Thorsen Greene & Greene Table for LumberJocks and Popular Woodworking - Goncalo Alves

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Project by Karson posted 05-22-2007 05:47 PM 3333 views 3 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was the wood that I selected when I decided that I was going to make the Popular Woodworking version of the Thorsen Greene & Greene Table. I’ve had this wood for about 4 years and had not made anything from it except the sanding blocks that I’ve posted as a project. This wood was harvested in Central America. One of that surprising things that I’ve experienced about this wood is a self healing property when I sand it. When the wood is sanded it sticks to the sandpaper, but it sands easily, which is surprising because of the weight of the wood. The wood has a light sanded color and it disappears after a few days as the internal oils migrate to the surface. The wood is Goncalo Alves. It has a clearly defined sapwood that is brownish white. The heartwood is light golden-brown with irregular black and brown streaks. It weighs 5 lbs per sq ft. and since this table has about 5 sq ft of wood it weight about 25 lbs.

The dark streaks are called figure when you go to buy the wood. Board without the figure are usually cheaper. I selected this wood for this table because the boards I bought were bowed and long pieces could not be made from them. Since everything except the legs were short, it was a good choice. I also had some 3 X 1 ½ that could be used for the legs.

See the blog with some of the construction pictures. And the blog which has the jig for making the internal cutouts and the clouds. The pegs were made with African Blackwood. It is sometimes referred to as Ebony but it is in fact a rosewood. African Blackwood is used for making bagpipes, piano keys, and Clarinets. It has the rosewood smell when it is cut with a saw. It also is an oily wood. and polishes up great without any finish.

When you run your hand over the surface of the table, it feels like you are running your hand over a block of paraffin. I opted to not put any finish on this table at this time. I want to see how the table ages in use. My wife has already placed a plant on it, so you can’t see the table. (Such is life)

Since it seems to necessary to show the table with clamps attached to it, here are mine.

Here is the colored figure from the shelf

The tables that I’m making or assisting my children at making are sub classified as being a part of ”The Uniqueness of Woods”. This is the first in that sub series.

All of the projects are here: Other items in this series are Dan's Yellow Birch, Dave's Cherry Table, and my Holly and Popular Twins The final one is Karries Curly Beech

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

27 comments so far

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4118 days

#1 posted 05-22-2007 05:55 PM

Unique and cool!

What, if any, are the glue up issues with the oily wood? You used epoxy on the pegs.

-- Paul, Texas

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4244 days

#2 posted 05-22-2007 06:02 PM

Great job, Karson. That is some pretty wood!

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

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#3 posted 05-22-2007 06:05 PM

I used titebondII for the aprons and it seems to hold ok. The clean up using a chisel went ok but you could tell that the glue was sticking. It’s said that you should use a solvent prior to glueing, but I didn’t.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4186 days

#4 posted 05-22-2007 06:10 PM

isn’t this LOVELY!!!
What a beautiful wood. I don’t think I could put a big plant on this one. It’s gorgeous.

Bravo, Karson.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Phil Brown's profile

Phil Brown

219 posts in 4083 days

#5 posted 05-22-2007 06:12 PM

Great piece. Love the top especially.

-- Phil Brown, Ontario

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4111 days

#6 posted 05-22-2007 06:17 PM

Nice execution and really interesting wood. It will be interesting to see how it ages. Are you concerned with water rings since it’s a plant stand?

-- Bob

View fred's profile


256 posts in 4124 days

#7 posted 05-22-2007 06:26 PM

Well done, Karson, well done. Truly unique. That wood is beautiful, good choice.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4062 days

#8 posted 05-22-2007 06:45 PM

That’s just great, Karson. It has a very unique look to it that is very appealing. The wood speaks for itself without alot of distracting design features. Really, really nice.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#9 posted 05-22-2007 07:31 PM

The plant is an artifical one at the present time. But, as she slid the pot across the top it sounded like sandpaper grating the surface. I didn’t dare look. LOL She was standing there.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4262 days

#10 posted 05-22-2007 07:37 PM


View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

656 posts in 4159 days

#11 posted 05-22-2007 07:59 PM

Very nice wood and the use of it. You did good with this one!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4102 days

#12 posted 05-23-2007 01:18 AM

I dont know why . . . but it reminds me of a marble cake . . . yum. Gotta go get a snack.

-- BLOG -

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4336 days

#13 posted 05-23-2007 03:11 AM

It turned out as expected, GREAT! Spectacular wood grain.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4272 days

#14 posted 05-23-2007 03:42 AM

Beautiful karson, I mean it. That would is special.So how many did you end up making. 2×4 Well you’ll be ready for our 2×4 project. Nice tables karson, I mean that they are very nice. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4091 days

#15 posted 05-23-2007 12:16 PM

Outstanding Karson – great execution and material selection.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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