Rustic Hickory Coffee Tables

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Project by Lavellewoodworking posted 05-24-2016 11:11 PM 1616 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A couple of weeks ago I finished up and delivered these two rustic Hickory coffee tables to a client. The entire process started with milling 70 Bf and selecting the nicer boards to cut to width. Since this is wood is mostly from the heart of the tree there were a lot of checks and some knots that were present across the faces of almost all of the boards. I tried to match the darker brown grain from separate boards for appearance reasons. Since this is Hickory the individual boards were going to be noticeable anyways so I wanted pieces next to each other that looked nice and continued the same flow of the grain. I glued the legs and the table tops separately and filed in any holes and cracks with epoxy died with a medium brown stain to enhance and stabilize those spots.

I cut each end flush using a straight edge that was lined up flush with a framing square to one of the glue lines. This allowed me to get a 90 degree cut across each end of the boards. The client also requested dovetailed legs going into the table top. This presented a little bit of a challenge since the finished thickness was 1 7/8th inches. So it was too thick for a dovetail router jig and the tops were too big to use a band saw and the top was too hard to use on the table saw. So, in the end I had to hand cut each dovetail with using a jig saw to help cut out the waste section of the pins and tails after using a dovetail saw to cut the joints. I then had to chisel out the remaining waste so each leg was flush. Hickory being as tough as it is made for slow work with the chiseling. Any gaps that were left in the dovetailed joint was epoxied with sawdust from the Hickory to allow the gaps to disappear with out being as noticeable. Both coffee tables were finished with a Spar Urethane since they are going to be exposed to humidity changes in their location and I wanted to ensure that the entire piece will move freely while also having a little bit of a durable finish. The spar urethane I used is not going to last as long as my custom oil blend but for this particular application it was the best choice.

The pieces both came out to being 18” tall x 21” wide x and 42” long. I also added leveling feet on the bottom of the legs to provide a better contact with the floor in case the location had an uneven floor. So if the client ever needed to they can adjust one of the levelers to keep the coffee tables flat and stable.

-- Zach, Lavelle Woodworking Studio, Fargo, ND

2 comments so far

View pottz's profile


20030 posts in 2195 days

#1 posted 05-25-2016 02:46 PM

another winner my friend,i love your style,clean and the wood is the star.also great job on the large dovetails it makes the whole bench.great job.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Ivan's profile


16958 posts in 4079 days

#2 posted 05-25-2016 07:17 PM

Beautiful and perfectly made corner joinery.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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