Sapele & Cherry Kitchen Table #1: Getting started in a big way

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Blog entry by CaptainKlutz posted 05-20-2014 02:54 AM 3401 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Sapele & Cherry Kitchen Table series Part 2: Table top progress... »

Not a fan of blogs as I don’t need any more computer time, but figured I’d make my first one (maybe my last).
So where to start?

SWMBO has been asking for a new kitchen table to replace an existing $100 press board & Formica piece of junk.
I haven’t made much from Cherry in many years, and have been accumulating a few 4/4 boards from CL thinking, if I found some decent 8/4, then I would start the kitchen table.

Several months ago, I learned that one of the local cabinet chops was quietly offering lumber inventory at 50% due a potential impending move. I promptly went to get the prerequisite 250 board feet for the table and other projects. Ended up with some really nice 12-14 ft long boards. After wondering around the yard, I noticed a half dozen units of rough cut Sapele looking dirty, lonely and ignored. After inspection, I simply could not resist the urge to also bring home 150 bdft of that gorgeous ribbon figure for the new kitchen table top. Especially since I had to pay only 5 cents more than the cherry cost me.

After searching the WW, found a few examples for the wife to chose from. Ended up deciding on sort of farm house style table for the kitchen. Which is basically a thick slab top, but with trestle legs that are out of the way instead of 4 corner legs. We have kids and putting something overly fancy for the everyday table doesn’t make sense. The 37-38” width was easy due our floor plan, but she couldn’t decide on the best length. So it will be ~84” with a single ~18-24” wide leaf (with hidden storage).

So I finally began work on the table couple of weeks ago.
Here is a pic of cherry cut to length and the 3.5” square legs glued/trimmed.

After a day of mortise & tenon making, another session routing fancy edges and beads, and a third making the lower stretcher; the legs were dry fit.

The good news is that Captain Klutz only needed one band aid during all this work; due racking my knuckles while using the Stanley 92 cleaning up the tenon shoulders. Trust me, my screen name is very appropriate. I was expecting a 3-4 band aid experience.

As you can see in the back of leg photo; I was working on grain matching and edge jointing the Sapele boards for the top when I took it. The Sapele is beautiful, but very dry due several years storage outside. I am having massive issues with tear out on the jointer, so below is my trusty #7 cleaning up the table saw straight lined edges. I still had tear out issues with the hand plane, despite a freshly sharpened PM11 blade. Ended up misting water on the edge and letting the surface dry to solve the problem.

Once I was happy with all the edges and grain, so begins the massive table top glue up. [It is amazing how heavy 1.75” thick, 38”X108” a pile of Sapele lumber can be as it dwarfs my 8’ bench.] Decided to assemble the boards one at a time. I don’t move fast enough in the current Arizona 95 degree workshop to apply that much glue and get it clamped before regular Titebond sets. Even using Titebond II extended, gives me barely enough time due the low humidity.

So while as I am inside writing about it, the first glue up is curing.

That’s all for now. Probably will post again when I starting planning the top flat. Folks around here seem to like pictures with lots of hand tools and piles of wood shavings everywhere. :)

Best wishes.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

4 comments so far

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3153 days

#1 posted 05-20-2014 03:21 AM

We do love us some shavings all over. :-)

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View sras's profile


6426 posts in 4414 days

#2 posted 05-20-2014 01:44 PM

Looking good!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 4352 days

#3 posted 05-20-2014 06:29 PM

Great post. Happy you found some cheap wood & some inspiration. Good for you, and good for your family when it’s all done!

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 3604 days

#4 posted 05-21-2014 07:14 AM

Nice start. Keep us posted.

> Folks around here seem to like pictures with lots of hand tools and piles of wood shavings everywhere. :)

Yep we do ! :-)

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

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