Reading Table Maple and Aspen

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Project by SM posted 04-14-2008 05:15 AM 1648 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first table and first tapered legs.

-- SM

15 comments so far

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 4360 days

#1 posted 04-14-2008 05:34 AM

THAT is why I like Aspen.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4304 days

#2 posted 04-14-2008 05:35 AM

Nice looking table. I love the figuring of the wood.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4525 days

#3 posted 04-14-2008 05:49 AM

I’ve never worked with aspen before. Look like it might be fun.

Great table!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SM's profile


77 posts in 4233 days

#4 posted 04-14-2008 06:19 AM

You guys are a pretty infectious welcoming committee. Thanks for the comments. I will get pictures of other work up in a day or so. Yes, the aspen was a surprise. I was told that particular stock would not be attractive and I would want to “paint it”. P-A-I-N-T is not in my vocabulary, so it is lucky that I have a magic thickness planer.
Thanks to all for the enthusiasm.
It is late my time so I must sign off.

-- SM

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 4421 days

#5 posted 04-14-2008 07:49 AM

That is really sharp. Did you do anything special to make the grain, “pop?”


View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4534 days

#6 posted 04-14-2008 09:01 AM

Wonderful…either you know how to pick wood or the wood picks you…lucky either way.

Great table…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4359 days

#7 posted 04-14-2008 10:56 AM

Hi Sarah-Marie,

This is a very nice table. The tapered legs add a nice detail to the piece and “lighten” up the construction. I am proud of you for forgetting the P word. Wood, in my opinion, is meant to be celebrated and not covered. I like your wood selection for this project. The figured maple adds visual interest to the piece.

Nice job.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4636 days

#8 posted 04-14-2008 03:59 PM

Nice crisp work!

Really great wood figure.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Lakey's profile


97 posts in 4309 days

#9 posted 04-14-2008 04:23 PM

Very clean – aspen looks like some great wood to work.

-- "No Board Left Behind"

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4784 days

#10 posted 04-14-2008 04:23 PM

Very nice work. Love the maple finish. You have made the curl pop. Just Gorgeous. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4253 days

#11 posted 04-14-2008 05:53 PM

great table good job

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4311 days

#12 posted 04-14-2008 06:36 PM


Great looking table. You did a very nice job on it. Really love the beautiful wood pattern. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4755 days

#13 posted 04-14-2008 06:44 PM

Beautiful table!

I’m confused, though. The description is “aspen and maple”. Some folks are talking like the top is aspen, but I would have assumed from looking that the top is maple and the legs and apron are aspen. Which is it?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SM's profile


77 posts in 4233 days

#14 posted 04-14-2008 07:22 PM

OK, Kurux you did ask, re: Did I do anything special to get the grain to pop?

Ya. I did everything wrong. After the first sanding, I used shellac to try and bring the colour of the maple top more in line with the aspen skirts and gummed it up so bad you could hardly see the grain (wrong cut)!

So, I sanded it down and decided to let the maple stay significantly different rather than only get the two to look “close”.

After sanding #3, I used a white French polish (premixed) over both maple and aspen. Then realized FP would be inadequate protection for the top of a table subject to drinks spilled, books slid, and laptops hanging off the edges.

After sanding #4 on the top, I used an antique out-of-the-can varnish gel. I do have a tendency to use water to clean off the last of the sanding dust but can’t remember if that is an acceptable practice. I also rub the finish out with a light wet sanding (400 to 1200 grit)

I’m not completely happy with the tonal colour between the two woods, and wish I had not made the skirts so long (or at least put in a drawer to visually lighten it up) but, I did get to experiment with several types of joins: mortise and tenon in front, dowels in back ,and there may be a biscuit or two in there somewhere.

I’m happy with the placement of maple boards in the joined top, but the grain was just there and tolerated my fumbles.

From the look of your projects you probably have much more experience with grain so any advise will be well taken.

Thanks for the interest

-- SM

View SM's profile


77 posts in 4233 days

#15 posted 04-14-2008 07:35 PM

Yes, your right. The top is maple and rest is aspen.
Now, you guys, I’m off to the shop!
Thanks for all the compliments.

-- SM

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