Floating Top Whisky Side Table

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Project by Damian Penney posted 10-16-2007 03:42 AM 9974 views 23 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

On a cold and rainy afternoon my whisky table was finally ready to go into action. Information on the design and build as well as some other pics can be find over on my blog. The top is made from some Zerbra wood while the base is made from Walnut all plucked from my leftover pile and the finish is four coats of Sam Maloof poly/oil and two coats of oil/wax. The whisky is the Balvenie Doublewood, highly recommended :)

The pics in the blog are clearer, I was trying to catch the glow of the fire but the shots just came out murky, ah well :)

In the second pic you get to see three of my projects all together, the fireplace, dining room table in the background and my nice new side table :) You also get to see yours truly with a beard…


So I’m entering this in the 2010 Winter Awards because I think this piece really captures the yin & yang created by using contrasting but complimentary woods. I was always at a bit of a loss as to how to use Zebrawood without it appearing garish and I think this paring with walnut, maple dowels and the mellowing effect of a hand rubbed oil finish really makes the piece work.

Of course I also love it because it’s held more than a few tipples since I built it :)


-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

37 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4164 days

#1 posted 10-16-2007 03:47 AM

By golly, Damian, it does exactly what you wanted it to do!!! And it looks good doing it. Is that p’haps good Scotch whiskey?? Good job.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Karson's profile


35148 posts in 4603 days

#2 posted 10-16-2007 03:50 AM


A nice job on the table and a nice size. Almost a Thorsten entry.

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4193 days

#3 posted 10-16-2007 04:03 AM

It is indeed Tom, the Balvenie Doublewood, delicious :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View W1ngnu7's profile


27 posts in 4121 days

#4 posted 10-16-2007 04:07 AM

You made me realize that I too need a whiskey table. :) Very nice. I love walnut.

-- W1ngnu7

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4289 days

#5 posted 10-16-2007 04:15 AM

After seeing this table I had to go back and check out your blog, I agree with Dorje, How did I miss this before. I had the same thought …a floating top. A toast to an impressive project.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4420 days

#6 posted 10-16-2007 04:36 AM

Wonderful design and execution, Damian!

Since I don’t drink whiskey anymore, I’ll have to call mine a coke table. Wait…that doesn’t sound right either….

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

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4185 days

#7 posted 10-16-2007 04:40 AM

came out great !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4182 days

#8 posted 10-16-2007 05:14 AM


I’m glad to see that table doesn’t live in the shop. Judging by the size of that glass, projects might not turn out that well.

You look quite relaxed and ready for an evening of contemplation. (maybe your next project).

Very nice work Damian!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4529 days

#9 posted 10-16-2007 05:34 AM

That’s funny Charlie…

Love the floating top. Looks great!

Went to a Whiskey tasting a few years back (or more) was all Balvenie… apart from the doublewood, (which I still have a small bottle of, that and a 10 year and 15 year single malt) We also got to try a 20 or 30 year single malt that spent some time in port, or perhaps it was sherry casks – that of course, was my favorite – and priced WAY out of my league.
at the time I wasn’t much of a whiskey drinker – I never cared for what the oak did for wine either, so I’ve avoided chardonnay and several others described as oakey… but as tastes change, my taste in wine has matured and I’ve come around on the oakiness (but didn’t put two and two together)... thanks for reminding me about those whiskeys – maybe I’ve come around on them! Lord knows (as do you) that I have a couple of really good ones to enjoy!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4296 days

#10 posted 10-16-2007 06:04 AM

Excellent Damien! I’m a fan of the Balvenie Doublewood too. Now I finally know what project I will be building for myself. The zebrawood should nicely compliment a variety of scotches with it’s variance of color.

Ever try anything from the Glenmorangie family? I’m particular to the Madiera finish.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4193 days

#11 posted 10-16-2007 07:24 AM

Cheers :) Mostly water Lee…. honest… The only Glenmorangie I’ve tried is the original ten year old, nothing fancy I’ll have to give the Madiera a try though.

From the quality of those pics you’d think I’d already done in half a bottle. I’ll post some clearer ones to my blog early this week.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4363 days

#12 posted 10-16-2007 11:17 AM

I just finished looking at a Tea Table and now here’s a whiskey table.. .what’s next?
hmm perhaps a milk & cookie table for dear ol’ Santa!

Beautiful table… you must feel pretty darned good, sitting by the fire, relaxing, and surrounded by your beautiful work.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 4108 days

#13 posted 10-16-2007 12:18 PM

Damian – I remember thinking “that is going to be a killer table” when I was reading your blog on this one. I was right! Love the top.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View Andy's profile


1698 posts in 4110 days

#14 posted 10-16-2007 12:49 PM

You deserve to sit and relax after an accomplishment like this. Thats a very nice table, doing its work quite well.
I like how you supported the top on that gracefully notched apron.This helps give the illusion of the top just floating in space, but also of movement.The linear grain of the Zebra wood accentuates this feeling of action.I like Zebrawood but shy away from using it much because it can overpower any project it is used on,but this is very nicely done with the Walnut toning it down.Thanks for sharing this great piece with us Damian.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4164 days

#15 posted 10-16-2007 01:19 PM

That’s it, Deb, at my age I build milk and cookie tables. My Scotch days are long behind me. But I remember how smart I used to be back when Johnny Walker Red and I rode the range together. We only got the good stuff when we went to the city.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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