Dining Room Table - maple, walnut and mahogany

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Project by rwingnut posted 12-03-2017 10:22 PM 1117 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to make a new dining room table to replace the table that my parents got at a garage sale in 1970. It was time. I spent a lot of time doing image searches on Lumberjocks to get ideas about what we wanted. I settled on maple, walnut, and mahogany because I like the contrasts and I could get them locally.

My uncle had given me some great woodworking tools (jointer, planner, band saw, table saw, etc.) when he “retired” from wood working. I had never worked with rough cut lumber before, but now I had the tools to actually do it. What an enjoyable process. The boards that I could produce were amazing. The jointer is my new favorite tool.

I spent a lot of time reading posts on Lumberjocks about glue ups, squeeze out cleanup, and the pros and cons of using biscuits to aid alignment. I initially left the walnut and mahogany a little proud and glued those pieces up first using biscuits for alignment. The biscuits helped some since I was trying to do the glue up of a complete walnut-mahogany-walnut strip in one go and it seemed I was racing against the clock. It didn’t come out perfect, but I was planning on running them back through the jointer and planner anyway. When I went to glue the walnut-mahogany-walnut pieces to the maple I went without the biscuits. After practicing the clamp-up it seemed like it wouldn’t be that tough to get a good alignment. In practice, it was rather easy to get a near-perfect alignment. With strategic tightening and loosing of clamps I could get everything lined up perfectly. Wiping the joint with wet rags made cleanup simple and a carbide scraper after it dried cleaned everything up great.

I don’t have access to a full width large belt sander and couldn’t find one in town, so again I studied up on using a hand belt sander to flatten out the top. Scared of screwing it up, I practiced technique on the underside and learned a few things not to do. I ended up using a figure-8 motion along a 45 degree angle from the grain with 120 grit. Thankfully I didn’t have much to take off to flatten it up. Finished off with a random orbital sander to 220.

One of the many new things I learned from Lumberjocks, working on this project was how to use super-glue to help fill small holes and cracks in the same color as the surrounding wood. There was a worm hole and 2 cracks that I filled with super-glue and sanded with a 1/4 sheet sander while the the glue was drying. Worked great.

A friend had just finished a table with Waterlox so I started reading up on that too. That was one of the easiest finishes to put down and get a nice surface. I only really have experience with poly and it seems like it’s always a race and a challenge to keep a wet edge. The Waterlox dries so slow that this wasn’t a problem :-). But, you do have to block out a large window on the calendar since it takes 24 hours to dry between coats. I did 3 coats on the bottom and 5 on the top with a brush. After the last brush coat on the top I fixed a few blemishes with scotch brite and rubbed on 2 more coats. It was definitely the nicest finish I every put down. There were 2 tiny blemishes that I was going to touch up, but then I realized: “This is a table. I have a 4-year old. It’s perfect enough”. We’ll see how the finish holds up over time.

I added a set of 2 3/8” stainless steel legs from to finish it up.

I have to give a big thanks to all of the contributors to Lumberjocks. I learn a lot with each project and Lumberjocks is my go-to source. Thank you all.

1 comment so far

View AlmostRetired's profile


221 posts in 1514 days

#1 posted 12-04-2017 06:51 PM

Beautiful work my friend!

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