Some advice and ideas for a butternut table.

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 550 days ago 529 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 569 days

550 days ago

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 877 days

#1 posted 550 days ago

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


30 posts in 569 days

#2 posted 550 days ago

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


1003 posts in 2373 days

#3 posted 549 days ago

Butternut and Walnut are excellent together.

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

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

1517 posts in 865 days

#4 posted 548 days ago

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

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1422 posts in 992 days

#5 posted 548 days ago

Here’s how I did it.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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