Federal Style End Table

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Project by Rb12 posted 03-13-2015 01:37 PM 1905 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Federal Style End Table I made for my wife for our bedroom in between two chairs. This was my first attempt doing flowers, fans and sand shading in the federal style. I made all the banding and veneers myself including the heart in the middle.

Sand shading was interesting. I used a Coleman camp stove running on propane as opposed to a hot plate, the sand was just kids play sand (as I had it on hand) and I used and old p.o.s. stainless steel 8” fry pan to hold the sand. It only took about 20 min to get to a good temp; and the fan blades only needed 10-12 seconds of time in the sand. Next time I would work in deeper sand to better control the temperature. Still, cool process and cool effect; I didn’t realize how much the wood would “shrink” and how the points became prone to breaking. I had chissled out the areas in which the fan would sit before sand shading them, so the spots, while perfect to start, were too large in the end, so I modified with a starburst pattern in the corners.

Anyway, table is walnut, inlays are maple except for the heart which is red heart. Finish is 2 coats of Danish Oil, 2 coats shellac and one coat spar urethane on the top with 0000 steel wool in between. really happy with the finish, the pics don’t do enough justice to how well the walnut grain came out.

13 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


7939 posts in 2733 days

#1 posted 03-13-2015 02:32 PM

Very nice table. Sand shading can be an illusive thing. It’s easy to do but there are lots of subtleties to learn as you gain experience. You are off to a good start.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2279 days

#2 posted 03-13-2015 03:19 PM

looks great

View helluvawreck's profile


30527 posts in 2802 days

#3 posted 03-13-2015 03:55 PM

This table turned out beautifully.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View horky's profile


221 posts in 2866 days

#4 posted 03-13-2015 05:27 PM

Awesome table. Thanks for sharing what you learned along the way. I’ll have to give this a try in the future.

View Rb12's profile


80 posts in 2163 days

#5 posted 03-13-2015 05:46 PM

thx for the feedback folks. It was a fun project with its intricacies.

View BenR's profile


333 posts in 2563 days

#6 posted 03-13-2015 09:51 PM

Nice work. I like that your federal table is more “muscular” than most (some of them have such thin legs, lol).

-- Ben in Va

View nicencutt's profile


8 posts in 1187 days

#7 posted 03-14-2015 12:31 AM

Outstanding job! You have to be very proud of the table.

-- Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

View Julian's profile


1286 posts in 2626 days

#8 posted 03-14-2015 02:11 AM

Great looking table.

-- Julian

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3227 posts in 3648 days

#9 posted 03-14-2015 03:02 AM

The table looks fabulous!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Oldtool's profile


2565 posts in 2126 days

#10 posted 03-14-2015 01:07 PM

Beautiful table, excellent craftsmanship. Fantastic inlay.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View gsimon's profile


1272 posts in 2048 days

#11 posted 03-14-2015 04:00 PM

for such a small table it looks really ambitious! thanks for sharing , great job

-- Greg Simon

View Rb12's profile


80 posts in 2163 days

#12 posted 03-14-2015 04:14 PM

Thx. It was nice to do a small table for once and really focus on the inlay details and not have to mess with drawers, etc.

View sfrobk's profile


24 posts in 767 days

#13 posted 02-15-2016 04:50 AM

I’ve had good luck using very fine pet terrarium sand that you find at a pet store, rather than kids sandbox stuff which is too coarse.

Nice recovery with the corners; my biggest thrill in woodworking is @#!$ing something up and finding a way to fix it. But sometimes I have to start over…!


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