Ash Dining Room Table, Mission Style

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Project by Branlon posted 02-05-2012 04:26 PM 3777 views 5 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ash Dining Room Table, Mission Style
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The old ash tree behind the house was reaching for better light and leaning too far over the roof directly above our master bedroom. We decided to have it taken down because it also had a rotten spot at the base. Within a couple hours the tree service guys had all the branches cut off and loaded in a truck.

When they asked if we wanted the 14 foot trunk, I took a second look at it and decided to start cutting 4” sections off the bottom to see how far up the trunk the rotten wood crept. After a couple cuts the ash became clear and we had a 13 foot tree trunk lying on the ground about 5 feet in circumference. It was delivered to the saw mill and we harvested about 130 board feet of rough-sawn lumber. It was stacked properly in the barn to dry for a year.

A woodworker friend agreed to mill the lumber to the plan specifications for a dining room table, Mission style. We first selected the best looking boards for the tabletop and then from other pieces cut 1×3s which were glued together to make the three inch square table legs.

Two coats of water-based poly were applied to the entire table and a third coat on the tabletop. Johnson’s Paste Wax was then rubbed-out with steel wool for the non-glare finish.

-- Branlon, Board Director, South Central Indiana

23 comments so far

View svenbecca's profile


161 posts in 3552 days

#1 posted 02-05-2012 04:33 PM

Glad you posted this. I have a pecan tree in my back yard that I have been debating on cutting down for the same reason.

Great table by the way.

-- A carpenter takes an ugly, knotted, twisted piece of wood and makes something beautiful and pure from it. Jesus is a carpenter, I am a piece of wood.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1667 posts in 3749 days

#2 posted 02-05-2012 04:46 PM

Supe looking table, great design. From shade to table, great build.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3391 days

#3 posted 02-05-2012 04:56 PM

Very nice, I often forget what I am working with was once a tree. You did a great job

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Branlon's profile


44 posts in 4557 days

#4 posted 02-05-2012 05:00 PM

Thanks guys, I have never worked with pecan wood. This was my first project with ash and it won’t be the last; ash is strong and beautiful.

-- Branlon, Board Director, South Central Indiana

View Ken90712's profile


18001 posts in 4274 days

#5 posted 02-05-2012 05:46 PM

Great job and nice use of a tree you had. Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3591 days

#6 posted 02-05-2012 05:55 PM

Great story behind a great piece of furniture.

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4662 days

#7 posted 02-05-2012 06:05 PM

A very unique wood choice for a Mission piece. I like it,I like it a lot.


View rimfire7891's profile


123 posts in 3988 days

#8 posted 02-05-2012 06:54 PM


As above very unique choice of wood for a mission style table. Being able to harvest your own wood and make something great with it has got be tops.Especially like the shadow line created with the double top.
Did you mortise the slats in by hand or do you have a mortise machine?

Great job, thanks for sharing


-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

View Branlon's profile


44 posts in 4557 days

#9 posted 02-05-2012 07:25 PM


All the slats were cut the same length and then a dowel was glued into the center bottom. The tops of the slats fit tightly into a router-cut groove along the bottom of the crossbar connecting the tops of the legs. The slats can’t twist but needed to be held in place at the top by popsicle-like stick spacers. All cut from the same ash tree, of course, but the dowels were store bought.

-- Branlon, Board Director, South Central Indiana

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4641 days

#10 posted 02-05-2012 07:51 PM

Really nice looking table.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View DocSavage45's profile


9048 posts in 3928 days

#11 posted 02-05-2012 08:06 PM

Nice piece, did the tree proud! Sounds like you know what you are doing. Good to have friends who can mill for you :)

I like the choice of southwestren as it has a nice visual flow in general as well as an interesting and functional design.

Any more pieces planned?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View dpow's profile


504 posts in 3929 days

#12 posted 02-05-2012 10:00 PM

I guess you could say the felled tree landed close to home. Nice design, great choice of wood; Great project! Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4758 days

#13 posted 02-06-2012 01:39 AM

Nice dining room table.

View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile


130 posts in 4117 days

#14 posted 02-06-2012 04:42 AM

Beautiful table. Nice execution. Most of the furniture I have posted on this site came from ash trees on my brother’s property. This spring he and I are cutting down another 8 large trees that will provide another 600 – 700 board feet! Won’t have it for a year but it still is a large quantity that will cost out of pocket for the sawyer about $0.90/ bf. I concur, ash is a great wood to work with. I have always loved the somewhat nutty smell it gives off when cutting. Have seen any emerald ash borer in Indiana yet? Here in Michigan most of the ash are dying or will be gone in the next 5 to 8 years. What a shame – but right now it makes ash really cheap here. Can’t transport ANY ash that has bark on it out of (or even within) the state.
Enjoy your table. You should be proud of it!

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan

View DocSavage45's profile


9048 posts in 3928 days

#15 posted 02-06-2012 04:53 AM

The situation bob-t-b described is true here in MN regarding the ash borer, which has no preditors? Won’t that make ash an exotic wood?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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