Pelin burl end tables

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Project by Ottacat posted 02-12-2014 01:03 PM 4199 views 12 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a set of end tables I made for my living room. The bases are cherry ebonized using a process of bark tea and a vinegar / steel wool mix. The tops are pelin burl in a frame of mahogany with an ebony inlay.

The full build process is documented in this blog –

I chose cherry for the bases because it is a nice tight-grained wood that is known to ebonize well. I used the ebonizing process outlined in this article in Popular Woodworking.

The overall style of the end tables is heavily influenced by Anthony Buzak.

Both the bases and the tops were assembled using dominos. The dominos in the tops both held the mitred corners together as well as aligned the wood frame evenly with the veneered panel. I did the veneering in a vacuum press.

For the the finishing I dyed the mahogany frames with GF light brown dye stain and then finished with several coats of gloss Arm-R-Seal and then finished with two coats of satin Arm-R-Seal that were wiped on.

This was a fun and interesting build and I’m very pleased with the results.

18 comments so far

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 4303 days

#1 posted 02-12-2014 01:15 PM

Very nice. Of course the veneer is beautiful, great detail to have the black band to tie into the ebonized legs and aprons.

-- Glen

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3914 days

#2 posted 02-12-2014 01:17 PM

You should be pleased with the result !
Great craftsmanship and I like the Domino system you used .
The pelin burl veneer is a beautiful treat .

-- Kiefer

View 489tad's profile


4060 posts in 4259 days

#3 posted 02-12-2014 02:08 PM

Those look very nice. You did a great job.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View oldrivers's profile


2735 posts in 2814 days

#4 posted 02-12-2014 02:13 PM

Beuatiful wood, ounstanding craftmanship. Thanks for sharing your work.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View kdc68's profile


3016 posts in 3524 days

#5 posted 02-12-2014 03:49 PM

That veneer is gorgous !... Excellent craftsmanship

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View clarkey's profile


468 posts in 4303 days

#6 posted 02-12-2014 04:19 PM

l like it. The veneer is outstanding !

View Net55's profile


78 posts in 2835 days

#7 posted 02-12-2014 04:25 PM

Gorgeous work.

-- Bill, SW Florida

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3540 days

#8 posted 02-12-2014 05:02 PM

Beautiful work, especially the tops. Great to see someone using the Domino system!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1524 posts in 2881 days

#9 posted 02-12-2014 05:04 PM

Beautiful. The burl is outstanding.
The base is a perfect match to the top.
Nice work.

-- Jeff NJ

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4263 days

#10 posted 02-12-2014 06:12 PM

you have every reason to be pleased. lovely tables & of course great burl.

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4280 days

#11 posted 02-12-2014 10:36 PM

Nice Project Indeed! Thanks For Sharing.


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3071 days

#12 posted 02-12-2014 10:47 PM

What beautiful end tables, the burl tops are excellent, you did an excellent job, thanks for sharing.

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

View gsesupport1's profile


17 posts in 2813 days

#13 posted 02-13-2014 01:23 AM

SWEEEET, these caught my eye really quick. Excellent choice on the finish, they are absolutely gorgeous. You should be very happy with he finished project. Thanks for sharing

-- Life as we know it.....Is what we make of it........???

View rednecknurse's profile


45 posts in 2253 days

#14 posted 02-13-2014 03:04 AM

My favorite end tables ever. The burl is beautiful and you complemented it well with your other wood selections. Thank you for sharing the ebonizing process.

-- Do something nice for me and I'll say thanks. Do something nice for my children and I'll be your friend forever.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 3182 days

#15 posted 02-13-2014 04:09 AM

Tables look great. And thanks for the in depth link to the ebonizing process you used. I’ll be favoriting this so that I can come back to it when I want to do my first ebonizing.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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