Modern Dining Table

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Project by DaveFFMedic posted 06-21-2012 11:36 PM 1999 views 7 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This red oak modern dining table is my first commissioned piece. A co-worker begged me to build him this table. He only had a couple pictures printed off the internet and an idea of what he wanted. I had to work out all of the dimensions and such. Since the table top is a sheet of glass and it isn’t attached to the base at all, I had to calculate the tipping force and size the base accordingly to prevent the table from tipping over.

I apologize for the oversized pictures. I can’t seem to figure out how to get them smaller. Sorry.

I started by creating a 1/4 scale model of what I thought the table would look like. This gave the customer an idea of what the scale of the table would be.

Being the overachiever that I am, I also made scale chairs to go with the table.

I started by buying two pieces of 8/4 red oak.

I decided the best way to create this table is using full-blind mitred dovetail joints. Removing all that material was quite a chore! It really helped me justify buying a new drill press!

Here is what the finished joints looked like before assembly:

I carefully kept the long board in sequence so the grain ran up the side, across the top, and down the other side.

I think I did a pretty good job of hand-cutting the mitre on this piece!

Photo was taken half way through assembly

The wings are held on the top with a tapered dovetail. Each butterfly shape wing is in two pieces and slides in from each side.

Finish is water based polyurethane.

16 comments so far

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

180 posts in 1036 days

#1 posted 06-22-2012 12:03 AM

Artfully elegant and yet simply pleasing to the eyes. Great job!

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View Rob Vicelli's profile

Rob Vicelli

104 posts in 1509 days

#2 posted 06-22-2012 01:59 AM

very nice, I love the lines!

-- Rob V

View jacob34's profile


464 posts in 1082 days

#3 posted 06-22-2012 02:52 AM

very cool nice job

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View waho6o9's profile


5596 posts in 1395 days

#4 posted 06-22-2012 03:53 AM

That’s one fine table, thanks for showing the dovetail joinery!

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

660 posts in 1888 days

#5 posted 06-22-2012 09:18 AM

I second the dovetail joinery is awesome

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View 489tad's profile


2602 posts in 1829 days

#6 posted 06-22-2012 11:20 AM

I think you did a fantastic job with the mitered dovetail joints!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View jaykaypur's profile


3533 posts in 1226 days

#7 posted 06-22-2012 11:29 AM

Beautiful execution of your wood-working skills. The joinery and the butterflys are very well done. A true showpiece.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Triumph1's profile


847 posts in 1897 days

#8 posted 06-22-2012 11:40 AM

Very beautiful…and amazing job on the joinery!

-- Jeff , Illinois Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View JohnEinNJ's profile


91 posts in 1165 days

#9 posted 06-22-2012 02:21 PM

beautiful joinery – too bad it’s hidden!

View DaveFFMedic's profile


67 posts in 985 days

#10 posted 06-22-2012 03:30 PM

Thanks for the compliments on the dovetails. Even though no one can see them anymore, I know they’re there—that’s enough for me. My only lament is that I can’t admire and enjoy this piece since I delivered it to my customer. [Sigh]

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


1928 posts in 1006 days

#11 posted 06-22-2012 07:26 PM

Yet another great job! You all are constantly reminding me of how much I don’t know but I’m encouraged to try.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View BenI's profile


331 posts in 996 days

#12 posted 06-22-2012 08:29 PM

Great job! I really like the design!

-- Ben from IL

View rance's profile


4149 posts in 1978 days

#13 posted 06-28-2012 12:14 AM

So I guess you are a Tails first kind of guy. Oh, and then you just forget about the pins. :D Fantastic job with this, both in design and execution.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4479 posts in 1854 days

#14 posted 09-27-2012 01:51 PM

Beautifully done.

I like the idea of uncertainty when placing something on a clear surface when you can see your legs, below, just waiting to catch it.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View DaveFFMedic's profile


67 posts in 985 days

#15 posted 09-27-2012 01:59 PM

It would be cool to see lots of piping hot food “floating” just above your lap! My customer wanted a modern design that gave him room to seat more people around the table without making the room feel crowded. I didn’t think about the clear surface so much.

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