El Lobo

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Project by MarkTheFiddler posted 04-22-2016 02:13 AM 1363 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch


This is El Lobo which means the wolf. There’s a little story here.

I took some 2 inch thick remnants of mahogany and walnut and decided to make a quick cutting board. Once I made it, I decided that I would go ahead and make an end-grain board when I really wanted to make one. The cutting board ‘reject’ sat in the garage since last fall.

A few weeks ago, I had about 6 hours on my hands so I decided to do something. I saw the board. I pulled 4 more mahogany shorts from the stack cut the legs, spanners and top surround. The table was completely built before I ran out of time. I was stunned.

I asked my daughter what she thought about the table. She said “Wellllll….....”. I was a little put out that one of my biggest fans was unimpressed.

My son, Mark, came over that evening. I asked him what he thought. He said “Dad, I think it’s awesome!” I just replied with “it’s yours”. He did a backflip.

This table is a one off. It’s a lone wolf. It’s kind of like my son. He can hang with the pack but has no need to be in the pack. He is not defined by the pack. When he’s in the pack, he’s his own man and the pack is cool with that.

Like I said – Built in less than 6 hours. I’m getting faster. The faster I get, the more hope for an early retirement form the desk job I have.

The table was constructed with tightbond 3 glue. I sanded to 220 and raised the grain twice. There are 2 coats of clear General finishes clear “ARM-R-Seal” top coat and a final coat of the same stuff with a satin finish. Granpa Len taught me that trick. I don’t have the best eyes in the business but it appears that the magical grain has beautiful movement and depth.

I’m quite pleased. It’s just a simple table but it appears that I did “quite simple” “very well” this time.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

13 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23403 posts in 3619 days

#1 posted 04-22-2016 02:15 AM

Real attractive table, Mark!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BusterB's profile


2013 posts in 2522 days

#2 posted 04-22-2016 02:41 AM

Well done sir…well done!!!

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10743 posts in 4566 days

#3 posted 04-22-2016 04:06 AM


You did a wonderful job on that fly-by-night wolf table!

I’m looking at the Right Front stretcher in the last picture and I can’t see how you did the JOINT!
The others are obviously set into a slot in the legs… BUT, this one… has me wondering…
Did you have a slot just short by 1/16” or so or what, of the other side of the leg? It comes across into the leg and to other side of the leg… but you can’t see the end of the stretcher where you would expect to see it… It looks like an impossible joint!

How did you do it?! Have a super close-up of that joint…

I love the way you did those stretchers… Very COOL…

Of course the Top is very unusual too…

Thank you…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Ivan's profile


15092 posts in 3381 days

#4 posted 04-22-2016 05:56 AM

Beautiful wood combination here. I realy like those cross beam joinery you made. Nice work on that.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2702 days

#5 posted 04-22-2016 12:01 PM


Thank you all for the kind comments. I really appreciate all of you. You brighten my day when I see your responses.


I didn’t make any impossible joints. I’m not smart enough for that. I’ll get some close-ups for you tonight after work. I’ll also slap together a diagram that shows how I did it. However, you already know. They are slotted in as you surmised.

One of the leg slots is 1/32nd too wide, which is one of my 2 errors. Since the 4 legs were cut from the same hunk of wood, I didn’t toss it. I filled gap. Thanks for looking so close.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3381 days

#6 posted 04-22-2016 02:49 PM

That’s a good looking ‘lone wolf’. You really did a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2806 days

#7 posted 04-22-2016 04:07 PM

Nice job—very attractive.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Bud_3's profile


907 posts in 1738 days

#8 posted 04-22-2016 09:24 PM

You broke the ice,glad to see that someone make something different with this pattern.You managed!

-- Personality and character of a man is like wood,you must polish it to shine.....

View CarverShavings's profile


32 posts in 2318 days

#9 posted 04-23-2016 12:47 AM

Sweet job Mark! Some of that mahogany on top has incredible grain!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2702 days

#10 posted 04-23-2016 01:01 AM

Thank you all very much. Those are very kind comments.

Bud, I felt like it was a typical late 80’s early 90’s style. I think I’ve seen a million of them made out of oak. Honestly, I didn’t think the table was all that interesting until the finish went on.

The wood grain on top started to dance in the light and change colors radically as I looked at it from different directions. The curl makes it look a gem with incredible depth.

That’s when My opinion went from ho-hum to Wow. I totally lucked out.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 2786 days

#11 posted 04-23-2016 03:10 AM

...boy howdy Mark, you nailed it on this one.

Contrasting Species of lumber, grain orientation, proportion and a finish that lets the grain shine through without looking like plastic.
(thanks for the mention, but you own the finishing technique now, looks just like Mother Nature would have done it.)

Most of our woodworking projects contain a flaw or two.
We must remember, only God can make a tree and ± 1/32” doesn’t even slow Him down. ;-)

Best Regards – Len
Work Safely and have Fun

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View kiefer's profile


5682 posts in 3181 days

#12 posted 06-20-2016 02:24 PM

Nice looking table Mark and the finish is just beautiful .
I am a little concerned about expansion and contraction of the top but I am likely missing something in the construction method .


-- Kiefer

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2702 days

#13 posted 06-22-2016 01:09 AM

Thanks Klause.

About the expansion. I didn’t deal with it. Honestly, I thought it would turn ok. After building my bathroom cabinet doors with the same technique, I left them for months until a few weeks ago. The doors had split in some cases due to contraction. I also noted some damage due to expansion.

I definitely have some learning to do.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

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