Side Table - The light and the dark. Greene and Greene Side Table

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Project by Karson posted 01-30-2010 08:14 AM 5944 views 1 time favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I decided to build this table I had one purpose in mind, to break the misconception of making a table from Popular wood. Not that Popular would be a unique wood, but more that this particular piece of popular was breaking the mold on the conception of what this species of wood looked like.

I was in a sawmill in New Jersey and the owner took me over to a pile of wood and said look at this. He took his chain saw and cut off a 2 ft piece and told me to take it home and plane it down. When I did that, I saw the most unique wood that I’ve ever seen. There were all kinds of colors within that plank.

I went back and bought the entire log, about 350 bd ft. Half of the planks were 16 ft long and 24” wide. It took me two trips to get it all back home. I stored it in the attic of the barn to let it dry.

Over the next couple of years this wood dried without any splits. When I measured it, it had shrunk to 22.5 inches. It lost 1.5 inches.

The stump portion of the wood was almost totally black. This is caused by something, Minerals, lighting, nobody seems to know.

But the wood went from the black to stark white right beside it.

But to make my Yin Yang transformation complete I used Holly pegs for the Greene and Greene designed table.

The pegs were pillowed using a hand air sander.

The wood was milled for the mortise and tenons using a horizontal router.

After I had it assembled I brought it into the house to show my family.

It wasn’t there but about 5 minutes and already it was put to use.

The finish is sprayed Shellac. It dries in any weather.

But when I originally visualized these tables I also wanted a truly Yin Yang effect so I built a companion piece out of Holly wood. The pegs for the Greene and Green pegs are made out of Pink Ivory. That table was made to have an Albino effect.

Even the wood shavings pile has the Yin Yang effect.

-- 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]

38 comments so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 5027 days

#1 posted 01-30-2010 08:28 AM

That is one very special table. Nice job on the design and build!!!!!!!!! Beautiful and rare wood color.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5691 days

#2 posted 01-30-2010 08:31 AM

Thanks John. I need to go through the pile because I know that there are other pieces with different colors.

-- 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 TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22861 posts in 4966 days

#3 posted 01-30-2010 08:37 AM

Nice job Karson. Now we know where you have been ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Puupaja's profile


310 posts in 4391 days

#4 posted 01-30-2010 08:41 AM

So nice wood and work!


View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4868 days

#5 posted 01-30-2010 08:44 AM

Wow Karson,Darrell Peart look out, these are beyond cool tables. a great choice in materials and fine build.
Top notch work.


View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12854 posts in 4447 days

#6 posted 01-30-2010 08:55 AM

very nice tables… and the wood colors are just amazing…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Chilly's profile


17 posts in 4351 days

#7 posted 01-30-2010 09:24 AM

I gotta be honest the style of the table doesn’t really do it for me but I would love to have this in my living room. I really respect that you found this awesome wood and really saw what it could do when so many others would just let it die. And you did a great job with it. I mean this with the UTMOST respect – I would love to have this table piled with drinks drunk with good friends! You know it just seems like one of those little piece that becomes a favorite for folks. Good stuff!

-- can't talk, woodworking -- p1g furniture design

View jack1's profile


2167 posts in 5318 days

#8 posted 01-30-2010 09:30 AM

Quite the color. I’ve been hoarding every dark brown poplar board I find. It takes on the look of walnut when wet and waiting to get enough for a project. Very nice tables and the contrast tops it off! Neat.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5451 days

#9 posted 01-30-2010 11:51 AM

wonderful story behind these beautiful tables.
As always—great job.

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

View littlecope's profile


3133 posts in 4792 days

#10 posted 01-30-2010 11:53 AM

Great work, Karson! After just working with Poplar on a few projects, I found it to have wonderful coloration and to be easy to work with. I can’t understand the “Snobbery” about using it, the usual recommendation is to paint it! ((Shudders!))
I had a little trouble sanding it. It sanded very powdery, clogging up sandpaper pretty rapidly… But other than that, I liked it…
Again, Nice Job!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4367 days

#11 posted 01-30-2010 02:21 PM

What a cool set of tables! You did an outstanding job Karson!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1359 posts in 5289 days

#12 posted 01-30-2010 02:25 PM

Very cool, Karson! Well done buddy!

-- Bob A in NJ

View woodmight's profile


113 posts in 4347 days

#13 posted 01-30-2010 03:08 PM

Great Bulid Karson !... and who said Poplar isn’t an exotic wood… lol

-- ~~ Remember You can't saw... What you can't see ~~

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5172 days

#14 posted 01-30-2010 03:27 PM

Very Nice. Very Imaginative. That is a cute picture with the table ‘in use’.

Good to see you in the shop.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 5013 days

#15 posted 01-30-2010 04:23 PM

That’s really quite a unique piece. I like the bi-color sides too.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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