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Project Information

Thanks to LJ advice along the way, the table and chairs are now complete after about 9 months.

Table top & legs are hickory leftover from previous generations. The chairs are white oak from an amish mill that I've had air drying for the past year. I'm sort of a n00b woodworker, so this was my first mortise-and-tenon project, for which there were 56 mortises, 56 tenons.

The finish - many layers. I wanted a finish that was deep and would catch light. I took several pictures with different light positioning to show how the different layers come out in different circumstances. The layers are roughly as follows:
  • TransFast orange dye
  • A seal coat of dewaxed shellac
  • GF Java Gel stain
  • A few coats of dewaxed shellac, tinted with TransTints (Brown Mahogany and/or Dark Walnut). I used this step as a way to bring the color to match the grown-up dining table, and to make sure the chairs & table match even though they are different species of wood.

Then the top coat is different for table & chairs.
  • Table: several coats of MS+Poly, wiped on. Then, sanded and GF Arm-R-Seal.
  • Chairs: Deft spray lacquer, which was awesome to work with.

Andrew has been involved in the process. He has seen the steps along the way, helped move lumber from place to place, test-fitted mortise and tenons, and tested out the chairs pre-glue-up.

Of course….moving forward, Andrew & Grace (our current children), their friends and future siblings will continue to test the finish and joinery.

Bring it on.



1,720 Posts
Great looking table and chairs. Making projects for kids is the most satisfying.

1,274 Posts
Beautiful work Keith. Nothing like putting all that work on the finish…just to watch your kiddo hit it w/ his tonka truck. I speak from experience!