A new dining room set for my wife! #30: The table begins with a quandry.

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 05-29-2011 04:49 PM 4585 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 29: Chairs are complete after 40 days and 40 nights. Part 30 of A new dining room set for my wife! series Part 31: These are some big thick legs! »

I told you about that very hard Santos Mahogany I was going to use for the top, right?

Well, after getting it down off the shelf yesterday I remembered just how heavy it was. I got curious and weighed it. The wood for just the top and apron would be well over 200 pounds! Just the wood!

I was thinking about doing an inlay in the top also. Something simple like a band around the edge so there would be very little chance I would mess it up.

Then I got to thinking about a 3/4” (18mm) piece of plywood for the base. At less than half the weight and way more stable, it would work nice. It would also give me the chance to do some very large scale veneering. I could get really fancy with the veneer before I ever glued it to the top. That will give all the chances I need to get it right.

Now I just have to find a local place to get some non-Chinese plywood since I want this to last through the years.
I figured that 2 sheets of 5’x5’ baltic birch will work just fine with a little left over.

I’ll start this section on the table, with the legs. These will be similar to the chair legs. I won’t be adding the knee blocks since everyone would end up banging their knees on them. (maybe that’s they got the name, huh?)

Here’s the drawing I came up with. Yea, I know that you can’t see it that well, but it looks pretty good.

I’m very happy that there will only be 4 of them this time. After all the practice I had with the chair legs, I’ll be able to do these with my eyes closed!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

11 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4576 days

#1 posted 05-29-2011 05:22 PM

nice, Are you gonna leave the bottom square or do a ball and claw?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5688 days

#2 posted 05-29-2011 05:25 PM

Gary: You might see if you can find someone to resaw your Santos mahogany into veneers so that you could use them for the top.

I used the resaw bandsaw at the Door and Window place that gives us our Sapele, Utle and Mahogany for the toy making. I resawed some Ambrosia/tiger stripe maple.

They usually cut about 3 slices from 1” wood and then thickness sand to get them smooth. They are usually around 5MM when they get done.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4628 days

#3 posted 05-29-2011 05:31 PM

you are right
the drawing is hard
to see
you should be able to read it
with your eyes closed too (LOL)

sitting on the edge of my seat here
looking forward to the table blogs

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 5201 days

#4 posted 05-29-2011 05:35 PM

Here we go again, I’m looking forward to part II

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5340 days

#5 posted 05-29-2011 05:44 PM

Very educational decision!

Makes perfect sense…

I had no idea that THAT Mahogany weighed that much… That is really HEAVY!

Now, we’re in for a Veneering lesson! COOL!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5276 days

#6 posted 05-29-2011 06:23 PM

bigike – I going to to the same thing as I did on the front chair legs.

Karson & Skarp – If I do that I won’t get to do any fancy veneering. I’ve never done anything this big before and I am kind of looking forward to it.

I’m starting with 4 1/2” square stock for the legs so nothing is be unstable on this table.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View shipwright's profile


8760 posts in 4085 days

#7 posted 05-30-2011 01:17 AM

Vote in support of the veneering idea here. You can be so much more creative and be a subtle or as daring as you like. The sky’s the limit. Maybe a little marquetry would be nice too?

The one thing I’m sure of is that it will be spectacular.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4221 days

#8 posted 05-30-2011 08:16 AM


I have my and eyes ears wide open Gary.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Tony's profile


995 posts in 5317 days

#9 posted 05-30-2011 09:22 AM

I would go for the solid wood top – more expensive, more resistant to damage. the weight should not be a problem unless you plan to move it on a daily basis. with either solution, you are going to need two people.

Unless you have got access to a heated veneer press or you have a vacuum bag big enough to put the whole top in, I would not go for large scale veneer of the top – veneering tops in sections only leads to heart break & despair.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 4209 days

#10 posted 05-30-2011 10:06 AM

Veneering or solid… doesn’t matter…. it is how I learn from you.. Thanks for another episode.

-- Bert

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 5487 days

#11 posted 05-30-2011 02:58 PM

Hi Gary, Lee Jesberger used resin coated cardboard with light weigh MDF. Then he veenered over that,he has a blog on his sight you might consider something like that.

-- Billp

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