New Wood Worker - Table, Finished Project

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Forum topic by SPARTAN17 posted 12-24-2015 01:27 AM 1610 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1697 days

12-24-2015 01:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: kreg walnut sanding finished table project redwood jig finishing


I have been working with wood since I was a good. Always loved it. Found a lot of good information on this site too. Lately, I have turned my hobby from fly fishing to wood working. I have all the necessities to get into trouble ;-).
For christmas, I figured my mother in law could use a new table. This table will be at her disposal, mostly for sewing and doing nails. The table itself is made from redwood, and douglas fur for the legs.

Just wanted to share this and get some feedback from the pro’s around here.

The top has a natural sheen as I sanded from 220 finishing grit, stepping through all the way to 2000 grit, steel wool and ultimately using an orbital polisher. I used dark walnut minimax stain to stain the table. The table was assembled mostly using a Kreg jig for pocket screws. The table top is made with 2×6 with the ends being 2×4’s. I used polyurethane on the first sealing, sanded with 4000 grit, waxed and passed over with 2000 grit and 4000 grit, then began polishing.

The picture I have attached is the completed top down look.

This was my first large project that i have done. Recently it has just been smaller things, like coin holders, business card holders, and things like that to get me comfortable before I started large projects like this. Anyways, looking to always get better. Hope you guys enjoy!

Kreg Pocket screws

Fully Assembled Top

Stain Coat 1

The Top of the table beautiful redwood stain

Final product after being polished.

The legs were polished later also, just not as brilliant of a shine to add depth to the table.

11 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4388 days

#1 posted 12-24-2015 02:13 AM

Welcome to Ljs, Looks Like a sturdy table
Just a note,I have found that many new woodworkers are using joinery that doues not allow for wood movement,this can cause the top or other parts of the table to crack over time,much of the promlems have been folks using pocket screws in the wrong place. I hope this not the case with your table.
Here’s a link that explains about wood movement.
Merry Christmas


View SPARTAN17's profile


7 posts in 1697 days

#2 posted 12-24-2015 07:43 PM

Hello A1jim

Thank you very much for the feedback. I appreciate the article and the remarks. Just the type of constructive feedback I am looking for. Thank you again. Merry Christmas to you.

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4388 days

#3 posted 12-24-2015 07:48 PM

You’re welcome always glad to be of help.


View dannorocks's profile


65 posts in 1989 days

#4 posted 12-24-2015 08:53 PM

It looks great, I like the stain and final finish. Dowels also are good way to joint boards to make a table, but since I started using a biscuit jointer its hard to turn back! I do use a pocket holes, but mostly for assembling face frames for a cabinet.

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4388 days

#5 posted 12-24-2015 09:32 PM

We all do things the way we think is best , not to cause conflict I have a different opinion , dowels or biscuits are really not necessary on any part of this table because the only place you could use them without interfering with wood movement is to join the longest boards on the table top boards together but their really not needed there, edge to edge gluing is plenty strong without and connecting option. You certainly would not use them on the breadboard ends as the info in the link I furnished shows, and the legs are much stronger with mortise and tenon joinery.


View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3108 days

#6 posted 12-24-2015 10:10 PM

Good on you for making a gift of furniture instead of allowing another piece of particleboard junk from China off the boat. Keep at it.

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3326 days

#7 posted 12-24-2015 10:11 PM

Very nice table, and welcome to LJ!!

I know it is not all people new to woodworking but…
it seems a fair amount of new woodworkers on some of their early projects seem to favor the darker colors – then as the years go by, they seem to head more towards the lighter, more natural colors of the real wood and learn how to use more natural finishes like oils and hand rubbed lacquers and shellacs. At least it seems that way. Maybe I’m wrong about that. It would explain why they sell all that dark stain, like english walnut, jacobean and others.

I know that was the way I started – Jacobean stain and satin varnish was a staple in my shops early years. Now I got a can of jacobean that is so old I think I have to throw it away soon. I think the last time I opened it was to get a bit on a Q-tip to use as a color repair on a nick in some rosewood or walnut or some dark wood that was otherwise natural.

I remember making my first dining room table for my family. Jacobean. I used to spread a provincial type color in my woodworking like paint.
My first commission sold in 1971, coffee table and two end tables were actually made from cocobolo, which I stained darker. Now I use clear grain enhancers to emphasize the naturals.

Seems like about 15-17 years ago I stopped using much stain at all. Lots of conditioner and grain enhancers, thats all.
Interesting. Maybe I’m just imagining…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View SPARTAN17's profile


7 posts in 1697 days

#8 posted 12-25-2015 02:33 PM

Thank you dhazelton. I had a lot of fun doing this. And your right. Hand made. Built to last.

Hey Tennesee, I enjoy darker and lighter stains. My mother in laws house has primarily dark finishes which was the reason for a dark walnut. To match what she currently had. I am working on a headboard for my father now. I am using a stain made of dissolved steel wool and vinegar. Gives a great finish. I will post pictures when that is complete as well.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3678 days

#9 posted 12-25-2015 05:00 PM

Nice work. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Robert's profile


3812 posts in 2292 days

#10 posted 12-25-2015 08:03 PM

You certainly would not use them on the breadboard ends as the info in the link I furnished shows, and the legs are much stronger with mortise and tenon joinery.

- a1Jim

If you elongate the outer two holes and keep the outer edges of breadboard tenon 1/4” short and use draw bored dowels w/o glue this will allow for movement inside the breadboard edge.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4388 days

#11 posted 12-25-2015 08:44 PM

We all do things differently ,but I would never mount the breadboard ends with dowels or just use 3 of them to hold the breadboard ends, but that’s me,to each their own. BTW I always liked those Moxon vises you made very cool.


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