Hall table #1: A Hall table for my wife - Thorsen Variety

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Blog entry by Karson posted 12-16-2007 06:25 AM 2789 reads 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hall table series Part 2: Finishing up the Thorsen Hall table »

My wife was starting to get ready for some Christmas decorations. She notified me that she’d like a Sofa table to place against the wall in the kitchen to put decorations on. She also stated a requirement that it be like the Thorsen table that was built by my son Dave. for the Thorsen Table Challenge that we had earlier here on . His table has aged some since Dave made it and it now sits in the kitchen where my wife puts her purse when she comes into the house.

It’s where she plugs in her cell phone etc.

So out to the workshop to check out the Cherry Lumber Supply. I found this board 2 ¼” thick and over 10” wide so I could make 4 legs with one slice.

Looking for a board for the top and the aprons. The one on the right became the table top. 11 ¾” wide.

I thought the other one might become the aprons but I kept busy looking. I then found this board.

The board on the right I thought could become my breadboards.

This apron board is one of those 2” thick boards that cups and twisted and after taking it flat it was at 1 3/16” thick. Too thin to resaw and so I left it the thickness it was. It was 6” wide.

USCJeff started a topic where he was complaining about Cherry and the white sapwood. I mentioned to him that it was in the eye of the beholder. Some like it and some don’t. I’ve usually been in the do not like camp. Here is a blog where I ranted about some bad cherry that I’ve got.

For this project, I wanted to change my tune and accentuate the differences in Cherry. So you will see during this blog how I went about selecting the wood.

The legs were what I’d call old growth Cherry. Boards that were curly in nature and a lot of different grain patterns. The legs came from a board that was 10 ½” wide and 2 3/8” thick. It had a split in the middle of the plank. I cut off a 32” section of the board. Since my jointer wasn’t that wide I ran it through the planer to clean it up some. It still had a cup but got all of the sawmill edges off of it. Because the grain was so wild and because of the split in the board. I wasn’t sure what would happen as I started to cut it. So I opted to use the Bandsaw with my resaw blade to do the cutting. I joined the edge and ran it through the saw. Not a bit of movement. The gap at the beginning was the same as the one at the end. I put the two boards together and they had full contact. Man was that a great feeling.

I then proceeded to cut the other three legs three on one side of the crack and one on the other. I sat them on the table saw to rest to the next day. When I came back they were just like I left them. I now ran all 4 legs on the jointer cleaning up 2 sides. I ran them through the planer to make them square 1 7/8” square. Not bad from the board I selected.

The table top came from a board that was in a set of 5 boards. 12” wide, 5/4 to 6/4 thick bowed and 12 ½’ long. The bottom 5’ of this board was relatively flat. In looking at it I would have to cut off and discard 2’ of wood because of a split in the middle. I made a decision, I’m making a wood out of sap wood that I don’t usually like and so I’m going to keep the split also. I’ll find a way around that. When I made my Summer entry for the Joinery Contest and we couldn’t use glue, screws or nails and I had a split there also. I’ve used Superglue and sawdust to fill a crack before, but because we could use glue I went with Danish Oil. I poured it on the wood and used 100 grit sandpaper to mix Danish oil and sanding dust and forced it into the crack. It worked great So I Thought I’d do it here.

Here I had my home made Danish oil. 1/3 BLO, 1/3 Urethane varnish, and 1/3 Mineral Spirits. Don Kondra posted a blog about his secret finishing mix. In his blog he referred to Japan Dryer. I’ve never used it but when I went to the Class with Frank Klause I saw a can on the shelf, so I bought it. The mix you see in the bottle has the Japan Dryer in it. It was quite dark, I didn’t know what to expect.

But it did the job the finish was dry the next morning. In a 50 deg shop. You can see the slurry that was made. I pressed it into the cracks with the putty knife.

The apron board has a streak of sapwood about 1” wide for the full length excepitof creeps up to 3” at the end.

I was going the put the boards in sequence from one end, across the front, continuing to the other end, and ending up on the back. So all corners match the grain except the starting and ending connection.

The breadboards came from the end of this board.

After slicing it all up like this

I ended up with these two pieces.

One of them is a little darker than the other, but I hope that is will all meld out over time.

Now my attention was turned to putting the cutouts into the aprons. I retrieved my Jigs that I made for the woodworking challenge.

And I cut them out. It’s tough making the cuts with a ¼” router bit that has a 1” cutting length in wood that is 1 3/16” thick. About 3/8 was all that was in the chuck when I got to the final cuts in the wood.

I cut the mortise and tenons in the aprons and the legs, and dry fit them together. I put the top on also to check it out.

The shelf board was a dream board. It had sap wood on both edges and was totally symmetric From one end to the other. Here it is sitting on top of the shelf holders. It is about 4 ½” wide. The other side was totally red but I kept the sapwood side.

Now my attention was turned to cutting the mortises in the breadboard ends.

This is a dry fit of the table with the shelf.

And now glue up.

Putting the ebony pegs into the legs. (really it’s blackwood not ebony)

All done with the gluing on the base.

I sat it on the floor and set the top on it to see how it looked.

I then carried it into the house to show the commissioned work to the customer.

To be done. Cut the tenons on the table top, install the breadboards, Danish oil on the entire piece. I don’t know if we will have any good weather to put on final finish until next spring. So It might stay with the Danish oil until then.

Total time to this point. 4 days. Maybe 25 hours.

-- 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]

20 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4762 days

#1 posted 12-16-2007 06:43 AM

Looking good!

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4586 days

#2 posted 12-16-2007 07:05 AM

Karson -

Really nice table! Excellent blog posting . . . I really enjoy all the details. Cherry is one of my favorite woods. Looks great in your entry!



View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4513 days

#3 posted 12-16-2007 07:15 AM

Good table and blog Karson. Funny how things go, you probably had not idea of making a table – until you were told by momma that you were :-)). I know the feeling all too well.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4263 days

#4 posted 12-16-2007 07:16 AM

Nice work! I really like to see how people select their wood. I also like the post. It’s the details and thought process that makes it interesting. Post some more when you get it finished!


-- Scott - Chico California

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4484 days

#5 posted 12-16-2007 09:08 AM

Great blog, and great table, Karson!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Grumpy's profile


25523 posts in 4298 days

#6 posted 12-16-2007 09:14 AM

You sure are good at it Karson. Very nice piece of furniture. You do know how to keep the wife happy.
You have some pretty serious machinery in that shop that should serve retirement very well. By the way what did you do for a crust?.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4322 days

#7 posted 12-16-2007 11:42 AM

Thanks for taking the time to describe all the details of this beautiful table. I enjoyed the philosophy in the post, too.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4427 days

#8 posted 12-16-2007 01:16 PM


These projects are even better when you remember to take progres photo’s. I always take my camera into the shop, but forget to use it.

My photos go from selecting the rough lumber, to install or delivered. I’m getting better though, I used to forget to take the installed photo, so I ended up with pictures of rough boards.

Nice job, and blog.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

657 posts in 4581 days

#9 posted 12-16-2007 02:31 PM

Very nice project, Karson!!!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4047 posts in 4511 days

#10 posted 12-16-2007 02:58 PM

Great blog, Karson. Nice to have the treasure trove of cherry. Please post pictures as a follow up down the road if you decide to put a clearcoat on it and the cherry tans up.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4410 days

#11 posted 12-16-2007 03:47 PM

Really good blog, Karson. A great table as well. Gotta keep Moma happy, cause if Moma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy!!!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4329 days

#12 posted 12-16-2007 07:33 PM

Another great blog Karson. Thanks. That personal wood store of yours sure does come in handy.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4541 days

#13 posted 12-16-2007 07:42 PM

Thanks for this entry, Karson. Like others have metioned, the progression and detail is really appreciated. Nice addition to your extensive Thorsen family.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4747 days

#14 posted 12-16-2007 07:50 PM

Karson, the man with all the wood.

He’s always doing good.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4608 days

#15 posted 12-17-2007 04:24 PM

and just like that – we have a new table.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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