Laurel Burl Dining room table

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Project by RBWoodworker posted 09-05-2011 05:11 AM 2700 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Laurel Burled dining room table that I was commissioned to build. the core is solid wood which I ripped to thinner stock and re-glued back to prevent movement..the top is a 8 way bookmatched veneered that I glued down in a vacuum bag. I used what is called a squiggle cut to join my horizontal veneers to my verticle veneers on the side of the table. The client wanted no overhang on the top and no offset on the aprons..the legs have 1/4” felt on the bottom to prevent marring her wooden floor.

I added a picture of myself holding the veneer for the top which was over 8’ long to show how I handled the veneer when I was ready to glue it down..a method taught to me by Paul Schurch..

ever since Lee Jesberger turned me onto veneering..I have not looked back and have taught others the art of veneering too.. so a big thanks to Lee and Paul..

I also enclosed a picture of two pieces of veneer (horizontal to verticle) and a squiggle cut used to join them..

thanks for looking..

-- Randall Child

12 comments so far

View SteveGaskins's profile


745 posts in 2585 days

#1 posted 09-05-2011 05:27 AM

Excellent workmanship. Beautiful table. I never heard of a squiggle cut. Can you explain how you made this cut?

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3350 days

#2 posted 09-05-2011 05:33 AM

I secure the horizontal veneer to the verticle veneer using either pins that I shoot thru the veneers and bend them over to lock the two veneers together. I have them overhang each other by about an inch.. then I use a scrollsaw to cut a squiggle pattern cut thru both veneers..remove the waste and join the pieces together to get a perfect seam that is not noticeable in burled veneers..

I added a picture to show how it looks after its been done

-- Randall Child

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#3 posted 09-05-2011 06:44 AM

This came out so well another superb example of your mastery of veneer work. Super work.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3721 days

#4 posted 09-05-2011 08:32 AM

Beautifully executed! The squiggle technique really makes the pattern work so much better than a straight edge cut.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3235 days

#5 posted 09-05-2011 01:08 PM

Great idea! I’m impressed.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3978 days

#6 posted 09-05-2011 02:28 PM

Hey Randy;

You really did pick this up and run with it. You are doing really spectacular work. I hope the clients who are deserving of it are finding you, and gladly paying what it is worth!

And, thank you for the mention.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View utahwoodworker's profile


4 posts in 2454 days

#7 posted 09-05-2011 05:31 PM

Beautiful example of a classic Parsons table. I’m wondering about the order in which you assembled the table. Did you veneer the top first and then attach the legs and apron? How did you attach the legs (the joinery)? Did you veneer the legs and apron after assembly or before? If after, how did you veneer them? Clamps and cauls, hammer veneering. . .? Thanks, Jon

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3350 days

#8 posted 09-05-2011 06:00 PM

Thank you all for your kind remarks..I really appreciate them very much.. created a monster!! Heh heh heh.. you opened up a whole new world for me by introducing the art of veneering to seemed to come naturally for me and I love doing it!! are correct..this is a classic Parsons table..its exactly what the client wanted

As for the assembly.. we all know MDF is the most stable substrate for veneering as it does not move with seasonal changes..but its not strong enough in my opinion for a frame and legs of a dining room table.. so I used poplar..I ripped 3-1/2” wide strips and re-glued them back making sure I had an even number of gluelines..I did this for the legs and aprons and cross rails..then I laminated them using urea resin glue and the veneer vacuum press..but only laminating the sides that were the underside of the table..not the visible sides..then..after having that all veneered..I assembled two halves of the table via mortise and tenon..and pinned the tenons thru the mortises and used tightbond 3 for all joints..then..I glued the two halves together making sure the table was true and dead square and pinned those joints together..then I laminated the top..both the veneer vacuum press also using resin glue..the top was 1/2” larger overall to allow for precise trimming to size..then after I trimmed the top flush with the legs and aprons and sanded them all smooth and flush..I laminated the sides to the top..I basically made the veneers fit the shape of the sides and gumtaped the seams..using the squiggle cut to hide any seams which worked perfectly..and since the table was already assembled..I used cauls and every clamp I owned to press the veneer flat during drying..sanded the table to 320..stained, shellaced, and used general finishes high performance with a crosslinker added for hardness..

-- Randall Child

View CharlesNeil's profile


2399 posts in 3869 days

#9 posted 09-05-2011 10:22 PM

super job,,, love it,, nice finish,, :)

View NormG's profile


6111 posts in 3002 days

#10 posted 09-06-2011 04:45 AM

That is a great table and the joints are just amazing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Jacquelyn Smith's profile

Jacquelyn Smith

95 posts in 2565 days

#11 posted 10-26-2011 04:06 AM

Thanks for posting! Beautiful table and very well executed. Thanks for the info about your process. I hope next time you can take some pics as you go along. You mentioned General Finishes but I’m wondering what type – Lacquer or Polyurethane or something else? Water based?
And “resin glue”, what kind? I can’t tell where you are, I’m in the US on the West Coast.

Thanks again for posting, it’s great to see your work!


View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3350 days

#12 posted 10-26-2011 04:28 AM

Hi Jacquelyn.. the finish was General Finishes High Performance waterbased with a crosslinker added for extra hardness and durability.. as for the resin finish..I used urea formaldehyde resin glue by Pro Bond..I do have tons of construction pictures of the table That I took as I built it..

I too live on the west Temecula, Calif

-- Randall Child

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