|Project by Blake||posted 07-06-2010 04:10 AM||1701 views||1 time favorited||18 comments|
A friend of mine had four tall bar chairs for the bar counter in his kitchen. Then he moved to a house without a bar counter. So they needed a bar table to go with the chairs. I told him if he would buy the materials I would build it with my labor as a house warming gift.
The available space for the table provided the first design challenge. There was just barely enough room between the end of the kitchen cabinets and an adjacent wall to fit the table, the chairs on either end, still have enough room to pull out the end chairs to sit in them, and still tuck in the two middle chairs between the legs. I found I couldn’t put the legs on the corners of the table because you wouldn’t be able to swing your legs in or out of the end seats.
I designed the table in Sketchup and then built a full-sized cardboard mock-up in their kitchen to make sure it was comfortable. This is the first project I’ve ever built a 1:1 mockup for, and it was a huge help. I will definitely do it for future projects.
Matching the stain on the chairs was a another challenge all together. I don’t have any experience with stain matching so it was really an interesting process.
The table top and apron is made with 3/4” Mahogany plywood and the legs are solid Mahogany (laminated from two pieces each).
Apron and frame
As far as I could tell the chairs were stained brown and then coated with a yellow-ish tinted lacquer, which gave it a complex multi-layer finish that no off-the-shelf soak-in stain could match. And since I don’t have lacquer spraying capabilities, it took a lot of experimentation.
Finally what worked was sort of the opposite of the original chair finish. I used a yellow aniline dye followed by a red-ish brown stain and another darker brown stain. Finally the table was coated with 6 coats of wipe-on polyurethane.
Yellow dye on, first stain going on:
The seat from one of the chairs next to the stained table:
It took longer to finish the table then it did to build it but in the end I think I nailed the color!
...And by the way, the faux “breadboard” ends were actually a serendipitous last-minute design feature to cover up a mistake. The plywood top was surrounded on all sides by 3/8” thick Mahogany shop-made edge banding. Well the glue on one of the ends of the table made the plywood swell above the solid edge and when I sanded it flat I went right through the veneer. So to get rid of the damaged section of veneer I routed some thickness off the ends and added the 2” wide mahogany strips. I think it looks WAY better with those ends.
-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com