Arts and Crafts Cherry Dining Set

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Project by BigRedKnothead posted 472 days ago 2045 views 5 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s the cherry dining set I made to go with our hutch. This was my first complete dining set and it was very rewarding to build. There’s just something about sitting down to a meal with your family on a table made with your own hands.

The design of the chairs was loosely based on one I found in fine woodworking. You can see all the parts before assembly in the last pic. Most of the parts were made by pattern routing. I learned loose tenons are a pretty slick way to achieve those angled shoulders on the tenons. I made the seat frames, jute webbed and upholstered them myself. These chairs are still rock solid a few years later.

I kinda came up with the table in an attempt to match the chairs. The table top was a tough decision, and I ended up going with a high end veneer plywood. Solid cherry would have been pricey, and I didn’t have a planer or jointer at the time, hand or power. The base is just aprons, mortise and tenon into thick legs and then pegged. I didn’t put a leaf in it because we never took the leaf out of our old table. And the length is such that it could seat 8 or more.

A dining set is really one way a woodworker can save a lot of cash. Most of the cost is labor. Think I made this set for about $600. Can’t even buy a couple solid cherry chairs for that. Hope this kicks some of you in the rear.

Questions and comments welcome. Take care, Red

-- Red -- "There's nothin' in the world so sad as talking to a man, who never knew his life was his for making." Ray LamMontagne

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2175 days

#1 posted 472 days ago

Very nice work Red ,Beautiful table and chairs.

-- Custom furniture

View Mosquito's profile


4505 posts in 890 days

#2 posted 472 days ago

I like the style, Red. Excellent work.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist -

View Woodbridge's profile


2561 posts in 1016 days

#3 posted 472 days ago

great looking dining set. I know how much work it is to build the table and all the chairs and you have done a really nice job. Your last slide with all the parts tells the story. Well done.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Brandon's profile


4136 posts in 1549 days

#4 posted 472 days ago

This is great, Red! I bet your family loves this.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View ShaneA's profile


5252 posts in 1196 days

#5 posted 472 days ago

Looks good, I like the corner detail on the table.

View Mauricio's profile


6747 posts in 1749 days

#6 posted 472 days ago

Very nice! Wow, that project scares the crap out of me for some reason. Just seems so daunting.

What do you mean when you say most of the parts were pattern routed? Is that how you did the mortises?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View pintodeluxe's profile


3268 posts in 1411 days

#7 posted 472 days ago

Great dining set! I second the recommendation to give dining chairs and tables a try. The chairs entail a lot of sanding, but are well worth it in the end.

Well done.

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

View BigRedKnothead's profile


4403 posts in 580 days

#8 posted 472 days ago

Thanks guys.

Mauricio, it really wasn’t that bad. The slanted back legs and curved back rests were roughly cut on a band saw, then I made a pattern with mdf and routed them up. I used my mortising machine for the mortises (bought for this project). I pity anyone who would want to do this by hand. I think there’s over 20 mortises in each chair.
Trickiest part is the angled shoulders where the chair rails meet the legs. This is where loose tenons are the bee knees. Like this.
When you do it this way, you can miter the shoulders before you glue in the loose tenon. Most people use a plunge router jig on the end grain. That’s probably the easiest, but I didn’t have a plunge router, so I mounted my mortising machine over the vise on my bench. It worked, but they needed some tuning by hand.
Of course this was in my power tool only days. I would do some of it different now.

-- Red -- "There's nothin' in the world so sad as talking to a man, who never knew his life was his for making." Ray LamMontagne

View Don W's profile

Don W

14622 posts in 1165 days

#9 posted 472 days ago

great set. i like the table corners. nice touch.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View LukieB's profile


921 posts in 928 days

#10 posted 472 days ago

Wow Red, both the table and chairs look awesome. Looks like a future family heirloom for sure. I read a quote in PWW a few years ago that kinda stuck with me, wish I could remember the exact line and credit the guy who said it, but it was something along the lines of…
“100 years from now, I don’t want my great-great grandchildren to look at an old photo and wonder what kind of man I was. I want them to be sitting around a table I built, and know what kind of man I was.”

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View davidroberts's profile


1002 posts in 2084 days

#11 posted 472 days ago

I love cherry best of all. Looks fantastic. I really like the chairs. Chairs intimidate me somewhat. Painted pine scraps glued together to make a tabletop and the rest MDF is about what you get for $600 these days, and made to dispose. I curb shop those $600 piles of junk most every week to make jigs and such. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a cherry dining room set on the curb. Best I don’t. Folks get shot at round here for what I would tell the owner.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View Mean_Dean's profile


1256 posts in 1745 days

#12 posted 472 days ago

Beautiful dining set! I’m sure your family really loves having dinner around that table, and on those chairs!

-- Dean

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 2532 days

#13 posted 472 days ago

I’d love to make a table and chairs set like that. You do great work!

-- Robb

View AnthonyReed's profile


4368 posts in 1038 days

#14 posted 471 days ago

“There‚Äôs just something about sitting down to a meal with your family on a table made with your own hands.” – Little left for want.

Beautiful dining set. Wonderful work BRK!

-- ~Tony

View lysdexic's profile


4779 posts in 1221 days

#15 posted 469 days ago

Impressive sir. When I grow up can I be like you?

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

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