Pelin burl end tables

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Project by Ottacat posted 02-12-2014 01:03 PM 1499 views 10 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a set of end tables I made for my living room. The bases are cherry ebonized using a process of bark tea and a vinegar / steel wool mix. The tops are pelin burl in a frame of mahogany with an ebony inlay.

The full build process is documented in this blog –

I chose cherry for the bases because it is a nice tight-grained wood that is known to ebonize well. I used the ebonizing process outlined in this article in Popular Woodworking.

The overall style of the end tables is heavily influenced by Anthony Buzak.

Both the bases and the tops were assembled using dominos. The dominos in the tops both held the mitred corners together as well as aligned the wood frame evenly with the veneered panel. I did the veneering in a vacuum press.

For the the finishing I dyed the mahogany frames with GF light brown dye stain and then finished with several coats of gloss Arm-R-Seal and then finished with two coats of satin Arm-R-Seal that were wiped on.

This was a fun and interesting build and I’m very pleased with the results.

18 comments so far

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

517 posts in 1842 days

#1 posted 02-12-2014 01:15 PM

Very nice. Of course the veneer is beautiful, great detail to have the black band to tie into the ebonized legs and aprons.

-- Glen

View kiefer's profile


3469 posts in 1453 days

#2 posted 02-12-2014 01:17 PM

You should be pleased with the result !
Great craftsmanship and I like the Domino system you used .
The pelin burl veneer is a beautiful treat .

-- Kiefer 松

View 489tad's profile


2557 posts in 1797 days

#3 posted 02-12-2014 02:08 PM

Those look very nice. You did a great job.

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

View oldrivers's profile


309 posts in 352 days

#4 posted 02-12-2014 02:13 PM

Beuatiful wood, ounstanding craftmanship. Thanks for sharing your work.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View kdc68's profile


2203 posts in 1062 days

#5 posted 02-12-2014 03:49 PM

That veneer is gorgous !... Excellent craftsmanship

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View clarkey's profile


448 posts in 1842 days

#6 posted 02-12-2014 04:19 PM

l like it. The veneer is outstanding !

View Net55's profile


78 posts in 373 days

#7 posted 02-12-2014 04:25 PM

Gorgeous work.

-- Bill, SW Florida

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5020 posts in 1078 days

#8 posted 02-12-2014 05:02 PM

Beautiful work, especially the tops. Great to see someone using the Domino system!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


919 posts in 420 days

#9 posted 02-12-2014 05:04 PM

Beautiful. The burl is outstanding.
The base is a perfect match to the top.
Nice work.

-- Jeff NJ

View michelletwo's profile


2302 posts in 1801 days

#10 posted 02-12-2014 06:12 PM

you have every reason to be pleased. lovely tables & of course great burl.

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View Rick's profile


7517 posts in 1818 days

#11 posted 02-12-2014 10:36 PM

Nice Project Indeed! Thanks For Sharing.


-- Thank You! .... Your comments are very inspiring ..or something.

View aussiedave's profile


3014 posts in 610 days

#12 posted 02-12-2014 10:47 PM

What beautiful end tables, the burl tops are excellent, you did an excellent job, thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View gsesupport1's profile


13 posts in 352 days

#13 posted 02-13-2014 01:23 AM

SWEEEET, these caught my eye really quick. Excellent choice on the finish, they are absolutely gorgeous. You should be very happy with he finished project. Thanks for sharing

-- Life as we know it.....Is what we make of it........???

View rednecknurse's profile


34 posts in 869 days

#14 posted 02-13-2014 03:04 AM

My favorite end tables ever. The burl is beautiful and you complemented it well with your other wood selections. Thank you for sharing the ebonizing process.

-- Do something nice for me and I'll say thanks. Do something nice for my children and I'll be your friend forever.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1081 posts in 721 days

#15 posted 02-13-2014 04:09 AM

Tables look great. And thanks for the in depth link to the ebonizing process you used. I’ll be favoriting this so that I can come back to it when I want to do my first ebonizing.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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