Mahogany 18th century tilt-top 'pie crust' tea table

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Project by bbrown posted 07-01-2014 03:14 PM 1262 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I used Potassium Dichromate to emphasize the nice tannin streaks in the mahogany.

This project is based on a piece at the Wintertur Museum in northern Delaware, close to my childhood home of Malvern, PA.

I need some better photos as well as a close up of the pie-crust molding. One of these days I’ll try to improve on my cheap digital camera shots.

Thanks for looking.

God bless,

-Wm. Brown Forest, VA

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

14 comments so far

View RogerBean's profile


1406 posts in 1864 days

#1 posted 07-01-2014 03:16 PM

Magnificent piece. My compliments.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

17016 posts in 1249 days

#2 posted 07-01-2014 04:19 PM

Exceptional work. Looks great.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View BenR's profile


284 posts in 1539 days

#3 posted 07-01-2014 05:08 PM

Very beautiful. The finish turned out great. Now I have to look up potassium dichromate, and how to use it.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6771 posts in 2891 days

#4 posted 07-01-2014 06:55 PM

Great job.

One of these days I’ll finish the one I have that’s 95% complete.

Maybe this will inspire me.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Scott R. Turner's profile

Scott R. Turner

261 posts in 2099 days

#5 posted 07-01-2014 08:22 PM

Fabulous work.

View AandCstyle's profile


1739 posts in 1168 days

#6 posted 07-01-2014 11:17 PM

That is an instant heirloom. I can’t even imagine the number of hours you have into it. Thanks for sharing.

-- Art

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5251 posts in 1203 days

#7 posted 07-02-2014 02:45 AM

Beautiful work—every aspect is extremely well crafted.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View CharlieM1958's profile


15935 posts in 3129 days

#8 posted 07-02-2014 01:26 PM

Very impressive piece!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View bbrown's profile


127 posts in 2463 days

#9 posted 07-02-2014 01:49 PM

Thanks to all for the kind comments. Lee, I agree about completing projects – I am famous for stalling at the 90% point.

Re. the Potassium Dichromate: it is poisonous so just don’t drink it :)

I use it sort of like aniline dye: add a little powder to hot water (I get mine almost to boiling in a microwave, then add a pinch of powder). I just rag it on, wearing gloves. It instantly turns any tannin streaks black and really creates a nice contrast. It will look dull and chalky (just like aniline dye will) but when a topcoat is applied the colour will really be dramatic.

HillbillyShooter, I like your LJ name and GW quote.

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

View XrayJay's profile


109 posts in 890 days

#10 posted 07-02-2014 07:06 PM

Beautiful work and finish looks great. Ball and claw feet are a personal favorite.

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2909 posts in 2623 days

#11 posted 07-03-2014 05:07 AM


She’s a real beauty! What an heirloom!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View bbrown's profile


127 posts in 2463 days

#12 posted 07-08-2014 12:57 AM

Thanks very much XrayJ and LWLlefty.

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

View chobbs66's profile


39 posts in 2461 days

#13 posted 07-08-2014 05:24 PM

Nicely done. I have a pie crust tea table on my to do list – hopefully in the relatively near future. Built one back in 2004 and I have learned a lot since then.

Yours is very good and I like how you captured good period appropriate feet. CH

View bbrown's profile


127 posts in 2463 days

#14 posted 07-13-2014 12:17 PM

Thanks a lot Cal,

Really appreciate the encouraging comments.

These were some of the first carved “ball and claw” type feet I have done, and it took forever to carve them. I’m doing a John Elliott type stool now with Phila. ball and claw feet and it’s easier going. Repetition is key but that’s hard when I get so little time in the shop and it takes many months to complete a project.

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

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