Some advice and ideas for a butternut table.

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 02-23-2013 10:31 AM 946 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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45 posts in 2177 days

02-23-2013 10:31 AM

I bought this lovely pair of 5/4+ figured butternut book matched slices 8’ x 17” for each piece
I had planned this for a new dining room table.
Of course my wife wants it slightly bigger. I called the supplier, and he sold the last piece from that flitch.
So, what to do? I could put som straight quarter sawn butternut on the sides to make the table wider, but the butternut colors certainly won’t match between trees.
Then I thought of putting a walnut border or walnut on the sides.

Sorry I wish I had photos of the oars but I forgot to get them.
I’m drawing a blank on how best to design it so it doesn’t look funky.

Any ideas?

-- Jhopewell, New Hampshire,

5 replies so far

View enurdat1's profile


100 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 02-23-2013 12:54 PM

I have used butternut and walnut together in several projects with nice results. I would probably find some nice straight walnut to border the butternut on all four sides.

-- It is what it is...

View Jonathan's profile


45 posts in 2177 days

#2 posted 02-23-2013 02:45 PM

The only thing I was thinking of the breadboard ends would be any cupping and movement.
Assuming I apply finish to both sides after its really dry it shouldn’t be a problem, but 40” is a wide span
With a lot of movement here in New England 14%~100% RH.

-- Jhopewell, New Hampshire,

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3982 days

#3 posted 02-23-2013 06:02 PM

Butternut and Walnut are excellent together.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4230 posts in 2473 days

#4 posted 02-25-2013 04:00 AM

How much wider is “slightly”? Have you ever heard of the board stretcher technique? It’s pretty cool and in situations like this could be a life saver!

The technique is easiest to illustrate with a drawing, but can’t draw here. If you have a 3 foot board that is too short by a couple inches but a bit too wide, you can “rip” the board on a diagonal and reglue it together a bit offset so the length is reached. Being very nearly parallel grain, the joint is supremely strong and nearly invisible if done well. In this butternut example, the planks could be resawn (on edge) on a diagonal and reglued offset enough to make the required width IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH THICKNESS. I would not like to resaw an 8’ x 17i” wide board!

If it looks nice framed in walnut, the unit might look good with a slightly different color butternut as an intentional frame. With a kerf outlining the nicely matched butternut and separating it from the frame as a visual distraction, the difference conflict will be resolved in the eye of the beholder.

Interesting question.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL Now there's a face that would stop a clock! And seriously mess with small watches.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2600 days

#5 posted 02-25-2013 05:44 AM

Here’s how I did it.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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