Bistro Table & Stools

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Project by WoodArtbyJR posted 04-19-2010 03:02 AM 2102 views 6 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In the July & Aug (# 177 & 178 issues) ‘07 Wood magazine they ran this project as an article. I made this out of my Brazilian dunnage. I have made a couple others from Western Red Cedar and was not as happy with its durability as the hard wood (too soft for the screws to hold tightly with the movement of butts on and off the stools). The article plan calls for the use of a 3/4” deep rabbit joint for joining the seat slats (and table top) to the outer frame. The first set I made I did this. WELL, either my rabbit joints or the choice of woods wasn’t up to par as they didn’t last and or turn out to my satisfaction. After 2 years in the weather (and it can get wet here in the Seattle area) the joints were coming apart. SO, I switched to the Kreg pockets (as you can see in a couple of pics) and have been extremely pleased with the results. This is great on the patio for a couple or used as a stand up (to eat at) table for a party. The outer frame on table is ipe and most of the slats are jatoba. You MUST pre-drill ipe when used with screws or nails (likes to split). I am in the process of refinishing the set as the first sealer didn’t hold up to Seattle weather. I am now using #2501 Superdeck Brand Product ($$$, but worth every penny) designed especially for exotic woods. Penetrates the dense woods wonderfly and in very easy to apply with very little clean up. I hope you all enjoy see it as we really enjoy using it. This is an easy project and produces a lot of enjoyment from its use.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

3 comments so far

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 4777 days

#1 posted 04-19-2010 01:51 PM

I also had problems with the joints I just half lapped the top and screwed it nice work and choice of wood


View WoodArtbyJR's profile


428 posts in 4300 days

#2 posted 04-19-2010 11:44 PM

I used the Kreg pocket hole system at the begining of last season (on the stools) so they have a full year of rain and sun and have held up beyond expectations. So, this winter I rebuilt the table top and used the Kreg system on the joints. Now, one thing to remember when using a REAL hard wood (ipe, also known as iron wood) is that I had to pre-drill the screw holes. Drilling the pockets was fine, then I used a long 1/8” bit to pre-drill through the pocket and into the other board. When installing the Kreg screws I also had to screw them in slowly, even backing them in and out a few times until they reached the required depth. Kreg screws are a self drilling screw but the existing conditions required pre-drilling. Ipe will crack and split easly. If you look at the picture that I took from the under side of the table you will notice the chipping where I drilled out the hole for the umbrella shaft. That resulted even while using a sacraficial back board when drilling. If you work with these South American exotic woods, be VERY careful because their slivers REALLY HURT…... I used Superdeck 2500 series exotic wood sealer. So far so good. I will let you know next year how it stands up to the NW weather. I have my fingers crossed.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View JL7's profile


8789 posts in 4300 days

#3 posted 10-19-2010 05:13 AM

Hey Jim – this is the nicest looking shipping crate I’ve ever seen – awesome work! I might need a set like this for my patio!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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