Sinker/Pecky Cypress Craft Table

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Project by MetallurgyNerd posted 02-16-2013 02:33 PM 13852 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife requested a work table for her sewing/craft room that would be big enough to cut out fabric patterns on and tall enough that she could stand at and work comfortably for hours at a time. We settled on 39” high with a 4’x6’ top. The addition of a shelf effectively doubled the useful storage capacity.

I could have made it fairly cheaply from oak or ash, but since we’ll only be living here in Alabama for a few years on a work assignent we decided to try and use a local species of wood so the table would serve as a keepsake of our time here after we move away. I found an ad in the local Craigslist posted by a man selling heart sinker cypress including some pecky cypress for $2/bf. He has a barge and drags sinker logs out of the Pascagoula river in MS. The wood had a beautiful gray-golden color to it and the pecky stuff was very nice as well. I bought about 150 bf and got started. I also bought two cypress 4”x4” posts and two antique heart pine 4”x4” posts he had lying around that were also dragged out of the river. The posts were part of a river barge of the same era as the logs (100-200yrs old). The heart pine lumber was remarkably dense and tight grained.

The lower shelf, aprons and stretchers are all clear heart sinker cypress. Two of the legs are cypress and two are heart pine. All the joints are traditional mortise and tenon. The top and shelf have supporting cross braces. The top is made of pecky cypress, but the boards were fragile enough that I decided to back them with a sheet of 3/4” plywood for strength (see the last picture for how I glued it to the top to the backer). The plywood backer sits in a recess (rabbet) and is only visible from underneath. Then we used a total of 3 gallons of epoxy to fill in all the pecky holes and pour an epoxy top to a final thickness of 3/16”-1/4”. My wife wanted a satin finish on the top instead of the poured glossy finish so I used a DA random orbit sander and wet sanded the top with 800 and 1000 grit papers, followed by buffing with automotive rubbing compounds and a polishing compound. The end result was a slick satin finish. The rest of the frame was finished with a few brushed coats of satin polyurethane that look terrible close up, but hey, it’s a work table. I decided it needed to be durable but not super pretty at this point (wife was anxious to get her table). Besides, I can refinish it later if it bothers me enough.

The lumber cost was about $300, and the epoxy was $350. The epoxy was from We used “Basic No Blush Epoxy” for filling the holes and “Bio Clear 810” for pouring the top. I highly recommend their products if you’re considering a poured epoxy top.

-- Challenge the prevailing perceptions.

7 comments so far

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3979 days

#1 posted 02-16-2013 03:15 PM

Very nice, great job!! Thanks for posting and welcome to LJ’s

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Ken90712's profile


17910 posts in 4100 days

#2 posted 02-16-2013 03:19 PM

Well done, I use Epoxy alot for filling in knot holes and such. What a great finish on this….

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

View greg48's profile


628 posts in 3669 days

#3 posted 02-16-2013 03:28 PM

Very nice. The design and joinery is classic, but the wood choice kicks it up several notches. Oh yeah, welcome to LJ’s

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3960 posts in 3163 days

#4 posted 02-16-2013 03:48 PM

Welcome to LJs.

Nice choice of wood and very well executed. The finish is stunning. I use a lot of reclaimed barn cypress in my projects and I love how it works for joinery. Your choice of sinker and pecky cypress for the craft table to serve as a memory of your time there was also a good one.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 3257 days

#5 posted 02-17-2013 12:19 PM

beautiful build, great use of this old and challenging lumber.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View jimmy meeker's profile

jimmy meeker

135 posts in 2907 days

#6 posted 08-13-2013 05:28 PM

very very nice job. love the top

-- jrm123

View garlandkr's profile


58 posts in 2416 days

#7 posted 08-13-2015 11:36 PM

That grain is intense, I love this piece.

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