Conference Table for Local Church #1: Let's get started with big slabs

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Blog entry by Sawdustonmyshoulder posted 06-21-2008 05:12 AM 1867 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Conference Table for Local Church series Part 2: Legs, Legs, Legs »

I have been commissioned by a local church member to build a conference table. She and her husband are supplying the lumber and I am supplying the design work and the woodworking.

I have been working on the table for several weeks now so I will get you up-to-date.

First the lumber: Quartersawn Southern Red Oak – Sawn from an estimated 500 year old red oak tree that measured over 6 feet in diameter. After it was blown over in a wind storm, it was sawn and left to air dry about 4 years. Most of the planks are 10 feet long and average 16 inches wide. I transported 1000 board feet of the oak to a lumber company for kiln drying.

Randy and Luke helped me load the boards on a trailer for kiln drying. This is one of the top boards. All boards were photographed and numbered.

The design: The table will have a final size of 12 feet long and 54 inches wide and 30 inches high. Since the lumber is only 10 feet long, and the client wanted the lumber to run the length of the table, we settled on a design that incorporated wide bread boards to make up the length. The legs will reflect some of the church’s architecture with panels shaped at Gothic arches. The table top will be inlayed with a walnut cross.

The woodworking: I have built the three leg sets and the two stretchers for the “under carriage”. I am now ready to plane the table top boards. I have decided to build it from 5 boards that will be about 12 inches wide to start off. After jointing, they should be slightly under 11 inches wide. The problem for me is planing this length of lumber in a two car garage. I have built an extension to my workbench to reference the boards. I have also built extensions to load the boards into the planer and to receive the boards coming out of the planer.

My next blog will tell the story of the planing. If you will look at my project called “My First Kitchen”, I will explain how I “jointed” a wide board. I only have a 6 inch jointer so I had to improvise the “jointing” procedure.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

6 comments so far

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 3982 days

#1 posted 06-21-2008 01:35 PM

Sounds interesting. Look forward to more post.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View JohnR's profile


43 posts in 3698 days

#2 posted 06-21-2008 01:55 PM


Having looked at your other projects, I am anxious to see your progress on this one. I would also like to see photos of the leg sets and stretchers.

Wow, for someone to quartersaw such a rare find as a 6’ diameter old oak shows a true desire for a beautiful finished product down the line. Terrific.

-- Sola Gratia, John

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3768 days

#3 posted 06-21-2008 03:04 PM

sounds interesting! can’t wait to see some pix of the construction, thanks for the post!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4100 days

#4 posted 06-21-2008 04:38 PM

Oh boy, I can’t wait to see this one!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3631 days

#5 posted 06-21-2008 05:36 PM

WoW now thats a bigga one ,What a project.= Lots a Sawdust :o) I also Can’t wait to see it !

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3713 days

#6 posted 06-23-2008 05:46 AM

Sounds real interesting, some incredible wood to work with. Looking forward to your progress photos!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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