Walnut Dining Table

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Project by Jay20650 posted 01-03-2013 05:56 PM 2713 views 16 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my most ambitious project to date. It is 8’ long and 46”- 42” wide depending on where on the top you measure from. It’s live edge walnut, though it took three pieces to get the width I was after. I am not completely happy with the color match of the center board to the two slabs, but the customer seems happy anyway. After finishing I noticed the center board had slightly more reddish hue than the rest of the top. On the positive side the 8ft long joints came together seamlessly, I was extremely happy about that!

This picture shows one of my favorite parts of the table, a burly knot that you can see bump out on the right in the sixth picture. The lighting through the window is a little strange (you can see tree shadows in the reflection), and I am using a cell phone camera.


Following the picture progression, I used a router sled to get the top down to thickness and relatively flat. Then hand planes and sanding the rest of the way. That’s an old stanley number 8 on the table in picture 2. That plane has some heft to it! And I have to say, investing in a festool sander was great, relatively quiet and very efficient dust extraction. As many hours as it took to sand on this project, the festool made it a pleasure.

I installed some dutchmen/bowties made from ambrosia maple. Since this was my first time putting these in, I attacked the bottom first, then the top. So the bowties are 3/4” thick installed on each side in roughly the same spot. to keep cracks from growing. I also tried to keep some grain continuity between bowties that were close together, see picture 6.

The base is made up of two leg assemblies connected by an upper and lower stretcher. The lower stretcher connects into the leg assemble with a large dovetail. The wood was chosen so that the leg assembly had sapwood where the long stretcher would connect to provide contrast in the joinery. The design concepts were borrowed from a couple of tables I saw on

My friends told his wife he was having this table made, but didn’t give her much on detail. She couldn’t understand why they just didn’t go to cracker barrel and get a table. The moment that made it all worth it was when she came over to pick it up, gasped, and told her husband that now she understood why he had this built, and it was gorgeous. Nothing like customer satisfaction!

Hope you all enjoy, and I welcome any feedback, this is after all a learning process. There are a few proportional changes i would do differently for example. None the less, a fun and educational build!


-- Jay,

30 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2472 posts in 2077 days

#1 posted 01-03-2013 06:05 PM

Sweet !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Mip's profile


353 posts in 1114 days

#2 posted 01-03-2013 06:15 PM

That is one slick table. That looks like air dried walnut. Love those butterflies, too.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4098 posts in 1850 days

#3 posted 01-03-2013 06:17 PM

Well done on the table! Very creative, and this is surely a one of a kind table!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View DouginVa's profile


487 posts in 1310 days

#4 posted 01-03-2013 06:19 PM

Very nice. What kind of finish is on this? I really like the way it shines in the light.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2274 days

#5 posted 01-03-2013 06:31 PM

That’s a beautiful table! Outstanding job.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

317 posts in 1287 days

#6 posted 01-03-2013 06:34 PM

This is gorgeous! Someday I would love to build a similar one.

-- Rex

View Marcus's profile


1139 posts in 1056 days

#7 posted 01-03-2013 06:47 PM

Wow, I am not sure if this is art or furniture…what a gorgeous piece.

View Tokolosi's profile


674 posts in 1392 days

#8 posted 01-03-2013 06:50 PM

Beautifull work! Ambitious is an understatement. Just flattening and joing the top must have been a huge undertaking.

-- “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 BTimmons's profile


2282 posts in 1522 days

#9 posted 01-03-2013 06:52 PM

That’s a fantastic table right there. The attention to grain in the butterfly keys paid off.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 1893 days

#10 posted 01-03-2013 07:07 PM

Jay that is a great table
You have given that wonderful top a finish


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 1966 days

#11 posted 01-03-2013 07:54 PM

I am a hand tool nut but I have that festool sander and it is well worth its weight in gold when the job calls for sanding. On contemporary pieces I follow the smoother plane and scraper to even everything out to one consistent surface quality and it zips through it without an ounce of dust in the air. Awesome.


View branch's profile


1016 posts in 2191 days

#12 posted 01-03-2013 10:00 PM

hi great table what a finish you got on it
it s one of a kind

View woodmaker's profile


312 posts in 1728 days

#13 posted 01-03-2013 11:34 PM

Shoo-wee that is gorgeous!
Nice work, love that shine!

-- Mike

View woodshaver's profile


3317 posts in 2389 days

#14 posted 01-04-2013 12:18 AM

Absolutely beautiful!

-- Tony C St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Willeh's profile


228 posts in 1376 days

#15 posted 01-04-2013 12:45 AM

Beautiful! Looks fantastic!

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

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