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Chestnut Side Table

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Project by Sunstealer73 posted 07-21-2014 03:33 AM 855 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a side table that I made out of some old chestnut barn wood. This barn was on my family’s property and torn down several years ago when the land was sold to a developer. My dad sawed off several of the nicest boards before it was torn down. I wish we had gotten them all. The wood is chestnut and was sawed prior to the blight hitting the area. The barn did use steel nails though, so I am estimating the construction at around 1900. Some of the boards were 16” wide, very straight and clear. The last picture shows some of the cutoffs prior to planing. The cutoffs will be used for some picture frames to ensure I get as much use as possible out of this wood.

This is only my second time doing mortise and tenon joinery. The first was the toy box in my projects. I used a dado stack instead of tenon jig and was much happier with that technique. Since there were no boards thicker than about 13/16”, I had to face glue the pieces for the legs. The board I used for the top had a bad split, but the split was completely straight. I ripped directly through the split on the table saw and then glued it back up.

For finish, I used three coats of shellac, sanded with 320, and then a single coat of Sherwin Williams alkyd satin oil varnish. It looks great and lets the beauty of the weathered wood shine through. The stripe across the top was caused by the z-shaped batten since that board was part of a door. I left it along with all the nail holes and imperfections.





10 comments so far

View CL810's profile

CL810

2267 posts in 1712 days


#1 posted 07-21-2014 10:28 AM

Well done. Nice to have a connection to the wood.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

664 posts in 1362 days


#2 posted 07-21-2014 02:16 PM

Very nice memory piece.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15983 posts in 1590 days


#3 posted 07-21-2014 04:21 PM

That’s a very nice table and you did a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

5581 posts in 706 days


#4 posted 07-21-2014 06:51 PM

Sweet. For not having a lot of experience, you did a great job with grain selection and other aspects.

-- Red-- "I hope my furniture has a soul to it.”" -Sam Maloof

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

655 posts in 618 days


#5 posted 07-21-2014 07:52 PM

Great job and great save. I like hearing stories of old torn down things getting back in circulation.

View Billy E's profile

Billy E

85 posts in 804 days


#6 posted 07-21-2014 09:01 PM

I like this. Nice and clean. I’m planning something similar when I get a chance. How do you like working with the SW varnish? Any idea how scratch resistant it will end up being?

-- Billy, Florence SC

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

1471 posts in 699 days


#7 posted 07-21-2014 10:20 PM

Very nice table. Never had the opportunity to work with chestnut, but would like to some day.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View Ottacat's profile

Ottacat

333 posts in 575 days


#8 posted 07-21-2014 10:58 PM

Beautifully looking table, the chestnut is gorgeous.

View Sunstealer73's profile

Sunstealer73

42 posts in 816 days


#9 posted 07-21-2014 11:07 PM

The chestnut is so easy to work. I really regret that it is basically gone now. I could push it through my tablesaw as fast as I wanted, much easier to cut than oak, maple, even pine. The American Chestnut Foundation is about 10 miles from me, I think they are beginning to make some progress in their cross-breeding program.

View Sunstealer73's profile

Sunstealer73

42 posts in 816 days


#10 posted 07-24-2014 08:39 PM

The SW varnish worked pretty well. It is really thick and viscous, much thicker than the poly that I normally use. It went on smoothly with a foam brush and was dry to the touch in just a few minutes. I had to tip each surface off pretty quickly before it dried too much. It had the perfect satin sheen for just one coat.

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