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Requesting Help on making two dining room table leaves

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Forum topic by Jerry posted 05-03-2015 07:14 PM 725 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

1768 posts in 1114 days


05-03-2015 07:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question mahogany milling shaping finishing refurbishing veneering sanding arts and crafts modern

I have a refinishing customer who wants me to manufacture two leaves for an antique Duncan-Fife dining room table. She believes it’s solid Mahogany, but I’m not so sure that it’s not some sort of composite or veneered laminate. Anyway, my experience tells me that making leaves out of solid wood is risky to say the least because of the likelihood of wood movement causing the leaves to become warped and unusable over time.

Can anyone weigh in on this and give me their opinion as to what the best course would be to make these leaves?

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/


16 replies so far

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firefighterontheside

13511 posts in 1322 days


#1 posted 05-03-2015 07:29 PM

I can’t believe there’s any chance it’s solid mahogany. Is there end grain where there’s supposed to be end grain. I would suspect it’s plywood with edge banding. I think it’s gonna be really hard to recreate that look unless it is faux finished to copy the look.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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grizzman

7798 posts in 2769 days


#2 posted 05-03-2015 08:10 PM

i would use plywood veneer for the leaves, after that its going to be using dies to get that color, its just going to take time to get a good match and all i can say is good luck jerry, your a good wood worker, it just will take some trial and error…:)....your up to a good challenge..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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jumbojack

1667 posts in 2090 days


#3 posted 05-03-2015 09:27 PM

Jerry I would not be too fearfull using solid wood. Normally leaves are under 12” wide. Covering ply ends with that round edge profile is going to be problematic. Hard to tell from the photos what the species is but my guess is tinted cherry.
How thick is the table top? Looks to be 13/16 or better.
You should be able to tell better by looking at the under side and in the registration holes what the specis/type of lumber was used.
Is the entire table going to be refinished?

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1114 days


#4 posted 05-03-2015 10:40 PM



i would use plywood veneer for the leaves, after that its going to be using dies to get that color, its just going to take time to get a good match and all i can say is good luck jerry, your a good wood worker, it just will take some trial and error…:)....your up to a good challenge..

- grizzman

I’m thinking the table is probably plywood veneer also, I’ve researched Duncan Fife’s website, and I don’t see any solid wood furniture for sale currently.

Luckily I am going to be refinishing the entire top, this is not my first refinishing rodeo, and I know it would be next to impossible to perfectly match the leaves to the existing top, and the client knows this as I’ve already made that clear. I have enough experience with spray on toners to get a very close match, though, so any difference between the table top and the legs will be barely noticeable.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1114 days


#5 posted 05-03-2015 10:43 PM



Jerry I would not be too fearfull using solid wood. Normally leaves are under 12” wide. Covering ply ends with that round edge profile is going to be problematic. Hard to tell from the photos what the species is but my guess is tinted cherry.
How thick is the table top? Looks to be 13/16 or better.
You should be able to tell better by looking at the under side and in the registration holes what the specis/type of lumber was used.
Is the entire table going to be refinished?

- jumbojack

Jack, I think the edge is actually flat, I have much larger and higher resolution photos here than I posted. You actually nailed the depth, it’s exactly 13/16. How did you know that??!! As I mentioned in my reply to Grizzman, I’m refinishing the entire top, so I expect a pretty good result.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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firefighterontheside

13511 posts in 1322 days


#6 posted 05-03-2015 10:55 PM

Sorry, Jerry, I wasn’t trying to under rate your finishing ability. I was just trying to imagine matching it. I can’t wait to see your refinish job.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1114 days


#7 posted 05-03-2015 11:57 PM


Sorry, Jerry, I wasn t trying to under rate your finishing ability. I was just trying to imagine matching it. I can t wait to see your refinish job.

- firefighterontheside

I’m sorry I forgot to respond to your first post, and I didn’t think at all that you were under rating my ability, so no worries there :-)

The truth is that this refinishing thing I’ve got going is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life with regard to woodworking, and you are absolutely correct when you say that matching finishes is next to impossible.

I’ve been doing this for a year now, and I still almost fail miserably every time, but I’m finally getting some traction and at least I know what jobs to bid on, which ones to avoid like the plague ( chairs and anything with a lot of detail and curves ) and what I can reasonably hope to pull off.

Now that I seem to have some consensus as to what is the likely material that the top is made from, my strategy will be to strip the existing finish from the top only, then sand whatever remaining dye or color that remains down to bare veneer, which is always nerve wracking, far enough to remove the color but not far enough to go through the veneer, then manufacture the two new leaves, veneer them with the same species as the existing piece, attempting to match the grain as closely as possible, and then refinish them with a carefully color matched spray toner that allows me to build color density by starting out lighter than the finish on the legs and spraying successive coats until I get a good enough match. It likely will not be a perfect match, but the shadow line between the table top and the legs will allow me a little leeway with having a perfect match.

I’ll try to get pics of this. If you want to see some of the refinishing work I’ve done so far, here’s my Craigslist ad.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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firefighterontheside

13511 posts in 1322 days


#8 posted 05-04-2015 12:25 AM

Well, hopefully since it’s fairly old it will have a fairly thick veneer as opposed to newer things with paper thin veneers. Our secretary at the firehouse tried to sand some marker marks out of her coffee table and went right thru the veneer and into the MDF core. She asked if I could fix it and I said lets just make a new top out of some maple ply and some solid edges. She was trying not to spend a bunch on a cheap table. I think i did the new top with oil based poly for about $150. I’m off to look at CL.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


#9 posted 05-04-2015 12:25 AM

Jerry, Those first 2 pics look just like some Jatoba I have. It seems to be a very stable wood especially when QS as your top appears to be.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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firefighterontheside

13511 posts in 1322 days


#10 posted 05-04-2015 12:29 AM

You do it all Jerry and you do it well. It all looks great, especially that shop smith.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1114 days


#11 posted 05-04-2015 12:59 AM



Well, hopefully since it s fairly old it will have a fairly thick veneer as opposed to newer things with paper thin veneers. Our secretary at the firehouse tried to sand some marker marks out of her coffee table and went right thru the veneer and into the MDF core. She asked if I could fix it and I said lets just make a new top out of some maple ply and some solid edges. She was trying not to spend a bunch on a cheap table. I think i did the new top with oil based poly for about $150. I m off to look at CL.

- firefighterontheside

Yeah, that happened to me on a Maple dresser I was refinishing. I wound up having to spend 40 bucks on a new piece of veneer and I ate that cost….

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1114 days


#12 posted 05-04-2015 12:59 AM



You do it all Jerry and you do it well. It all looks great, especially that shop smith.

- firefighterontheside

Thanks Bill, you’re no slouch yourself!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1114 days


#13 posted 05-04-2015 01:00 AM



Jerry, Those first 2 pics look just like some Jatoba I have. It seems to be a very stable wood especially when QS as your top appears to be.

- gfadvm

I am so not sure yet. I only have the pictures, when they bring it over, I’ll have a better idea…

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

692 posts in 1264 days


#14 posted 05-04-2015 02:52 AM

Looks like Honduras mahogany to me not too many woods glow like that.Even mahogany veneer core ply has a good color and is just about the easiest wood to finish.Good luck Jerry.Aj

View Roger's profile (online now)

Roger

19883 posts in 2270 days


#15 posted 05-04-2015 12:29 PM

Just my opinion, because I’m not a pro by any means, but, my thoughts are this: use smaller boards, say 3” wide that are glued together making sure that you use some good quarter sawn wood, or, if they are not quarter sawn, be sure to flip each boards grain direction when you glue em up. Being leafs, they won’t be that wide to worry about too much movement, I wouldn’t think. Good luck with your end product. I’m sure you’ll come up with something good.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

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