Walnut Coffee Table with Maple Leaf Inlays

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Project by KnotCurser posted 05-15-2010 02:09 PM 5864 views 8 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I created this as a gift for my Parents. They wanted to get rid of an 80’s style box shaped coffee table that is currently taking up most of their living room.

All they specified was wanting “a simple dark table in the mission / craftsman style”. They also gave me the exact dimensions for the top and the height.

I just could NOT make them a plain simple table – no way, no how! So, the “dark table” part turned into figured walnut. I did stick to the style they wanted but “dialed it up a notch” with maple plugs and thicker slats on the sides.

Still, it just didn’t cut it – something was missing. I needed to make it more personal to THEM. I began thinking about where they are from and all the maple trees that surrounded their house and decided to try inlaying for the very first time. I REALLY want to thank the Wood Whisperer for his video on inlaying – it helped me tremendously! As you can see in one of the pics, the leaves are 1/8” thick and actually set into the solid inch thick top – not an easy feat! I did five practice leaves before I felt confident enough to try this. It took over six hours of work just for the inlays. What wood did I use for the Maple Leaves? Maple, of course!

Everything actually went together very well once I drew out the plans. No big issues or problems. Finished with five to six coats of Danish Oil applied with 0000 Steel Wool. The top also has four of five coats of furniture wax. Overall dimensions are 20” Wide, 40” Long and 16” High.

Take the time to view the video on inlay – it’s WAY worth your time. Thanks again Mark!!!!

My folks are going to see this today for the first time and I think I am more excited than they are!

I LOVED every part of this build – Cheers!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

24 comments so far

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3408 days

#1 posted 05-15-2010 02:16 PM

Wow bob. I just love anything made out of walnut but this is over the top. The figure in the wood really makes the maple leaves stand out even more. BTW, what did we do before painter’s pyramids? lol

Great job,

-- Jim

View toxicoval56's profile


158 posts in 2921 days

#2 posted 05-15-2010 02:21 PM

Very impressive. I would like mine in QS white oak please. I really like the inlay. Very nice job. I have not had the guts to try that yet.

-- The view only changes for the leading dog.

View degoose's profile


7193 posts in 2773 days

#3 posted 05-15-2010 02:26 PM

You have taken this style and made it your own… well done.. Inlay is vibrant.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View Kate's profile


400 posts in 3292 days

#4 posted 05-15-2010 02:31 PM

Great job. The inlay looks great.

-- Kate,

View BuilderMan's profile


92 posts in 2376 days

#5 posted 05-15-2010 02:51 PM

Great looking table. The inlay makes it.

View AaronK's profile


1436 posts in 2882 days

#6 posted 05-15-2010 03:29 PM

love it. that figure in the center board of the top is to die for – so many colors. was this air or kiln dried stock?

View KnotCurser's profile


1995 posts in 2486 days

#7 posted 05-15-2010 03:35 PM


This was air dried over 40 years ago by a farmer in Pennsylvania. He passed away recently and his children auctioned off his estate. Bid on and won over 600 board feet of walnut (there were THOUSANDS of board feet that I wish I could have bid on as well!!!) as well as a couple of hundred feet of oak and cherry combined.

Thanks everyone for the kind words!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View AaronK's profile


1436 posts in 2882 days

#8 posted 05-15-2010 03:40 PM

thanks for confirming my suspicions. im finding air dried to be so much prettier than kiln.

View workerinwood's profile


2716 posts in 2485 days

#9 posted 05-15-2010 03:43 PM

Outstanding job!! I like the design and the detail. Job well done!!!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View steiner's profile


281 posts in 2768 days

#10 posted 05-15-2010 04:42 PM

Thanks for sharing this. Beautiful wood, design, and inlay work.

-- Scott - Houston, Texas

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2995 days

#11 posted 05-15-2010 05:03 PM

Wonderful The inlay works so well on this piece great job

-- Custom furniture

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 3503 days

#12 posted 05-15-2010 05:15 PM

Very impressive table. Your parents will be thrilled, I’m sure. You did a wonderful job, and for a first time inlay, you’ve really succeeded well. And thanks for the link to Mark’s video.


View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2495 days

#13 posted 05-15-2010 06:15 PM

Impressive work! You did an outstanding job on those inlays. I also love the arrangement of them on the top. Really sets off the table in my book.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View KnotCurser's profile


1995 posts in 2486 days

#14 posted 05-15-2010 10:32 PM

By the way – my parents did in fact love the table. :-)


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 2772 days

#15 posted 05-16-2010 12:59 AM

looks good

-- kosta Virginia Beach, VA

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