Walnut Side Table Quandry

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Forum topic by docspencer posted 10-01-2015 08:07 PM 5664 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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291 posts in 1364 days

10-01-2015 08:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut side table

I have two nice pieces of walnut that I plan to use to make a side table. Both pieces are variegated in color – mostly dark in the middle and lighter on the outsides. Neither piece is wide enough to use alone for the table top. In fact, I don’t like using single wide boards for table tops for fear of warping. In any event, given the differences in color deciding how to cut and put them together seems tricky. Also, until I actually start cutting I can’t visualize how different combinations of cuts and joining together would look. I hope this makes sense. I would imagine some of you folks have faced this before – any ideas about how to proceed? I can post a picture or two of the two boards if it would help.

10 replies so far

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291 posts in 1364 days

#1 posted 10-01-2015 08:34 PM

These aren’t my boards, but mine look like this.

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380 posts in 1998 days

#2 posted 10-01-2015 10:08 PM

Cut off the sapwood (the lighter color on the outsides of the boards), then make a panel out the boards of remaining heartwood (the darker color on the inside).

You could just throw away the offcuts, but I save the sapwood as scraps for making components that will not be seen (interior components).

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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19709 posts in 2223 days

#3 posted 10-27-2015 11:48 PM

I like a little sapwood showing in some Walnut projects. That’s just me tho. Good luck with what you decide and how

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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626 posts in 1216 days

#4 posted 10-28-2015 02:23 AM

I don’t see a good set of boards for a top.I would look for better set.

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459 posts in 551 days

#5 posted 10-28-2015 02:31 AM

I take a picture of the boards,
import them into a sketchup drawing,
then trim or flip as needed until you get what you want.

-- -

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293 posts in 1836 days

#6 posted 10-28-2015 04:06 AM

Please don’t confuse us with a pic of 4 pieces that ain’t what you are talking about—okay? With 2 pieces, I would just slide, flip, and look until I saw what I liked. If I didn’t see something beautiful, I’d put them on the shelf for another project.

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

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2112 posts in 899 days

#7 posted 10-28-2015 11:56 AM

For a tabletop especially, in the ideal situation, you want boards cut consecutively from a log because you get the best grain match that way.

If that isn’t possible, then you at least want boards of similar grain pattern/color density.

Sounds to me like you need a diff set of boards.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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17 posts in 362 days

#8 posted 11-01-2015 04:21 PM

I’s be tempted to laminate it with 1/4” maple strips between the boards.


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3456 posts in 1684 days

#9 posted 11-01-2015 04:24 PM

Doc if you got pieces with wild grain and want to make a conversation piece, mix the up. I like the idea of using that sap wood like Roger. It would keep it from getting boring.

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291 posts in 1364 days

#10 posted 11-01-2015 07:05 PM

Wow. Thanks for all the input. This is one top I made – sapwood included. I think I like the way the different colors show with the elliptical.

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