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Project Information

A friend of mine had four tall bar chairs for the bar counter in his kitchen. Then he moved to a house without a bar counter. So they needed a bar table to go with the chairs. I told him if he would buy the materials I would build it with my labor as a house warming gift.

The available space for the table provided the first design challenge. There was just barely enough room between the end of the kitchen cabinets and an adjacent wall to fit the table, the chairs on either end, still have enough room to pull out the end chairs to sit in them, and still tuck in the two middle chairs between the legs. I found I couldn't put the legs on the corners of the table because you wouldn't be able to swing your legs in or out of the end seats.

I designed the table in Sketchup and then built a full-sized cardboard mock-up in their kitchen to make sure it was comfortable. This is the first project I've ever built a 1:1 mockup for, and it was a huge help. I will definitely do it for future projects.

Sketchup design:

Bar Table1

Bar Table2

Cardboard mock-up:

IMG_1218

Matching the stain on the chairs was a another challenge all together. I don't have any experience with stain matching so it was really an interesting process.

The table top and apron is made with 3/4" Mahogany plywood and the legs are solid Mahogany (laminated from two pieces each).

Apron and frame

IMG_1309

As far as I could tell the chairs were stained brown and then coated with a yellow-ish tinted lacquer, which gave it a complex multi-layer finish that no off-the-shelf soak-in stain could match. And since I don't have lacquer spraying capabilities, it took a lot of experimentation.

Finally what worked was sort of the opposite of the original chair finish. I used a yellow aniline dye followed by a red-ish brown stain and another darker brown stain. Finally the table was coated with 6 coats of wipe-on polyurethane.

Yellow dye on, first stain going on:

IMG_1459

The seat from one of the chairs next to the stained table:

IMG_1496

It took longer to finish the table then it did to build it but in the end I think I nailed the color!

...And by the way, the faux "breadboard" ends were actually a serendipitous last-minute design feature to cover up a mistake. The plywood top was surrounded on all sides by 3/8" thick Mahogany shop-made edge banding. Well the glue on one of the ends of the table made the plywood swell above the solid edge and when I sanded it flat I went right through the veneer. So to get rid of the damaged section of veneer I routed some thickness off the ends and added the 2" wide mahogany strips. I think it looks WAY better with those ends.

Gallery

Comments

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118,619 Posts
Great design and super build Blake
 

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4 Posts
Beautiful table, Blake, and it does look like you nailed the color.
 

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1,438 Posts
Beautiful job Blake, super design and re-design on the fly…......... I love the breadboard ends…......
 

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A great design and well executed. The stain match is a dead-ringer from what I can see.

Hearing the story on matching the stain is a familiar one to me for what I go through on many of my projects. It is great to see you continue to grown in your skill and expertise.

It makes me all the more glad that we have a Blake Weber piece.

Nice job!
 

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35,383 Posts
Blake a great design and construction.

Nice job.
 

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Wow, they say a great woodworker is one who can hide their mistakes, yours turned out to be an advantage, nicely done.
 

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Blake, you have done an excellent job here, I appreciate your cardboard mock-up, better to put in the extra effort.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Great work and design, we can see you put alot of effort into this table. Well done!
 

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I really like that table design and you really did a great job matching the color…it looks original : )
 

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Excellent work. I'll take one.
 

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That is so nice. Good for you. Nice design and the finish is a dead ringer.

You da Man,
Steve
 

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Outstanding, very well done
 

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Blake,

Great stain to match! It looks like a perfect match. I love the boat shaped design and sometimes a "mistake" allows you to do something that you wouldn't have done on the original. The breadboard detail is a great solution and I think makes the table. Did you have to do anything special to bend the ply apron or is the curve soft enough that it bent naturally when attached to the ribs?
 

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Very nice job on the color match and the table suits the chairs well.
 

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What a perfect color match! That's always a challenge - to get the color just right!

Beautiful table too - but I know what you mean about the finishing taking longer.
 
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