Mahogany Veneered End Tables

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Project by SPHinTampa posted 10-08-2009 03:39 PM 2598 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built 2 mahogany end table to match purchased coffee table.

Body of table is made of African mahogany. Top and sides are mahogany burl veneered to birch plywood, with paduak strip inlays.

- Used hot iron method to attach burl to birch plywood (paint two coats of PVC glue to plywood and to back of veneer, wait for it to dry, cut veneer and then use iron to reheat and attach veneer to plywood)
- Miter framed both the tops and the side panels with solid wood
- Construct L shaped legs by routing profile into two lengths. Miter rip the lengths on the RAS and then clean up with 45 deg chamfer bit on router. Should have spline reinforced the long miter but used glue blocks instead.
- Constructed feet in a similar way and joined to legs using dowels.
- Joined legs to side panels using floating mortise and tenon joints (i love the mortisepal jig)
- Joined tops using figure 8 connectors
- Finished using 2 coats light walnut danish oil, followed by dark pore filler, followed by 3 coats of satin poly
- Rubbed out tops using paste wax and steel wool

Lessons Learned:
- Burl veneers crack – After 4 attempts using a softening solution to prevent, I could not stop cracks from developing in face, even after being glued down. They look ok after finishing process
- Really need to ensure glue is evenly distributed before pressing a veneer as the process does not even it out and it is impossible smooth out afterwards.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

14 comments so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 3704 days

#1 posted 10-08-2009 05:41 PM

Very beautiful tables! Good job and thanks for the veneer tips!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Pdub's profile


924 posts in 3358 days

#2 posted 10-08-2009 06:35 PM

Beautiful tables.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4424 days

#3 posted 10-08-2009 10:05 PM

Very pretty tables, nice build.

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

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3623 days

#4 posted 10-09-2009 12:33 AM

Well done.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1902 posts in 3850 days

#5 posted 10-09-2009 02:44 AM

Very very nice!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3463 days

#6 posted 10-09-2009 04:38 AM

Beautiful pair of tables. Very nice.

-- John @

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3366 days

#7 posted 08-16-2010 05:51 PM

Great table like the feet very different.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3290 posts in 3287 days

#8 posted 10-16-2010 05:01 AM

Gorgeous! I love the flame-like look of the grain.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View TheHarr's profile


118 posts in 3717 days

#9 posted 01-03-2011 01:13 AM

Shawn, the veneer cracked because of the PVC glue. It remains pliant when dry, which is great for joints, but not for veneer. There are a few special veneer glues that will minimize or eliminate this problem. Another solution I found that reduces this cracking problem is to soften and flatten the veneer before you press it. I haven’t tried the iron technique, but will sometime in the future to repair a walnut wash stand. Your project is beautiful, we’ll have to discuss further how you applied the grain filler.

-- The wood is good.

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3863 days

#10 posted 01-03-2011 11:40 PM

Thanks for the comments.

Would be interested in exploring your comments more:

- I did use a glycerine based flattening solution on the burls but apparently not enough.
- I used a veneering specific formulation for the glue – Better Bondâ„¢ veneer glue from Joe Woodworker – although I think it is PVA based.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View TheHarr's profile


118 posts in 3717 days

#11 posted 01-07-2011 05:15 AM

Shawn, I followed the glue up instructions from the JoeWoodworker site. I believe I used the better bond for veneering flat surfaces, it’s the white stuff. The burl is difficult to keep from cracking because it’s so brittle. (Not news to you, I’m sure.) I used Joe’s veeneer softner, there is a demo video on Joe’s web site, check it out. My big sugestion is…... spray your veneer with Joe’s veneer softner, that’s the stuff I use, and let sit for @ 30 minutes. Lay the veneer between a couple sheets of clean paper (2 sheets top and 2 sheets bottom) and flatten it in the press. Give it a couple of hours and change the paper and repeat. You will be suprised how flat and pliant the veneer will become. The veneer can still crack if you use the wrong glue.

Hope that helps.

-- The wood is good.

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3863 days

#12 posted 01-07-2011 04:47 PM


-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3298 days

#13 posted 02-06-2014 01:32 AM

nice job

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3044 days

#14 posted 01-22-2018 03:28 PM

This is a beautiful pair of end tables and nice work! The wood is wonderful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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