Walnut dining table, big project of '13

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Project by MVMatt posted 01-02-2014 03:13 PM 12468 views 58 times favorited 49 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a live edge, book matched walnut slab table with ebony inlay. I made this for the new addition to my father’s house I completed last year. The table is just over 12 feet long, averages about 41 inches wide and is mostly 1 7/8 inches thick. The boards had a bit too much crook in them to get a uniform thickness without grinding them to dust. I flattened the boards with a router and a giant sled jig.
The inlay pieces are the same width at center and at the ends as each other but the lengths vary from 4 1/2 inches to 7 inches, so the angles are different. They are set about 7/8 inch deep into the top.
I joined the two pieces by running a track saw down the middle with half the blade cutting into each board at the same time. It worked better than I expected.
I filled the pores with crystalac water based because I wanted to maintain the contrast between heart and sap.
I started finishing with shellac for depth and tone, then sprayed a few heavy coats of enduro var. waited just over two weeks and started the rub out. Sand paper from 600 to 2000, then three grits of compound. First two with surbuf pads on ROS and the last one by hand, twice.
I didn’t wax it at the end. I have a lingering feeling that I should go back and wax that puppy one day when no one is home. Any thoughts on this?
A few nights a week after the kids go to bed is all the shop time I get these days. This thing took forever. And it took up the whole shop! I had to move anything I wasn’t using on the project out just to fit it in. Happy with the project, also happy to get my shop back. I’m going to go build something small now…

-- "It could grip it by the husk!" King Arthur.

49 comments so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 3257 days

#1 posted 01-02-2014 03:30 PM

beautiful wood there, and it’s a big table. I couldn’t eat at something like that though. I’d be the one who puts the crystal salt shaker down in the wrong spot and it falls through the crack.

What does the base look like?

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View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5041 days

#2 posted 01-02-2014 03:40 PM

This is a wonderful signature piece and the best part it stayed in the family. Your finish on this is well just incredible, truly a superb job. Great work enjoy the next project…BC

View jbschutz's profile


613 posts in 3910 days

#3 posted 01-02-2014 03:43 PM

What a beautiful table! This is certainly a testament to your woodworking skills and your tenacity….liberal quantities of both were needed. The wood is exceptional and you have let it shine through, punctuated by the bowties. Bravo!
By the way….welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- jbschutz

View Scott R. Turner's profile

Scott R. Turner

276 posts in 4407 days

#4 posted 01-02-2014 03:51 PM

Lovely table and the finish is fabulous.

View Tooch's profile


2016 posts in 3094 days

#5 posted 01-02-2014 03:58 PM

Stunning. I can’t get over the finish on the table top. and the bowties just really add the little bit of functional design that makes this a timeless piece.

congratulations on finishing this beast and getting your shop back!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3703 days

#6 posted 01-02-2014 04:12 PM

What a piece of work. That finish!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3636 days

#7 posted 01-02-2014 04:18 PM

That is an awesome looking table. I really like the overall design with the book matched slabs and live edge gap in the centre with inlay bowties. You really worked hard on that finish but the results speak for themself!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View jetwhoop's profile


89 posts in 3336 days

#8 posted 01-02-2014 04:25 PM

Looks amazing. That finish looks like glass. Any idea how much it weighs?

View HuckD's profile


312 posts in 2933 days

#9 posted 01-02-2014 05:57 PM

You’ve created an heirloom. Just outstanding.

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View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3724 days

#10 posted 01-02-2014 06:23 PM

That is truly awesome!

View Greg's profile


335 posts in 4092 days

#11 posted 01-02-2014 06:29 PM

Beautiful! Props to you getting it done with limited time and space. I did that with my Queen Sleigh bed ions ago, and it ain’t easy! I would like to see the base as well.

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 3325 days

#12 posted 01-02-2014 07:00 PM

Amazing. You should enter it in the winter lumberjacks challenge, the theme of which is walnut. You have my vote!

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4813 days

#13 posted 01-02-2014 07:24 PM

Amazing, very nice job.

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 3112 days

#14 posted 01-02-2014 07:38 PM

Holy crap that’s incredible.

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3409 days

#15 posted 01-02-2014 09:42 PM

beautiful table,excellent work.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

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