Stone Soup Dining Table w Inlay

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Project by BburgBoy posted 11-25-2021 03:28 PM 511 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This will be a long story. You know the old fable of stone soup, right? itinerant pedlar comes to town with a magic stone to make soup…but it just needs a few more ingredients to make it perfect. Yea, right.

Well, one of my brothers retired recently and wanted to ‘reassemble’ a dining room table. Seems that he and a friend had begun this project, cut all the parts, and it needed only assembly. Only after he showed up earlier this summer did I discover that parts had been cut more than 30 years ago, that they’d been moved around the country several times, had been through a flood, and oh yea, Little Bro had no plans and not a real strong idea on how it was to be “assembled.” Indeed, his friend had done most of the work.

Begin the stone soup recipe….

After discovering that the darn thing had pretty good bones (the cherry had aged beautifully…except for those pesky water marks) and that the parts were cut rather well, there remained only the problem of how to attach the trestle legs. They hadn’t thought that through that part those three decades in the past. Part way through the project, brother’s wife decides she would like bar-height table legs. But oh, could we make then interchangeable with the original dining table height legs. And maybe a little heftier too.

And all that tile she had planned for the inlay…maybe that was a bit too much to cover the thing with heavy tile. How about using some different woods to create patterns. Could you do that?

We, in fact, did do all that. I cut a new set of legs and feet from 8/4 cherry and routed to fit the “corbel” supports we designed for rigidity. Little Bro traveled to and from his home six hours away on four different occasions. He elected an interesting combination of wood for the 1/4” thick inlay – more cherry, pau rosa, and thermally treated poplar. Never seen that roasted poplar before…smells like burned toast when cut. Since the legs and center support had to be disassembled, I used barrel bolts and carriage bolts for joinery.

It is finished with water based poly. All in all, not bad, I’d say.

But after spending the better part of four weeks learning new skills and standing on his feet all day, Little Bro may not ask me for another favor for a long time.

-- Larry, SW Virginia

7 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile


2438 posts in 601 days

#1 posted 11-25-2021 04:32 PM

Wonderful result of your “puzzle”.

-- Ron

View Eric's profile


2276 posts in 1158 days

#2 posted 11-25-2021 05:37 PM

Good looking table there, rescued from the past. Great job.

-- Eric, building the dream

View JCamp's profile


1464 posts in 1835 days

#3 posted 11-25-2021 06:45 PM

There were a lot of fingers in that pie but you all did a great job on it. It’s a great looking table now

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View swirt's profile


6811 posts in 4256 days

#4 posted 11-25-2021 07:04 PM

Nice rescue/resurrection.

-- Galootish log blog,

View EarlS's profile


4805 posts in 3632 days

#5 posted 11-25-2021 09:59 PM

Looks great. There’s a lot more going on with the table than just the mosaic top. Nice work!!

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View gdaveg's profile


394 posts in 487 days

#6 posted 11-26-2021 04:30 AM

Looks great and very deserving of DT3.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View RCCinNC's profile


525 posts in 1611 days

#7 posted 11-26-2021 02:18 PM

Beautiful work! ...and I must say a valiant exercise in honing your patience skills. Regarding the little brother…Me thinks you’ve got a fair amount of leverage for calling in future favors. ; )
Well done on multiple levels!

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

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