Kitchen Table

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Project by CClark86 posted 01-27-2014 01:21 PM 1827 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Shortly after getting engaged to my wife one of her uncles offered me slabs of 15 year old maple and walnut that he cut down off of his property from when he built his house. (Turned out one of the boards was oak after I started working with it) It wasn’t a lot of wood but it was almost enough to make a decent sized kitchen table. I knew I would need to either build or buy a kitchen table in about 9 months after my wife and I moved in together so I decided to go for making this my first serious woodworking project. Up until this table I had only made two batches of cutting boards so this was a long slow process as I had to practice and re-practice each cut, joint and tool that I would end up using. The table seats 6 comfortably and can squeeze in 8.

On the interior it is maple (two boards of which are heavily spalted) and oak from my uncle-in-law’s property. I purchased cheery boards to border that and inlaid a strip of walnut around the border between them. I hand cut dovetail keys in a decorative pattern and all the boards are tongue and grooved together and I added pegs into the cherry boards more for decoration than structure. I found mahogany cut offs for a good price and turned those into the legs. The legs are set at an angle and the runners underneath are walnut. I filled the gaps of the table with bar-top epoxy since two of the boards were extremely punky from the spalting and a couple had knot holes that run all the way through them. The effect turned out great as you can see through the knot holes to the floor and the spalted boards have rotted areas that give them depth. I had a family friend CNC the date of our marriage into one corner of the table and then finished everything with coats of BLO followed by Arm r seal high gloss. I ended up having to add the dowel supports between the legs for stability and it was not sturdy across the width.

The pictures are from immediately after finishing the table so the cherry boards don’t have the copper glow that they have now after a year. I fell in love with the natural contrast between cherry, walnut and maple after making this table so much so that all of my projects since have incorporated all three of the woods in some way. The table has held up well but the big mistake that I made was not to let the boards have room to expand and contract. The table has two cracks that run across the width of the interior that grow during the dry winter and disappear in the summer. Had no idea that was even a thing when I started this project but as my wife says, it gives it character. The other problem with the table is that when we have company over and stuff 8 people at the table the legs almost eliminate the leg room for the people sitting directly in front of them. You end up having to straddle the legs.

Still my favorite project so far.



-- Hobbyist Homebrewer, Woodworker, Glider Pilot. But only ever two at the same time.

11 comments so far

View jasonallen's profile


202 posts in 2393 days

#1 posted 01-27-2014 01:47 PM

Awesome table! I wish my wife thought cracks add character…

-- Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2960 days

#2 posted 01-27-2014 01:51 PM

I think that top is amazing. Brilliant concept.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3639 days

#3 posted 01-27-2014 01:53 PM

Nice looking. It will be a wonderful conversation piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View doubleDD's profile


9465 posts in 2815 days

#4 posted 01-27-2014 02:56 PM

This is a great build. I would welcome it in my home anytime. Well done.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View toddbeaulieu's profile


842 posts in 3776 days

#5 posted 01-27-2014 04:05 PM

I love it Chris. Great job! I’ve yet to take on a table, but I’m getting the itch. Maybe I’ll start with an end table.

Could you tell me a little about the process you used to flatten (joint/plane?) the top?

View CClark86's profile


57 posts in 2356 days

#6 posted 01-27-2014 05:23 PM

HI Todd – I actually never had to run the completed table through a planer or drum sander to flatten it, I used my random orbital and that was it. I took my time with the tongue and grooving of the boards so that when they glued up they were about as flat as could be. What helped me is that I glued up one board at a time to make sure the alignments were darn near perfect. So the first round of glue ups had 6 sets of 2 boards each. Then I glued 3 sets together of the double boards, etc. That way every time I glued and clamped I was only dealing with a single glue joint that I could fuss around with as needed. That and making sure that the clamping pressure didn’t bow the boards out of level (which is why you see the weights in one of the pictures)

I did end up with a single corner that was about a 1/4 of an inch high and I took a hand plane and then sander to it to flatten it out.

-- Hobbyist Homebrewer, Woodworker, Glider Pilot. But only ever two at the same time.

View toddbeaulieu's profile


842 posts in 3776 days

#7 posted 01-27-2014 07:01 PM

I’m kind of blown away that you didn’t have to do any milling on this!

Historically I’ve struggled with glueups that too many boards. I really need to take your advice and be less aggressive and more patient.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2596 days

#8 posted 01-27-2014 09:59 PM

Wow what a beautiful table, that wood looks great. You did an awesome job Chris, thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30550 posts in 3110 days

#9 posted 01-28-2014 12:45 AM

Really nice work.

Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3462 days

#10 posted 01-28-2014 01:47 AM

That is a beautiful table but we all knew the wood movement would be a problem when we saw the design (but what a cool design!)

You did a great job on this build.

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

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3893 days

#11 posted 01-28-2014 06:43 PM

Great atble

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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