Quilt Harvest table

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Project by pickpapa posted 09-19-2011 04:50 AM 2663 views 19 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My beloved wife of 21 years has always wanted her own harvest table for Thanksgiving dinner where everyone could sit at the same table. The first year we had it, there were 12 of us sitting rather comfortably around this monster. The story behind this project is both simple and complex. Let me try to shrink it somewhat.

She loves quilt patterns and just asked one day if I could duplicate a quilt pattern with wood. It sounded simple, and I had plenty of short pieces of 8/4, so why not.

I used a piece of 3/4 CDX plywood, !!! first mistake !!!! which should have been 3/4 paint grade 11 ply birch. I used 1×2 poplar to create outside corners around the edge and also to partition off 21- 1 square foot sections. My wife printed out numerous patterns which we place in the blocks in an effort to not have similar geometric designs beside one another. I then had to do MATH. Some patterns were not meant for 12 inch blocks so I had to re-figure them to make them work with the layout. I had chosen a total of 17 different species to simulate fabric colors and patterns. They are as follows: Poplar, Walnut, Yellow Pine, Heart Pine, Antique Fir, Maple, White Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany, Spanish Cedar, Cypress, White Oak, Red Oak, Alder, Aspen, Cherry, Eastern Cedar, and Osage Orange for the rays of glory coming from the Cross. Everything on top of the table is 3/4 inch thick. There are a total of 737 pieces inlay with 9 pieces in the block with the least and 72 pieces in the one with the most. The apron is also poplar, and the legs are white oak which I salvaged from another table bound for the dump due to the fact that it was MDF and over used.

It took three years from start to finish, but that was mainly due to not having the means to re-saw the 8/4 in half. Once the company I work for moved me from service on the road to inside the mill in the 17000 sqft custom department, I had access on a daily basis, and thus the project had a shot in the arm and was finished in five months of weekends after being at a stand still for two years.

I used a belt sander, then random orbit to level and flatten the surface. I made up nine different sawdust putties for different colors of wood. I discovered how hard that stuff is once it’s cured. Also, I found that soft woods like cypress next to harder ones like poplar do not sand evenly so there are highs and lows, almost ripples on the surface, but it’s done. The finish is Teak Oil, which dried for 72 hrs, followed by finishing wax. I am, however, unsatisfied with the way the wax turned out. I’m seriously thinking about refinishing it with tounge oil, or wipe on poly.

I’m glad to finally be able to post this and welcome all comments and questions. Thanks for looking.

Chuck aka (Pickpapa)

-- Chuck.. aka Pickpapa`'`'`'`'`'` The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. Heb. 1:3

34 comments so far

View patron's profile


13650 posts in 3823 days

#1 posted 09-19-2011 05:00 AM

excellent work

bet the whole family is real happy
with this

happy gatherings !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1251 posts in 4481 days

#2 posted 09-19-2011 05:13 AM

Ok, this is my new favorite project of the year! Well done sir.

-- Bob A in NJ

View lew's profile


12841 posts in 4237 days

#3 posted 09-19-2011 05:15 AM


What a labor of love!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View hess001's profile


5 posts in 2925 days

#4 posted 09-19-2011 05:25 AM

That’s awesome, great work.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2979 days

#5 posted 09-19-2011 05:32 AM

With all the machinery at my disposal, all the skill in my hands and all the spare time that I have, I quake at the thought of building this. Simply spectacular, all other words fail me.
I would use a much harder finish on this top, a wiping varnish preferably for ease of application and repair. Take the wax off with paint thinner and have another go. It deserves better.
I agree, project of the year.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View TJ65's profile


1381 posts in 3532 days

#6 posted 09-19-2011 05:39 AM

Just Awsome !
great patterns and colour work, it really does look like a quilt.
One to share the memories around and
one to be passed down in the generations for years to come.

(P.S my mother took close to 20 years to finish her proper quilt! So 3 years isn’t all that bad!!)

-- Theresa,

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 2952 days

#7 posted 09-19-2011 05:42 AM

It’s a show stopper,beautiful, and what a great idea. I like it!

-- "certified sawdust maker"

View Brett's profile


950 posts in 3241 days

#8 posted 09-19-2011 06:40 AM

GASP! stutter….. stutter….. Ummmmm…... (speechless)


Really, what else can be said? Very nice Chuck. That is a wonderful project and deserving of all the praise that it will recieve. I bet that you can’t wait until Thanksgiving now.

Nice work Brother.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View cmw's profile


79 posts in 3152 days

#9 posted 09-19-2011 11:35 AM

Whew !!!!!!! What a patient fellar. Looks great .I think multiple coats of wipe on poly would work great on this and finish off with a light coat of marine polish with teflon and uva blocker in it really helps make it water proof and slows color changing.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3348 days

#10 posted 09-19-2011 01:21 PM

This table is spectacular and what a nice job that you did.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3558 days

#11 posted 09-19-2011 02:07 PM

After reading your description and seeing your work I cant help but be completely impressed. A much deserving congratulations is definitely in order for this instant family heirloom you created. Personally I couldn’t think of a better table to sit down for Thanksgiving at. Very well done and thanks for sharing…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 3243 days

#12 posted 09-19-2011 02:07 PM

Absolutely stunning! Very nice work.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3469 days

#13 posted 09-19-2011 02:24 PM


-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View MShort's profile


1797 posts in 3900 days

#14 posted 09-19-2011 02:30 PM

I love the quilt block wood patterns and this is a great way to incorporate them. Fantastic idea !!!!

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Skylark53's profile


2708 posts in 3542 days

#15 posted 09-19-2011 03:10 PM

Chuck, my friend, you have “WOW”ed us all!! I recognize many of the patterns from quilts my own family and friends have. With the use of color and accurate fits, you have done a superb job of duplicating these grand and glorious patterns. This will truly become a treasured family heirloom but more importantly, it will be a comfortable gathering place for the people who mean the most you. It looks to be plenty rugged, so be sure to put it to good, frequent use. A more durable finish is a very good idea. Beautiful and beautifully done. Thank you for sharing.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

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