Mission Style Wine Tasting Table

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Project by KnotCurser posted 12-31-2009 06:53 PM 2327 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was an Xmas gift for my Brother and Wife for 2008.
It’s done in American Chestnut with hand dove-tailed drawer. This was also before I had my dedicated mortiser so I did all the mortises by hand.
I talked to a few people about working with chestnut after I received about 200 board feet of rough stock and was warned to get new planer blades because I would need them. BOY were they right! There is something in the wood (silica I’m told) that just dulls blades like you wouldn’t believe! It could be that there is a lot of sand in the soil where the tree grew – I am not quite sure. On top of that the wood itself is hard as a rock. The last picture shows the table in use about a month later.
They are still using it and have had no problems with it.

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

7 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3296 days

#1 posted 12-31-2009 07:11 PM

Love it. Just love it.

Quick question for you, if I may: are your back and front rails (on the wine bottle holders) at the exact same height? With my eyes, I can’t tell from the pics.

The rack I bought specified that the back rail be a few inches higher than the front.

But … the finished product is just slick enough that—if jostled even slightly—the bottles will slide forward, the back of the bottle will drop down, and the bottle will crash its way through to the floor.

I figured this out before any actual damage was done, but wound up cutting strips from a bicycle inner tube, and then gluing them on the back cut-outs to ensure that the glass stays put. It works, but ….

You did a great job!

-- -- Neil

View johnnymo's profile


309 posts in 3328 days

#2 posted 12-31-2009 07:16 PM

Very nice project. Thanks for the warning about american chestnut.

-- John in Arizona (but it's a dry heat!)

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3795 days

#3 posted 12-31-2009 07:17 PM

Nice looking table.

View Jason's profile


659 posts in 3630 days

#4 posted 12-31-2009 08:51 PM

That is a great little table. I imagine they were thrilled with the gift.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View KnotCurser's profile


2026 posts in 3190 days

#5 posted 12-31-2009 09:08 PM

Neil, I really wish you and your comments were around a year ago! The very thing you warned about actually did happen – his cat rubbed up against a bottle and down it went! No damage to the wine, but I quickly made an additional strip against the back that basically forced the bottles forward. That prevented the bottles from falling through the gap.

The next one I make, if ever, will have the shelves be a LOT closer together – build and learn!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Stanley Coker's profile

Stanley Coker

253 posts in 3317 days

#6 posted 01-08-2010 01:34 PM

Bob this really looks great. I love the wood, I have been wanting to build something out of chestnut but cannot find any. I have been looking out for some very old log barns or out buildings that may have chestnut logs in them but no luck yet. I would really like to get some reclaimed lumber, chestnut, to use.
Again great job.

-- Stanley, North Georgia

View KnotCurser's profile


2026 posts in 3190 days

#7 posted 01-09-2010 03:05 AM


Once, in the late 80’s to early 90’s you could pretty easily find Chestnut lumber over most of the east coast. This lumber came from the scores of trees that were killed by the blight. Pretty much all you can find now is reclaimed lumber, as you state. I was really lucky to get a bunch of it at an auction labeled as “mixed oak and other lumber”. I picked up around 200 board feet of Chestnut and about an equal amount of white oak for around 75 cents a foot! While all of it wasn’t perfect and none was planed it still was a great deal! I doubt I will come across this amount at that price ever again – that’s a sad thing.

One place I know of that used to use a lot of chestnut was large mills (paper, cloth, etc…) that needed huge, wide open floors to operate heave machinery on. When these get torn down you tend to see a lot of oak and chestnut boards come out of them. Old schools also did a lot of their flooring in oak and chestnut.

Good luck on your search and I’m glad you like my work!

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

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