Walnut and Maple Burl Slab Wine Table

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Project by JayT posted 09-10-2015 01:55 AM 1973 views 12 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Oh, the places you’ll go.

The proverbial journey of this table was long and convoluted. It all started over a year ago when I purchased a maple burl slab from another woodworker at a yard sale with no idea what to make with it. I just knew it was cool and a bargain price. Fast forward a couple months when my wife and I were on vacation at the Amana Colonies and ran across a gorgeous, one of a kind, slab top desk at Amana Furniture. That started the thinker going.

I was working on a couple ideas when my wife mentioned that it would be nice if the table could provide some additional wine storage. Yeah, I can work that in. Several more go rounds of design and this was the final Sketchup plan.

Realizing that this design would push me in some areas, I decided to build a prototype out of some reclaimed redwood left over from rebuilding our front porch last summer. It was a much better choice than practicing joinery on some really nice walnut.

The prototype came out well, but the base looked/felt a little heavy and my wife and I agreed that some proportions needed tweaking on the final table. Taking those into account, I started laying out and breaking down a couple slabs of walnut for the base. You can see the differences in the last project pic.

The walnut slabs came from the same tree, so color was not going to be an issue.

Once parts were roughed out, I made a negative space template out of some posterboard in order to find the best grain alignment for the arched pieces.

Lots of hand tool work went into the project. Legs were tapered by hand with a jack plane. All mortise and tenons are hand cut, and I even had an excuse to buy a new tool to work the arches—a Stanley #20 compass plane. There is a learning curve (pun intended), but it’s a very handy addition to my plane addiction . . . . . uh, collection.

After laying out and making the holes in the arches and the four top supports, sub assembles could be glued up.

The last major step was to pull out the maple slab and start working it over.

Got it scrubbed off and mostly flat with hand planes and then placed a call to a fellow LJ for a bit of assistance. DrDirt kindly helped me to finish flattening and thicknessing the slab with his wide belt sander. Thanks, Dave. After that, voids were filled with tinted epoxy and everything was planed and sanded to a smooth surface.

All that was left was finish. Natural Watco Danish Oil on the walnut and the same, followed by multiple coats of satin wiping poly, on the top. Got it all waxed and assembled tonight.

If you made it all the way through this long winded and picture heavy post, then your journey was nearly as long as mine. Hope you enjoy and thank you for looking.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

24 comments so far

View NinjaAssassin's profile


629 posts in 1143 days

#1 posted 09-10-2015 02:02 AM

Good work JayT!!

-- - Billy

View CL810's profile


3404 posts in 2407 days

#2 posted 09-10-2015 02:17 AM

JayT the result matches the planning and prep work you poured into it. Looks great!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View theoldfart's profile


7934 posts in 1870 days

#3 posted 09-10-2015 02:22 AM

Bam! We have a winnah. Your showing a high level of skill in your work JayT and the design really works. I really do like it.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2986 posts in 1670 days

#4 posted 09-10-2015 02:35 AM

I like the design and the placement of the wine bottle storage. Nice finish on the piece too. Good idea to make a prototype—kinda reminds me of Norm . . .

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View CFrye's profile


8564 posts in 1259 days

#5 posted 09-10-2015 03:15 AM

Beautifully designed and finished, Jay. The slab top gives it a whole different vibe than the prototype. Brings it up to higher level. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Don W's profile

Don W

17872 posts in 1986 days

#6 posted 09-10-2015 09:27 AM

Nice work JayT

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View byerbyer's profile


236 posts in 1391 days

#7 posted 09-10-2015 12:46 PM

Beautiful job JayT, really turned out well. The “thinned” up base really changes the look.

-- Byer-- "Comparison is the thief of joy" -- T.R. Roosevelt

View Puffball's profile


42 posts in 631 days

#8 posted 09-10-2015 01:00 PM

Great design! I like the wine storage idea, while still showing off the Maple slab.

View Hammerthumb's profile


2513 posts in 1394 days

#9 posted 09-10-2015 01:32 PM

Very nice JayT! Your hard work paid off with a beautiful piece of furniture. Thanks for showing.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View david38's profile


2380 posts in 1762 days

#10 posted 09-10-2015 01:39 PM

looks great

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2109 days

#11 posted 09-10-2015 02:19 PM

What a gorgeous table! The prototype is pretty cool as well but good call on lightening up the base.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View CampD's profile


1459 posts in 2905 days

#12 posted 09-10-2015 02:53 PM

That’s a beaut! nice design.

-- Doug...

View mahdee's profile


3457 posts in 1186 days

#13 posted 09-10-2015 03:17 PM

Looks really nice. Thanks


View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


772 posts in 2105 days

#14 posted 09-10-2015 04:06 PM

Give your wife a big hug and kiss for wine rack idea! It works well with the piece. Then crack a nice bottle of wine and give the table a toast! Cheers!

-- Roman:... These Boots Were Made For 'Talkin'!

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1720 posts in 1388 days

#15 posted 09-10-2015 04:13 PM

Wow! That is a beauty. Great work, and I love how you showed how you did the prototype also. You can tell a lot of time and effort went into this.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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