Firehouse Table

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Project by Elliot posted 900 days ago 3121 views 8 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was asked to restore the dining table for the Great Falls, VA Volunteer Fire Dept. as part of the grand opening of the new station. The table—a 10’ x 3’ x 2 3/4” maple slab—was more than 60 years old and well worn. It was warped, gouged and had been mounted on steel pipes for legs. (see the last image for the before picture.) I wanted to maintain the character of the historic table yet reinvent it for the new station.

I flattened the top entirely by hand using my handplanes—quite a bit of work considering the size of the table and how far from flat it was. Then I inlay a Maltese Cross with the station number 12 in the center made of 4-way bookmatched Bloodwood in a starburst pattern and Birdseye Maple. I added inlayed Bloodwood crossbanding as a border.

For the base, I decided on a traditional trestle design out of Maple with tusked tenons. I made a carving of the Maltese Cross and 12 for each post out of Bloodwood. The curve of the feet was designed to echo the curve of the edges of the Maltese Cross.

The top was finished with System Three epoxy to make it durable enough to withstand decades of use by firefighters, and finished the base with General Finishes Enduro Var.

The project took about 400 hours over six months.

14 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#1 posted 900 days ago

Wow, now that is some amazing work. What a great job restoring this table. The detail and craftsmanship are amazing. bet they were really surprise on the outcome!

Great work!!!!!!!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Tokolosi's profile


666 posts in 989 days

#2 posted 900 days ago

Awesome restore! I clicked back and forth between the before and after pic. Beautifull. The inlay is spectacular too! This table will endure for another 60 years and more I’m sure.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View Kayvon's profile


57 posts in 939 days

#3 posted 900 days ago

Beautiful job. That’s way more than a restoration. I wish I could have seen the look on the firefighters faces when you revealed that.

-- Kayvon

View RockyBlue's profile


270 posts in 1327 days

#4 posted 900 days ago

Awesome job. Thanks for posting the before photo, looks completely different. They will love it.

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

View KMT's profile


591 posts in 1296 days

#5 posted 900 days ago

Way to go! That is very impressive. I especially like the carved Maltese Crosses.

-- - Martin

View Woodwrecker's profile


3588 posts in 2209 days

#6 posted 900 days ago

Great work Elliot!
It is almost hard to believe it’s the same table.
I bet they were thrilled with your work.
Nice job my friend !

And by the way, with talent like yours, we expect more then one project every 5 years !
Now start sharing some of your skills ! lol

-- Having fun...Eric

View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 1267 days

#7 posted 900 days ago

Stunning table!!! Beautiful and functional! Nicely done!

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

View Everett1's profile


208 posts in 1168 days

#8 posted 900 days ago

That is bad ass

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 953 days

#9 posted 900 days ago

Nice work. And Hurrah for the firefighters all over the country !

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 2190 days

#10 posted 900 days ago

SPECtacular, love it from every angle

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View gfadvm's profile


10737 posts in 1324 days

#11 posted 900 days ago

That isn’t a restoration, that’s a miracle! Ya done good here. I can certainly believe 400 hours. The inlay and the medallions on the legs make this very special. Posting the before pic was a great idea. This should last well into the next century.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View KnotWright's profile


247 posts in 2121 days

#12 posted 899 days ago

Every fire station needs one of those! Amazing job, well done!!

-- James

View terry603's profile


319 posts in 1547 days

#13 posted 899 days ago

would never believe it was the same table. i can only imagine the work involved

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View kdc68's profile


1964 posts in 910 days

#14 posted 899 days ago

Outstanding work. It is a show piece.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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