Ash Drop leaf Table -

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Project by Schwieb posted 10-21-2010 03:11 AM 2212 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This table has a story that could not be told entirely here. I found it without a top in the attic of my parents home when we divided up some things after they had passed away. It was actually one of 2 ash tables that I took, planning to continue the intentions of my folks to fix up. (The other is the subject of a previous post) I have no idea who or where this table was originally made, except that my parents had it in NW Ohio and it could have been there any time since 1964 or so. Old enough for me to consider putting the time into fixing it up.

This table was especially interesting to me because it was obviously hand made, likely with the most basic of tools. The circular saw marks are clearly visible on the aprons and the mortise and tenon joints hand formed. The turned legs were each similar but slightly different. I figured out how the builder had intended to support the leaves of the table, although the pieces were missing. I knew that my Dad recognized this and couldn’t bear to let it further deteriorate. He just never got around to fixing it up. I had a good time thinking about him as I restored it and hope that he would be pleased by the outcome. I have had the privilege of seeing some of the work that Dad did for folks around our hometown in Ohio. He certainly could do some nice work.

The top is actually from some salvaged ash that I had built a big stereo cabinet out of back in the early 1970’s. It became an out dated piece of specialized furniture that I broke down some years ago, saved, and always hoped to reuse one day. “That day” came for the old top and shelves and I used it for the top on this table. There is some very nice “tiger stripe” pattern in some of the boards. I tried my best to make the best use of what I had to work with as far as the glue-up, but to be honest I had to settle some. This ash had some pretty wild grain patterns. Still it is very pretty I think.

I stained it pretty dark to match the shade and mimic the patina of the original wood after I cleaned it up. I mixed some minwax stains to get the shade I wanted, the finish is several coats of wipe on poly. I also found some nice casters that had wooden wheels on the internet that put it back pretty much as original or better condition.

What sort of price tag does one put on an item like this?

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

11 comments so far

View Schwieb's profile


1858 posts in 3488 days

#1 posted 10-21-2010 03:12 AM

I must apologize for the poor quality of the photos. It’s time for a new camera I think.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3024 days

#2 posted 10-21-2010 05:44 AM

Nice restoration. I like to see people take old pieces and make them usable again. ”Ironically” tonight I was driving home , on the side of the street was an old table sitting at garbage barrel, waiting for tomorrows garbage truck to take it away. I always go to the owners door and ask before I pick something up. The lady answered and said sure I can have it. Do you want this one too, pointing to a table like yours sitting on step. Yes I will take that one too. As I was loading the tables the man came to the door and told his wife to take me to the shed in back. There is more wood there. I went and had a look, another old table with enamel top sitting in there. He insisted that I come back and take all the lumber out of this shed. They want it cleaned up.
Whooops I got side tracked, I am rambling again The point is, I hope to do as nice a job as you did with the tables I found. Thanks for sharing

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Sodbuster's profile


45 posts in 3078 days

#3 posted 10-21-2010 06:08 AM

Like that top a lot. Not sure why more ash isn’t used in furniture. We might as well use it while we can, it’ll all be gone soon enough.

-- M Clark, Georgia

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2860 days

#4 posted 10-21-2010 09:54 AM

What a wonderful, seamless restoration. That top is so gorgeous!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3116 days

#5 posted 10-21-2010 10:46 AM

Thats a wonderful story, I have been waiting for this one.
I love the ‘life’ in the boards, and that you allowed this, and even brought it out.
But what I think I love the most are the way you tell about this, and the love for your father.
Your father can be so proud of you! I am.
Best thoughts, and a tear,
your lost little brother,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2865 days

#6 posted 10-21-2010 01:15 PM

A lovely story- and beautiful table. Love the grain in that top!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View patron's profile


13608 posts in 3368 days

#7 posted 10-21-2010 01:39 PM

the dream lives on

and the love too

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2950 days

#8 posted 10-21-2010 01:58 PM

Actually I just read an article not long ago that Ash is making a comeback to the furniture making industry. It’s always been there but $$ seem to be driving the price/usage now. Of course the Emerald beetle is taking its toll
so one of these days it will go by the wayside like Chestnut did.
Looks good, you did a nice job.

-- Life is good.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4273 days

#9 posted 10-21-2010 02:45 PM


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

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3001 days

#10 posted 10-24-2010 06:32 AM

Great little reminders of your parents. I am sure your dad is smiling down on you after you worked so hard to complete the restoration of his table.
I have a few hand tools that remind me of my dad every time I touch them.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3142 days

#11 posted 10-29-2010 01:03 AM

what can I say that not had been said already :-)
I love the wild grain in this table and thank´s for sharing
both the story and the tablerefurbe

take care

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