Piecrust tilt top table, finally after 8 years

  • Advertise with us
Project by a1Jim posted 10-23-2017 06:17 PM 5085 views 4 times favorited 68 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi friends
It’s been a long time since I posted my last project, I’ve had some but nothing I felt of consequence.
Here is a Piecrust table I’ve been working on and off (mostly off)since July of 2009 I started a blog on it and never got that finished .My apologies to those who were following it.
This project was a big experiment for me since I’d never carved anything before and had never made a table anything like it before. I usually don’t use plans but this was a project I didn’t have a clue where to start so I used Charles Neil’s Router technique for the top and got the other details from a book called “Making a Piecrust Tea Table by Tom Heller & Ron Clarkson” pretty much a step by step book. I’m a little underwhelmed with the end product but as someone’s tagline says”better done than perfect” as if there really are perfect projects?

Thanks to my good friend Charles Neil for his great routering technique and for his help with finishing and other questions.

Some of the mistakes I made are:

(1)Using Poplar for this project my thought was I would use this at a low cost but I should have used a higher quality wood worth all the hours put into this table. plus it seems to be tough to carve and sand.

(2) I used a power carver to carve the details in the pedestal .legs & ball and claw, these and all the details on the routered top took me months and months of sanding to get a halfway presentable look.
This is why one of the new skills I ‘m starting to learn is traditional carving making clean cuts with no or little sanding.

(3) when finishing I should have know that the end grain areas around the ball and claw would turn much darker than the rest of the table, this caused many more hours of trying to sand out the darker areas of hard to sand details.

Thanks for looking I’m sure real wood carvers will get a kick out of this:)


68 comments so far

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4338 days

#1 posted 10-23-2017 06:30 PM

A lot of wokr and may hours for a beautiful result.
Jim you can be proud of your work.

-- Bert

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30651 posts in 3628 days

#2 posted 10-23-2017 06:35 PM

Very nice and beautiful piece.

I have Charles Neil’s Blotch control that I think would work on the end grain.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4867 days

#3 posted 10-23-2017 06:48 PM

Hi Bert thanks for the kind words

Hi Monte
Thanks for the tip but, I use Charles BC all the time but after talking to Charles about it we decided to use shellac to avoid raising the grain and adding even more sanding. Even though I don’t like high gloss finishes on projects I just used Shellac on the whole table for now, perhaps in the future I’ll go back over it with a WB matte finish.


View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4306 days

#4 posted 10-23-2017 07:54 PM

hey Jim; better late than never… what a big project to take on. I think you did a gosh darn good job. Congrats.

View Jerry's profile


3496 posts in 2938 days

#5 posted 10-23-2017 07:59 PM

I’d be proud of a monumental effort like this. Great job Jim!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4867 days

#6 posted 10-23-2017 08:03 PM

Thanks so much Michel and Jerry


View ralbuck's profile


6781 posts in 3556 days

#7 posted 10-23-2017 08:04 PM

A great big THUMBS UP to you.

Very nice project that I will NEVER even begin to attempt anything like.

So, I admire your courage and you do have a very nice result too!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View BurlyBob's profile


9414 posts in 3555 days

#8 posted 10-23-2017 08:05 PM

That is an absolutely stellar looking table! Your definitely in a league far above most of us.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1545 posts in 2924 days

#9 posted 10-23-2017 08:06 PM

Beautiful. I have wanted to build one, and have been a little awed by the top. Maybe I’ll follow your lead.

Nice work, 8 years looks like it was well worth it.

-- Jeff NJ

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4867 days

#10 posted 10-23-2017 08:19 PM

Ralbuck you don’t know until you try, thanks for the THUMBS UP.

Thanks, Bob I tell my Students I’m barely an advanced beginner, pretty much the truth. There so many folks here on LJs that could build this as easily as building a birdhouse is for most of the rest of us it’s hard to count how many real advanced woodworking artist there are here.

Thanks, Jeff, give it a shot if nothing else it’s a great learning experience.


View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27012 posts in 4395 days

#11 posted 10-23-2017 09:06 PM

WOW that is a very involved project and you built it beautifully!!!!!!Very nice table!
Hats off to you, Jim!!!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4437 days

#12 posted 10-23-2017 09:15 PM

This table turned out beautifully—you should be very proud of it!

I like the table top, and especially the claw and ball feet—very nice work!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4867 days

#13 posted 10-23-2017 09:17 PM

Thank very much you Jim and Dean


View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8354 posts in 4643 days

#14 posted 10-23-2017 09:29 PM

It’s beautiful! Outstanding workmanship Jim! Give yourself a pat on the back you deserve it!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View oldnovice's profile


7760 posts in 4658 days

#15 posted 10-23-2017 09:33 PM

That is beautiful Jim!
Even if you don’t like it, no one else will know of the “mistakes” that werea made towards its completion.
I have to agree with your time frame though, working on things outside of one’s comfort zone tend to stretch schedules.

By the way, I suggest apple as a filler!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

showing 1 through 15 of 68 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics