Designing a "Green" table?

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Forum topic by Brian posted 08-28-2009 02:17 PM 1130 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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79 posts in 3736 days

08-28-2009 02:17 PM

I have someone who wants a dining table made “Green”.
Green—meaning no toxic substances (glues, varnishes, etc)
Frankly I’m not sure where to go with this.


5 replies so far

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 3934 days

#1 posted 08-28-2009 02:19 PM


Have you considered a wooden frame and a granite top? You could use Dovetail joinery for the frame and a natural wax as the finish.


-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 3327 days

#2 posted 08-28-2009 02:29 PM

I would look into finding some reclaimed lumber. Search the internet and see if you can find anything locally that can work. Giving wood a “new life” is very satisfying.

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3692 days

#3 posted 08-28-2009 02:42 PM

I build about 90% of my projects using green methods. I get most all my lumber locally through craigslist ads. Lots of guys have trees fall on their property, get them sawed into lumber and the never use the wood. I have gotten 20+ year old airdried walnut for $.75 a bdf. As far as glue goes, regular titebond is non-toxic and does not off-gas so don’t waste your time brewing hide glue, especially if your not proficient at it. Selling a project using products your not familiar with is a recipe for disaster. Find a nice WB poly or laquer depending on what your comfortable using. I might consider a linseed oil and wax for the base, but you will need a good durable finish for the top. Unless the client wants the wax the top once a week. Good luck.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3857 days

#4 posted 08-28-2009 02:56 PM

The new October Woodworker’s Journal has a large article on ‘green’ finishes. Shellac and wax is a classic finish, but not all-that suitable for a dining table top.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Brent's profile


11 posts in 3841 days

#5 posted 08-28-2009 06:42 PM

Hi Bri,

Hot hide glue and a shellac and/or wax finish should fill the bill for your customers. Explain to them that using “non-toxic” finishes also means having a table top finish that won’t hold up quite as well as others they’ve had in past, and therefore is going to require much more maintenance on their part. They may just relent and go with a more conventional finish :).

-- Have a Good One....

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