Mahogany, Walnut and Zebrawood Coffee Table

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Project by Rickterscale posted 660 days ago 1924 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just finished this coffee table. This is my first furniture project entirely of my own design. Woods are genuine mahogany, black walnut (from Missouri, I’m told), and zebrawood veneer for the inlay. The mahogany top uses two 11” wide boards with a little figure in them, which may come through a little in a pic or two. The walnut has some great ribbon striping that I hadn’t seen in walnut before. I had some zebrawood veneer on hand, which I thought would look good inlaid into the top. The inlay process was pretty easy. I also found it very easy to sand right through the veneer on a couple occasions, necessitating some repairs two different times.

Mortise and tenon joinery for the legs and stretchers. 1” long tenons on the breadboard ends, with brass pins to hold them in place. Just a little glue in the center to allow for wood movement. Top is attached with tongue-and-groove blocks, also to allow for wood movement.

I filled the grain on the top with a pumice (4f) and BLO slurry. It filled the grain well, and doesn’t muddy or obscure the figure in the wood too much either, but left a rough surface that was tough to sand down because it clogged the sandpaper so fast. I went through a lot of sand paper before I figured out that simply rubbing the top with a sanding disk cleaner quickly and easily removes the dried excess filler.

Finish is one coat BLO, one coat amber shellac, 6 or so coats of satin arm-r-seal, then Renaissance wax.

Dimensions: top 27.5” x 50”; legs 17.25” high.

Comments and critiques welcomed.

14 comments so far

View JR45's profile


516 posts in 810 days

#1 posted 659 days ago

Very nice. Great contrasts with the walnut and mahogany. At first glance it looked as if you had inlaid a red leather centre piece!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1052 posts in 705 days

#2 posted 659 days ago

Beautiful work. I agree it does look like leather at first glance! Beautiful!


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View crashn's profile


515 posts in 963 days

#3 posted 659 days ago

I too really like the contrast of the walnut and mahogany. Will have to remember that combo! Nice table.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View TomTinkerSum's profile


218 posts in 2333 days

#4 posted 659 days ago

Great composition. Very beautiful table and nice contrast too.


-- If a woodchuck could chuck wood, he's probably not a Lumberjock --

View BTimmons's profile


1892 posts in 983 days

#5 posted 659 days ago

Very beautiful, in every aspect.

-- Brian in Arlington, TX

View Dusty56's profile


11605 posts in 2186 days

#6 posted 659 days ago

One of the nicest pieces I’ve seen on here in quite a while : )

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

View waho6o9's profile


4443 posts in 1075 days

#7 posted 659 days ago

Most excellent work, congratulations on a fine build.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14397 posts in 2174 days

#8 posted 659 days ago

Awesome work!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View SawDustKing's profile


173 posts in 680 days

#9 posted 659 days ago

Very nice looking table. I really like the bread board ends and the inlay. Thanks for sharing.

-- Woodworking for the hobbyist woodworker.

View bigkev's profile


196 posts in 1126 days

#10 posted 659 days ago

I’d say that table falls in the category of “fine furniture”. Not much of that on this site lately. Beautiful.

-- Kevin, South Carolina

View BenI's profile


311 posts in 676 days

#11 posted 659 days ago

Absolutely beautiful table, great job!

-- Ben from IL

View TimWood's profile


168 posts in 740 days

#12 posted 659 days ago

Nice! No feet!!! No keys!!! And no drinks without a coaster!!! Brass pins….what size and what was their intended use? I have some brass pins normally used for a door hinge that I’m going to use on a art box lid…I think they’re about 1/4 of an inch. How about yours?

-- Tim Harrelson

View Rickterscale's profile


133 posts in 859 days

#13 posted 659 days ago

Tim – The brass dowels are 1/4”. Their use is to hold the breadboard ends in place, while allowing for movement of the top without busting the joint, by elongating the left and right holes in the tenon to allow the top to move, while the dowels hold the end against the top. If you subscribe to Fine Woodworking, I used the same construction method as in this video series: (episode 5). Only I used brass instead of wood dowels.

View CharlieM1958's profile


15539 posts in 2716 days

#14 posted 658 days ago

Beautiful in every respect!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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