Curly Maple and Cherry Dining Table

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Project by dasnipa posted 09-30-2011 05:03 AM 9695 views 7 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Let me start this story at the beginning. a little over a year ago I decided that I wanted to build a dining table for a friend of mine. It was to be quite an ambitious project because I was just starting out as a woodworker. A few friends of mine convinced me to do an end table first so that I could practice the look before moving on to a final piece. You can find the original ‘practice’ end table at the project below.

So, of course, with the full scale project, I encountered issues one doesn’t encounter until working with long lengths of stock… The table is 72”x40”.

By far, the biggest issue I had was keeping the wood flush while edge gluing. I tried my darndest, but the end result left me sanding the top off and on for the past 6 months to return it to a reasonable flatness for a dining table.

Ill end my banter there and let the wood speak for itself. P.S. some of the pictures have some curvature to the top. The top isn’t actually curved. it’s a function of the project being large, and my lens not having a short enough focal length for the scale I needed.

18 comments so far

View David 's profile


81 posts in 3879 days

#1 posted 09-30-2011 05:15 AM

good looking table. i like the curly maple.

-- David, Center,Texas

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4554 days

#2 posted 09-30-2011 05:29 AM

Great table. Gluing up a large top is quite a project and you did an excellent job.

View Blake Thornton's profile

Blake Thornton

152 posts in 3886 days

#3 posted 09-30-2011 05:35 AM

That’s beautiful.

View superstretch's profile


1532 posts in 3938 days

#4 posted 09-30-2011 05:56 AM

Unbelievable curl.. I’ve found that biscuits will prevent misalignment and scraping will power through the wood faster than sanding. Great looking table!

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 3924 days

#5 posted 09-30-2011 06:15 AM

Looks great. What finish did you use?

-- Anthony

View dasnipa's profile


16 posts in 4039 days

#6 posted 09-30-2011 06:28 AM

I used a Jeff Jewitt finishing schedule

Dilluted brown pigment dye 95% sanded off to accent the curl followed by blo to add depth. Poly topcoats rubbing the final coat out with wax applied to a steel wool pad

View George Coles's profile

George Coles

188 posts in 3690 days

#7 posted 09-30-2011 06:59 AM

This is a great table. I love the curly maple. One way of keeping the wood flush that I use is to tongue and groove the edges. This can be done with a router if you don’t have access to a spindle moulder and an added benefit is that you have a larger glue area and less likelihood of joints parting.

-- George Coles,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


22420 posts in 4921 days

#8 posted 09-30-2011 08:32 AM

My Oh my!! I can hear oohs and aahs all over the LJ community ;-) Awesome table. I love curly maple.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View groovy_man_6's profile


148 posts in 4245 days

#9 posted 09-30-2011 01:47 PM

Boy is that pretty!!! What a great looking piece! I had a similar problem with the slats on a dining room table I did—what solved it for me was using a couple dowels, linking the gluing surfaces together, so they can’t move relative to each other—(

anyhoo, you pulled it off wonderfully… excellent coloring job too, to accentuate the curl.

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4933 days

#10 posted 09-30-2011 03:35 PM

The top looks great …love the inlay : )
Any pictures of the whole table ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View B13's profile


463 posts in 3938 days

#11 posted 09-30-2011 05:22 PM

That maple rocks! nice! Inlay.

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 3842 days

#12 posted 09-30-2011 06:57 PM

That curly maple is amazing, it must have cost a pretty penny. What thickness is the top? I see two maple boards glued together to create the thickness. That could be your curling problem that you encountered. What kind of glue did you use? I know how difficult it is the try and glue long pieces and keep everything aligned. You did a great job with your table.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View dasnipa's profile


16 posts in 4039 days

#13 posted 09-30-2011 07:05 PM

First off my local lumber supplier provided this amazing maple. And his prices are phoenominal. Everything accounted for this project cost $150 in lumber. 30 of which was in the cherry.

The top is not that thick all the way through. I attached some cutoffs to thicken its appearance midway through the project when I decided the top would look better thicker. If I had planned for that thickness from the start I would have made the top 4 inches oversize in each dimension and then trimmed and flipped so the edge curl would have been ‘bookmatched’. However I figure I can’t plan for everything so im happy how it is.

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4296 days

#14 posted 10-01-2011 02:52 AM

Beautiful curl and excellent job showing it off. I like that you used dye to really make it pop before applying the rest of the finish. The inlay is also a nice subtle addition.

Nice work!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View nuttree's profile


280 posts in 4569 days

#15 posted 10-01-2011 06:36 AM

^ Jonathan toom the words right out of my mouth – very nice work.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

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