Firehouse Table

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Project by Elliot posted 03-12-2012 03:19 PM 9201 views 8 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was asked to restore the dining table for the Great Falls, VA Volunteer Fire Dept. as part of the grand opening of the new station. The table—a 10’ x 3’ x 2 3/4” maple slab—was more than 60 years old and well worn. It was warped, gouged and had been mounted on steel pipes for legs. (see the last image for the before picture.) I wanted to maintain the character of the historic table yet reinvent it for the new station.

I flattened the top entirely by hand using my handplanes—quite a bit of work considering the size of the table and how far from flat it was. Then I inlay a Maltese Cross with the station number 12 in the center made of 4-way bookmatched Bloodwood in a starburst pattern and Birdseye Maple. I added inlayed Bloodwood crossbanding as a border.

For the base, I decided on a traditional trestle design out of Maple with tusked tenons. I made a carving of the Maltese Cross and 12 for each post out of Bloodwood. The curve of the feet was designed to echo the curve of the edges of the Maltese Cross.

The top was finished with System Three epoxy to make it durable enough to withstand decades of use by firefighters, and finished the base with General Finishes Enduro Var.

The project took about 400 hours over six months.

14 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


18123 posts in 4684 days

#1 posted 03-12-2012 03:28 PM

Wow, now that is some amazing work. What a great job restoring this table. The detail and craftsmanship are amazing. bet they were really surprise on the outcome!

Great work!!!!!!!

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

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 3850 days

#2 posted 03-12-2012 03:30 PM

Awesome restore! I clicked back and forth between the before and after pic. Beautifull. The inlay is spectacular too! This table will endure for another 60 years and more I’m sure.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View Kayvon's profile


89 posts in 3801 days

#3 posted 03-12-2012 03:32 PM

Beautiful job. That’s way more than a restoration. I wish I could have seen the look on the firefighters faces when you revealed that.

-- Kayvon

View RockyBlue's profile


273 posts in 4188 days

#4 posted 03-12-2012 04:05 PM

Awesome job. Thanks for posting the before photo, looks completely different. They will love it.

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

View KMT's profile


608 posts in 4157 days

#5 posted 03-12-2012 04:58 PM

Way to go! That is very impressive. I especially like the carved Maltese Crosses.

-- - Martin

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 5070 days

#6 posted 03-12-2012 05:59 PM

Great work Elliot!
It is almost hard to believe it’s the same table.
I bet they were thrilled with your work.
Nice job my friend !

And by the way, with talent like yours, we expect more then one project every 5 years !
Now start sharing some of your skills ! lol

View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 4128 days

#7 posted 03-12-2012 06:59 PM

Stunning table!!! Beautiful and functional! Nicely done!

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

View Everett1's profile


233 posts in 4029 days

#8 posted 03-12-2012 07:54 PM

That is bad ass

-- Ev

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 3814 days

#9 posted 03-12-2012 09:16 PM

Nice work. And Hurrah for the firefighters all over the country !

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 5051 days

#10 posted 03-12-2012 11:47 PM

SPECtacular, love it from every angle

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4185 days

#11 posted 03-13-2012 12:50 AM

That isn’t a restoration, that’s a miracle! Ya done good here. I can certainly believe 400 hours. The inlay and the medallions on the legs make this very special. Posting the before pic was a great idea. This should last well into the next century.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View KnotWright's profile


258 posts in 4983 days

#12 posted 03-13-2012 01:01 PM

Every fire station needs one of those! Amazing job, well done!!

-- James

View terry603's profile


321 posts in 4408 days

#13 posted 03-13-2012 01:29 PM

would never believe it was the same table. i can only imagine the work involved

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View kdc68's profile


3078 posts in 3772 days

#14 posted 03-14-2012 01:11 AM

Outstanding work. It is a show piece.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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