Dining Table with Chairs

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Project by JBrow posted 03-09-2016 06:41 PM 1652 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Dinner Room Table is elliptically shaped and designed to comfortably seat 6, but can accommodate 8. It has 2 end chairs with arms and 6 side chairs. The table and chairs are from walnut and the chairs have 3 coats of polyurethane while the table has 5 coats. The top is three layers of walnut, one face glued to the other with a ¾” setback for each layer. Only the top is a solid surface; the lower two levels are open in the center with wood only at the ends and sides. The elliptical tops were shaped with a jig saw and a router straight bit, both tools mounted to a shop made elliptical jig. The table top is bolted to the separate base through slots in the base and threaded inserts in the top accept the bolts.

The chairs echo the three layer design of the table. I used a template for the back legs and tapered two faces of the front legs. I used mortise and tenon joints wherever possible which were pinned with walnut dowels for added strength.

I learned a little about upholstery, since I upholstered the chairs with cloth myself. I used ¼” plywood and ¾” plywood as upholstery templates. I also learned the importance for breaking up wide glue-ups into several separate glue ups.

The table was completed in 2007 and the chairs in 2009.

6 comments so far

View harum's profile


421 posts in 2727 days

#1 posted 03-09-2016 08:21 PM

Great table and chairs! Beautiful set! Too bad there’s only one picture :). Did you have to prototype the chairs for a comfortable fit?

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3427 days

#2 posted 03-09-2016 09:05 PM

beautiful lots of work

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3774 days

#3 posted 03-10-2016 01:13 AM

The layered/stairstep glue up is an interesting way to achieve a wider piece. I may have to steal this one.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 2004 days

#4 posted 03-10-2016 03:44 AM


I posted pics from my insurance folder, which I noticed is out of date. I will soon update the insurance pics and I will shoot and post some additional pics of the table and chairs in an effort to show some of the details I described.

I did not prototype the chairs, though I did think about it. I used dimensions from other chairs in the home and tips in a furniture design book. The chair’s seat is generous in width and depth (but not too deep) and the seat height is perfect for the table height (which I learned from one of my earliest projects – a too tall kitchen table). The arms are at a good height, wide and comfortable.

Now for the bad part; I wish I had taken a little more design time on the chairs. The seat to back angle is a little steep at 5 degrees. Somewhere between 7 and 10 degrees would have been a little more comfortable. Here a simple prototype would have allowed me to dial in the best angle. Also the front legs set a little too close to one another. The chairs look a little odd when viewed straight on. Also, leaning a little too far to the side can cause the chair to tip; such as picking up a napkin from the floor. Fortunately, I am the only one to hit the floor.

The chairs are comfortable enough that guests do not rush through dinner just so they can stand up. The steeper back angle works for a dinning chair since most dining is done sitting more or less erect. Rationalizing the front legs is almost impossible for me. They still look odd to me, but their position made building the lower section of the chair easier. My youngest son is the only one who had the courage to agree with me regarding the front legs. Everyone else I asked said they looked good. The lesson is do not rely on the opinions of relatives and friends for the truth in a furniture design. Overall the set is nice enough for my oldest son to make the point that he wanted the set willed to him when I die.


When I take additional pic, I will try to get a decent shot or too of this layered detail. It offers the benefit of eliminating the traditional skirt board that can be bumped by knees. Unfortunately it is a subtle detail and others looking at may miss it.


I appreciate the nice comments! Thanks.

View mbs's profile


1687 posts in 4024 days

#5 posted 03-11-2016 02:31 AM

It’s hard to get good pics of a dining room set. It looks real nice though.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 2004 days

#6 posted 07-31-2016 06:08 PM


I finally found time to snap a few more pics of the dining table set. The quality of the photography is poor, but maybe some additional details are revealed.


I snapped a photo in an effort to clarify the explanation of the dining table edge treatment.

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