Solid Cherry Dining Table

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Project by TheWoodenOyster posted 05-22-2014 12:01 PM 3041 views 8 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Everyone,

This is a solid cherry dining table I made as a low-profit commission for the in-laws. I had some free time in between jobs and they were nice enough to allow me to build a custom dining room table for them. They had been wanting something new for a while, so I went over and talked through the design with my mother in law. From our conversation, I could tell she wanted something a little bit different and unique, but not outrageously weird. Daniel Chaffin’s dining table on the front of FWW Oct 2013 popped into my head. I showed it to her and she loved it. So, off I went.

Final dimensions were about 82” x 41”, and it can seat 8 comfortably (which was one of the primary goals). I made it out of solid cherry, so as you can imagine, multiple glue-ups were done for the top. It is all mortise and tenon joinery, other than the screws that hold the top onto the base. My favorite part of the table is the tapering edges (just the long sides). They were done by cutting a pretty harsh bevel onto the long sides and and then cutting a long smooth curve along the bevel. You can see this is photo 2 the best. The curved and tapering edges are really what makes this piece stand out.

All surfaces other than the underside of the tabletop were sanded to 220. I put about 40 hours of sanding time into this project. Finish was a coat of BLO, then 3 coats of wipe-on poly on the legs, 5 coats of wipe-on poly on the top. I prefinished before doing the final glue-up and was very glad I did.

I am really pleased with how this turned out. It was fun to sit down at our last family gathering and have a nice conversation with family around a table that I made with my own hands. Nothing like it in the world. All in all, I put about 155 hours of work into this table, from rough lumber to delivery. Lots of fun. Hope y’all like it.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

19 comments so far

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3181 days

#1 posted 05-22-2014 12:27 PM

I love that edge detail on the side, it really adds a lot to the project.

View JTH213's profile


11 posts in 3132 days

#2 posted 05-22-2014 01:04 PM

That’s a fantastic piece! I agree with Marcus, the edge detail makes the table. I’m sure your in-laws will love it.

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 4228 days

#3 posted 05-22-2014 01:41 PM

Outstanding work. And to enhance family dinners … priceless.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View R_Stad's profile


439 posts in 3004 days

#4 posted 05-22-2014 02:09 PM

That’s a beauty. Nice proportions, and great edge detail. That cherry will age nicely. Well done.

-- Rod - Oregon

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3646 days

#5 posted 05-22-2014 02:23 PM

Great looking work.

-- Brian Timmons -

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 3032 days

#6 posted 05-22-2014 04:29 PM

Great style, very elegant.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View BOOM_TOWN's profile


19 posts in 2988 days

#7 posted 05-22-2014 04:31 PM

First off, looks awesome. That’s a lot of time put into a project and it looks like it paid off in a big way.

I’m building a table with similar dimensions currently so I have some questions.

Are you worried about the top cupping w/o an apron or breadboard?

How many boards comprise your top? Looks like 6 or 7.

How did you joint the broad side of the top boards? How did you edge joint the top boards?

I was going to use a planer sled for the broad side jointing then a straight line rip jig on the table saw for the edge jointing but the length of the boards has me concerned about getting a clean edge joint over the entire length.

View BigMig's profile


639 posts in 3774 days

#8 posted 05-22-2014 04:50 PM

There are several subtle things about this project that are great!

Nice work! One for the Family Heirloom list

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 3096 days

#9 posted 05-22-2014 05:48 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone, glad you all like it.

Boom town,

Cupping: I am not really too worried about it. There are two rails running across the width underneath the top that support it all the way across up to about 4” from the edge. My hope is that this will keep the whole thing from cupping any noticeable amount. I can tell you that the top had a little flex in it once it was all glued up. Honestly, it seemed like that flex would actually be a good thing because it just conforms to whatever supports it, in this case, the dead straight perpendicular rails and one central parallel rail.

How many boards: 7

Jointing: I assume by broad side, you mean the wide face of the tabletop boards. If that is the case, I actually didn’t joint them, oops… I decided it would be a total waste of time, effort, and wood to try to joint those faces on my measly 6” jointer, so I just planed them. They weren’t perfect when I glued them up, but they were close, and the cauls took care of the rest. I could go deeper here, but I will keep it short: There are times when jointing is just unreasonable, and I felt this was one of them. I DID, however, edge joint the top boards.

Consistent edge, etc. : I think your planer sled for face jointing is really the only way to do this in a home shop. It is extremely difficult to effectively joint a 5/4 piece of wood 8 feet long alone and get good results. The other issue is that by the time you truly joint a face of a 4/4 or 5/4 board that big, how much do you really have left? Unless you have an impeccable board, you may have 3/4 left, and you still haven’t even started planing the other side. Ouch. So, you could face joint, but beware of how much wood you are going to have to remove off of an already thin board to get it truly flat by fine woodworking definition.

Glue line rip: Half of my edges on my tabletop were ripped, once the other edge was jointed. I found it really worked pretty well. Honestly, my limiting factor was my crappy saw blade. With a better blade though, I think it could have been near perfect. You will have to have an outfeed table though, no doubt.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View mc269's profile


90 posts in 2628 days

#10 posted 05-22-2014 07:22 PM

Very nice. I too like the edge detail.

-- Mike Chaffin - Past-Time Woodworks

View Oldtool's profile (online now)


3267 posts in 3352 days

#11 posted 05-22-2014 08:03 PM

Very elegant table, and with that cherry – one sweet table.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Rickterscale's profile


167 posts in 3522 days

#12 posted 05-22-2014 10:14 PM

Very nice table. Great job.

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4308 days

#13 posted 05-23-2014 12:29 AM

Man that’s a beautiful dining table! I’m sure your in-laws will love it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View ChuckV's profile (online now)


3421 posts in 4688 days

#14 posted 05-23-2014 12:34 AM

That is really beautiful. Thank you for the detailed description and clear photos.

I am sure that this great table is much appreciated.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3030 days

#15 posted 05-23-2014 12:41 AM

I’m not the first to use the term subtle, but it is right on the money. This piece is a subtle beauty. Excellent!

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

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