Thorsen Greene and Greene Challenge Entry "The Twins" Holly and Popular Wood

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Project by Karson posted 05-24-2007 01:48 AM 6149 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thorsen Greene and Greene Table – “The Twins” In keeping with my sub series of the Thorsen Woodworking Challenge, I wanted to build tables that show ”The Uniquness of our Woods”

Other items in this series are Dan’s Yellow Birch,
Click for details

Dave’s Cherry Table
Click for details

My Goncalo Alves
Click for details

Karrie’s Curly Beech
Click for details

I wanted to make some tables that show some of the differences in some of the woods that are not common in use. The first table was Goncalo Alves , a wood from Central America.

I am calling these tables “Twins” because the base color of the wood that they are made from are quite similar in color. These tables I made from Holly and Popular. The Holly is on the left and the Popular is on the right.
These are two woods that are quite light in color. Holly is classified as the whitest wood known, Popular is a common wood used as a secondary wood in many cases. It is not used as a visible wood except when painted over. I was offered some Popular that was black and dark Olive Green.
These boards were 24” wide and 16’ long when I got them. They were dried in the attic of my barn over a period of 5 years. The stump portion of the log had the blackest color.
I’ve been unable to determine what caused the color to appear in Popular wood. Purple streaks are a common color seen in this type of wood. One of the boards of this log had purple, brown, black and some robin egg blue.

The Holly table was made from planks that I had dried for 90 days
with a fan blowing on them constantly in a 45 to 65 degree environment indoors in the workshop. I’ve been unable to identify the moisture meter setting for Holly so I used Popular which was stacked with it as a benchmark moisture scale. I estimated that the wood was around 11% moisture. The popular used for the table was around 8%.

The Holly Table has Pink Ivory pegs.
The Pink Ivory is a wood and not animal in nature and is classified as expensive. It comes from Africa.

The Popular Table has Holly Pegs
The Holly was used to help bring the two tables into the same family.

The Mortise and Tenons were cut with a horizontial Router Table made by Woodhaven.
Some of the mortises were squared up with a regular Mortise drill.

Holly is known for its staining problem. As it dries it gets a blue stain in the wood. It’s thought that if you cut the tree down, cut it into lumber, and get it into the kiln in the same day, that you might have a chance to keep it white. Since all three were outside of my control, I opted to blow air on the wood as a forced drying. The 1” boards have a lot of blue stain. The 2” board which were stood on their edge on the floor, with no fan seem to have mostly white color. Go figure. The legs were made from the 2” thick planks are white.
But you might notice the blue stain on the cutoff pieces.

The table top was mostly white when glued up but the blue color seemed to appear later.

All of the peg holes were drilled with a mortise machine.

I glued the tables up and brought them into the house to show my wife. About 20 minutes later I found that my son David had found a use for the Popular version

The Popular table is black in almost all of its surfaces, except for the two side aprons and a portion of the front edge of the table top.

The stack of aprons and a couple of table tops for the family tables waiting for gluing.

The shelf supports for all of the tables.

The jig for making the clouds and the cutouts.

The Twins in their infancy .

The planer chips after planning the Popular, Holly and Goncalo Alves lumber.

The table top on the Popular Table

I perceived that the Popular table was fading in color as it was being exposed to sunlight. So I put a UV protector on the wood. It is Penofin. It is a 99% block of UV rays. The popular table is the only one to receive this treatment.
The Tables from the Series of “The Uniqueness of our Woods”.
From left to right Popular, Holly, Yellow Birch, Cherry and in front Goncalo Alves.

Additional pictures for all of the tables can be found here On the right are links to the set of pictures.

-- 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]

24 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 4945 days

#1 posted 05-24-2007 02:03 AM

Wonderful work by you and your sons Karson. Thanks for sharing your story and process. Through the series I came to know more about you and gain an apreciation for you that extends well beyond your excellent capability as a woodworker.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 4885 days

#2 posted 05-24-2007 02:06 AM

Karson, a legacy of skilled craftsman. Just beautiful!

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

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4948 days

#3 posted 05-24-2007 04:33 AM

Wow Karson, great work. You have been busy that’s for sure. It is always neat to see a series or set of something being manufactured. It always adds an industrious feel to the shop.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5175 days

#4 posted 05-24-2007 05:42 AM

That is some great wood. I wonder if many of us will ever see poplar like that.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Missle's profile


23 posts in 5122 days

#5 posted 05-24-2007 05:50 AM

I have first dibs on the black one!

-- Missle

View Karson's profile


35225 posts in 5249 days

#6 posted 05-24-2007 05:59 AM

Not on your life. I asked you if you wanted to make one. The other half said no room. Come on down and you can make #7. LOL

There’s enough wood.

-- 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 David's profile


1969 posts in 4987 days

#7 posted 05-24-2007 06:14 AM

Karson -

What a wonderful posting. It was great to see the process from the begining and learn about some wood I have not used. Your tables are beautiful!


View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5095 days

#8 posted 05-24-2007 11:54 AM

Great showing Karson, what a beautiful set. I hope you keep them both It would be a nice present to pass on to your family. I feel like a piker after seeing yours. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5009 days

#9 posted 05-24-2007 12:28 PM

a family of tables and a family of woodworkers. Can life get any better?? !!

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

View Karrie's profile


15 posts in 5121 days

#10 posted 05-24-2007 02:12 PM

Dad -

Wow Beautiful! It is great to see all that you are doing and that it is keeping you so young and happy. I am very happy for you. By the way, I like the “keep the tables and hand them down” theory. Just remember who is the eldest and should pick first!!!!

Love you!

-- Karrie

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5009 days

#11 posted 05-24-2007 02:29 PM

lol I think you have something there, Karrie!!!

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

View Missle's profile


23 posts in 5122 days

#12 posted 05-24-2007 04:17 PM

Ah come on, Dad! How about you make one for me??? Can I order one in black? :) You say you have enough wood. Does that mean you are going out to buy more anyway? “Just in case you run out”. lol

-- Missle

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5010 days

#13 posted 05-24-2007 05:16 PM

Very nice job Karson. The tables are works of art! I am embarrassed to show mine when I finish it in a few days. Nothing like that at all.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View schroeder's profile


702 posts in 4974 days

#14 posted 05-24-2007 10:10 PM

They all look great Karson!, we may have to rename this style of table to a “Karson” table!

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View Karson's profile


35225 posts in 5249 days

#15 posted 05-25-2007 03:28 AM

Looks like the kids are putting in their Christmas List early.

-- 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]

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