not actually have to attach the top to the base! So I took 2×3 boards and framed around the leg of the table, screwing them into the tabletop! I used my countersink drill bit and 2 1/2″ Kreg screws to attach!

Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

Knockoff Weslelm Emerson Dining Table

If you are not comfortable with this, you could always pocket hole the boards to the legs first and then screw them into the tabletop so it would all be connected! Totally up to you, but having it in my home I can tell you it’s pretty darn sturdy the way I have it, no movement whatsoever!!

At this point, all that was left to do was stain the rest of the table base!! If you are interested in the way I distressed the table, and the staining process, I will be posting it tomorrow and you will be able to see it HERE!

Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table

If you like the Emmerson collection at West Elm and are interested in the buffet that matches the table you can see the plans for it at!

Knockoff West Elm Emmerson Dining Table

Thank you so much for checking out my post!!! I’m off to build and shop for more items for this room!! If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask away below!!! I hope you all have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Cheers to a wonderful 2016!! Thank you all for following along on my DIY journey!!

Happy Building,


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  1. Any concern over the table dipping in the center over time since there is no center support across the width of the table top? I’m using your plan for my new table.

    1. Hey Jon!! I have been using the table now for almost a year and haven’t seen any changes what so ever to the table top!! 😉 The only reason I am not concerned about the middle dipping is because it is a pretty short table, and so there isn’t over 48″ inside the legs, and the table top being constructed of 4x4s means there shouldn’t be a need for extra support, unless you were going over six feet and that’s really still playing it safe! If you are concerned, you could always place some extra supports under the table top where they wouldn’t be seen, it sure wouldn’t hurt anything!! I hope all goes great with your build and would LOVE to see it when you get it done!! Thanks!!

      1. Thanks. Makes sense. Whew, my first efforts resulted in a not-so-flat or square top. I have to redo that part. 8 ft long 4x4s are so massive! Hard to mill them on a entry level equipment!

  2. Hey Cara! Great Job!!! I have been wanting to make my own dining table for quite a while. Ive given it lots of thought and settled on the Emmerson stlye. So Stoked that you posted your table and directions!! 🙂 Thank you for posting! Question, I want to make my table 80″ long and 40″ wide – would you mind helping me with correct measurements on the cut list? Thank you so much!! 🙂

  3. Hey, i am currently doing furniture making in Australia. I just finished my certificate in cabinet making a year ago. So, as a girl doing woodwork, i was super excited to find your blog!

    Just a hint for the clamping, i don’t know if you know this. A good way to stop cupping/bowing in wood when gluing and clamping is to put half the clamps on the bottom and half the clamps (in between the ones on the bottom) over the top.
    We do this at work all the time, and it works brilliantly!
    Love what you do!!! Keep up the awesome work 😀 you are brilliant!

    1. Hey there Ashleigh!! Thank you so much, I am so excited you found my blog as well!! And congrats on your cabinet making certificate, that’s really awesome!! I laughed to myself as I read your hint on clamping, just today on Instagram I was reading someones tip to another person and that was it…to make sure and clamp top and bottom! I thought, wow, I have never heard that…I need to try it, and then logged into my blog and look what great advice was waiting for me!! LoL!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a wonderful tip, I surely appreciate it!! Hope you have a great evening!!

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