Dovetail hall table

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Project by jdh122 posted 03-05-2014 01:59 PM 1549 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this hall table for a friend, based on a picture she provided me. It’s made of a single piece of 2-inch thick ash (weighs a ton). I was worried about whether it would be solid, since it has no stretchers to keep the legs from moving, but it’s rock solid.

At 14 inches the board was too wide for my planer, plus it was fairly crowned and I didn’t want to lose too much wood in the planing. I ripped off a piece on each side that was the exact same width as the legs. After thicknessing and jointing everything I then cut the dovetail joints and assembled two separate leg and top structures. I added two dowels to each dovetail joint for added rigidity (from what would be the inside, so nothing shows on the assembled piece, and it even seems impossible that there could be dowels there).

Then I planed and re-jointed each of the leg-and-top structures and edge-glued them onto the wide middle piece of the top (not sure if this is clear or not). The glue lines really disappeared and I’m quite happy with the clean, modern lines of the piece. One down-side of the method I adopted is that the finish planing and surfacing of the top has to be done after the final glue-up, so not on a workbench. I just sat on the table to keep it from moving too much and went at it with a jack and then a smoother.

Finished with a mixture of tung oil, mineral spirits and polyurethane.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

8 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2298 posts in 1902 days

#1 posted 03-05-2014 03:37 PM

Nice work. Very clean looking.

-- Brian Timmons -

View waho6o9's profile


7115 posts in 1994 days

#2 posted 03-05-2014 03:56 PM

Beautiful table.

I like the finish as well:
Finished with a mixture of tung oil, mineral spirits and polyurethane.

Thanks for sharing.

View Josh's profile


1201 posts in 1987 days

#3 posted 03-05-2014 06:15 PM

You have done well. Joints look good from here.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1720 posts in 1387 days

#4 posted 03-05-2014 07:44 PM

Sweet job, this is very elegant. Nice dovetails too

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View jdh122's profile


878 posts in 2235 days

#5 posted 03-05-2014 11:18 PM

Thanks for the comments. Waho, this is the first time I’ve used an oil-varnish blend and I was really very impressed with how easy it was to apply and how silky the finish was. Of course it’ll smell like tung oil for a few weeks.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Kaa162's profile


75 posts in 1068 days

#6 posted 03-07-2014 05:53 PM

love the clean lines

-- Blessed to have a wife who supports my addiction...Hobbies!

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1593 days

#7 posted 03-12-2014 02:23 PM

Simple design but looks elegant. Pretty grains on top and well made joints. Great job!

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2284 days

#8 posted 03-12-2014 02:28 PM

It’s a nice clean project and you did a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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