Tilt-top Table

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Project by Dave S posted 01-12-2016 12:21 AM 1260 views 6 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A housewarming gift for my parents, this project had a lot of firsts for me. For those unfamiliar, tilt-top tables are commonly seen in New England’s older homes. The top flips up so that it can be pushed against a wall or into a corner. The top is 24in diameter. It’s 30 inches tall. Cherry prepped with Neil’s anti-blotch and stained with GF Java Gel. Satin poly. Reproduction brass from Horton’s. Brass screws on the underside of the table top hold the hinge rails.

Firsts for me in this project included:
-Cutting the circular top w/ a router jig I made.
- Sliding dovetails for the legs
- Used a spokeshave to carve the center column. Don’t have a lathe, so I cut a hexagon at the table saw and then used the spokeshave to ease away the middle of the corners such that the top and bottom of the column are hexagons while the center has 12 sides.
-Toned finish. First coat wasn’t dark enough, so I toned my 3rd coat of poly to darken. worked great.
- Used biscuits to align the top boards.

Feedback welcome and appreciated.

-- Faking it 'till I make it.

8 comments so far

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2738 days

#1 posted 01-12-2016 12:26 AM

Looks great, but the base is 180° out. The dual legs are the back so it can go closer to the wall when not in use …



-- Madmark - [email protected]

View Dave S's profile

Dave S

17 posts in 4048 days

#2 posted 01-12-2016 02:58 AM

Mark—Depends. Ones designed to go against a wall have two legs in the back. One designed to be pushed into a corner have one in the back.

-- Faking it 'till I make it.

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4863 days

#3 posted 01-12-2016 03:11 PM

View SteveGaskins's profile


762 posts in 3872 days

#4 posted 01-12-2016 04:52 PM

Dave, excellent build. I have always loved this style table. It’s on my bucket list for one day.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View Oldtool's profile


3354 posts in 3476 days

#5 posted 01-12-2016 09:12 PM

Beautiful work, great craftsmanship. One of these tables has been on my to-do list since I started woodworking, but the family members keep asking for other items.
Cherry is my preferred wood for projects, great to work, looks beautiful, and smells nice when cut. How did you like the Neil’s prestain & the GF gel stain? It appears to have worked well, no blotching appearant in the photos. I’m working with cherry now and considering various methods of finish, to achieve that dark antiqued look.
Thanks for showing.

-- "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 Dave S's profile

Dave S

17 posts in 4048 days

#6 posted 01-12-2016 10:18 PM

The prestain works great in terms of preventing blotch. Great product. BUT know that it prevented enough gel stain absorption that my first coat of poly lifted some stain off. Maybe I needed to let it dry longer, but either way I had to make my second poly coat a toned one by adding stain to the poly in order to get the deep color back. That worked really well, though, and will be a tactic I use in the future.

-- Faking it 'till I make it.

View Matthew Eye's profile

Matthew Eye

95 posts in 2653 days

#7 posted 01-13-2016 12:08 AM


-- "When it comes to working on stuff, buying more tools usually helps" - Matthew Eye

View RobD's profile


61 posts in 4880 days

#8 posted 01-15-2016 03:32 AM

Another great project

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