Mission style orchid table

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Project by Fotodog posted 09-29-2021 01:13 AM 539 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife needed a table for her growing collections of orchids. She saw a mass produced one that wasn’t the best quality, but she liked the style and asked me if I could make her one from the photo she took. So of course, that’s what I did.

I built this table from walnut, using dowels for most of the joinery. The shelves are walnut plywood edged with solid wood, because the design might be difficult to allow for wood movement if they were solid wood. The top is a glue-up of 3 pieces of solid walnut about 1 3/8” final thickness. It was attached using Z-clips to allow for movement.

One issue I encountered was how to accurately align the three small 7/8” width vertical rails on each end with a strong joint. My solution was to build a quick jig to hold the pieces secure and centered so that I could attach my Dowelmax jig to drill a centered hole in the end of each piece. The jig was made from the same 7/8” stock sandwiched between a couple of pieces of plywood, so the fit was very snug. It worked very well.

There were some color inconsistencies in the pieces of walnut, and my wife likes a darker finish, so I used Dark Walnut TransTint Dye for the first time (after multiple test pieces). That was followed by 2 coats of Osmo Polyx overall, with an additional 2 coats on the top.

It was a fun project, and it turned out to be the last one for my trusty Jet Table Saw that has served me well for over 15 years. I’m retiring this year and will be spending more time in the shop, so I pulled the trigger on a SawStop PCS for the added quality and safety.

Thanks for looking!

-- Tim

6 comments so far

View pottz's profile


20663 posts in 2227 days

#1 posted 09-29-2021 01:41 AM

real nice build.tell your wife i think she has a good eye for style.

-- 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 Eeyore's profile


122 posts in 459 days

#2 posted 09-29-2021 10:49 AM

Nice design and execution.

Visually, the surfaces really seem to float, but it is obviously solid.

Congratulations on the new saw.

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

View 987Ron's profile


2187 posts in 559 days

#3 posted 09-29-2021 12:50 PM

Wonderful table, nice design and execution

-- Ron

View Fotodog's profile


81 posts in 1022 days

#4 posted 09-29-2021 01:42 PM

Thanks guys. My wife is happy so there might be some similar pieces in the future.

I’m really looking forward to working with the SawStop. I need to build a new attached outfeed table, router insert for the extension wing, and modify my crosscut sled to fit.

-- Tim

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26784 posts in 4348 days

#5 posted 09-29-2021 05:01 PM

Very attractive table….........Cheers, Jim

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

View swirt's profile


6631 posts in 4215 days

#6 posted 09-30-2021 01:28 AM

Very nice design and well executed.

-- Galootish log blog,

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