Tiger Oak Pedestal Table Restoration

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Project by groovy_man_6 posted 06-23-2014 06:06 PM 696 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A custom restoration of my neighbor’s antique Indian Head Table Company (Nashua, NH) tiger oak pedestal table. This table dates back to somewhere 1912 – 1925 when the company was in operation. Despite looking pretty beat up, it was clear that this was at heart, a quality table, and would be worth restoration.

I began by repairing cracks and restoring the structural elements of the table, created two leaves for it (each 15” wide by 4’ long) in matching tiger oak, installed new pegs and locking attachments under the table (lee valley), and carefully began the refinishing process.

The finish was a 4 part process: (1) Transtint Brown Mahogany Dye (initial color and increase contrast) (2) Minwax “Tung Oil” Finish (partially seal wood) (3) Minwax Mahogany Gel Stain (pore filling, deepen color further) (4) 3-coats of Arm-r-seal semi-gloss polyurethane. The figure in this antique wood is nothing short of stunning! One of my favorites.

As a point of interest, the company had dovetailed all of the slats of the table top together together along the full length of the joint. 100 years later, there was ABSOLUTELY ZERO SEPARATION between the table top slats. Makes me want to dovetail just about everything :-)

Hopefully their family will have another hundred years of memories around this table! I adore antiques and the thought of honoring them and keeping them around inspires me. Especially in the case where they can continue being used and bringing joy to those who use them.

8 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


3445 posts in 1501 days

#1 posted 06-23-2014 07:09 PM

Great job on the restoration. Creating the new leaves is an impressive feat. I like your stain-over-dye finishing technique.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View groovy_man_6's profile


140 posts in 1688 days

#2 posted 06-23-2014 07:24 PM

AH pintodeluxe, that means a lot coming from you of all people, you’re such a master of the tiger oak!

View bushmaster's profile


188 posts in 971 days

#3 posted 06-24-2014 12:55 PM

Very interested rest and like your table restoration. especially the finish method. My neighbor gave me one in bad shape, top stained with this and that, finish worn off joints separating , base falling apart. If I didn’t take it he was going to burn it. I have it about ready to finish last year, just waiting for a rainy cold day to get it done. Yours inspired me, they sure had some nice figured wood back then, did not know you could buy any like that.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Thomas P.'s profile

Thomas P.

12 posts in 1361 days

#4 posted 06-25-2014 01:22 AM

I’ve never heard of Tiger Oak. (Pardon my lack of wood knowledge please) is this similar to rift or quarter sawn red oak?

-- Thomas Prusak

View Dark_Lightning's profile


1761 posts in 1797 days

#5 posted 06-25-2014 02:13 AM

I personally would call it quarter sawn, and GORGEOUS.

View groovy_man_6's profile


140 posts in 1688 days

#6 posted 06-25-2014 01:59 PM

Hi Thomas,

Yes it is typically quarter sawn white oak, although red oak is sometimes used as well. People prefer white because the rays, which give it that tiger flecking are longer and more pronounced in white oak. Rift sawn has some tiger character and some not depending on the board. Best. P

View Dusty56's profile


11663 posts in 2376 days

#7 posted 06-26-2014 10:54 PM

Looks like Quarter Sawn Oak from here. Beautiful color and finish though : )
I actually had some Tiger Striped White Oak at one time. There were no flecks in it, just the rippled looking grain going across the face like Tiger Maple : ) Keep up the nice work !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Woodn88s's profile


78 posts in 2230 days

#8 posted 06-28-2014 10:19 AM

Very nice job, handsome table

-- I want to know Gods are details "A. Einstein"

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