Joe’s Curly Ash and Walnut Table

Viewer Project - By Joe Laviolette from Agawam, MA
Added on April 2, 2013

This table represents the culmination of my skills thus far. When the weather changed in the north east, my un-climate controlled shop wound down to a close. I started woodworking last March. Before that I have only tinkered and never really made anything out of wood. My goal, albeit lofty, was to create a table in this style. I am quite pleased with it, but as always it is far from perfect and there is a lot I would change. I feel I utilized the really curly wood as best as I could. However if I had to do it over, I would have cut the top into 3/4 strips and used the side grain. The randomness of the grain in all three pieces is interesting, but there is no rhyme or reason to it and I find it distracting.

Materials – Ash (a lot of it curly) and Walnut accents

Dimensions – 21” tall, top is 21” wide and 24” long

Construction – Mostly mortise and tenon, the top is attached with figure 8’s

Details: Over-sized breadboard ends, edges chamfered, pinned with walnut dowels; Shallow V grooves cut into the vertical slats; Legs are tapered to a point toward the bottom and inlayed with walnut

I wanted to keep the piece “light” looking, so I added a 3 piece shelf accented with walnut. I finished it with 2 coats of danish oil, 5 coats of GF Arm-R-Seal semi gloss, sprayed. The top is buffed out with Minwax furniture paste wax applied with 0000 steel wool.

I had a lot of trouble with the top warping. It had to be cut and re-glued 3 times. This also represented a lot of firsts for me: my first time with arts and crafts anything; my first inlay of any kind; my first breadboard ends; and my first time spraying finish. I am never going back to brushing or wiping. There are no runs, sags, or brush marks at all. A very quick pass with some 600 grit was all that was required for the next coat.

The corbels were the worst for me. I don’t have a bandsaw and I’m TERRIBLE with a jig saw. About 75% of the shaping was done with some 60 grit on a spindle sander.

Overall I don’t think this is that bad. From not owning any woodworking tools at all to this in 7 months is an accomplishment for me! I also have many of you guys to thank! I can’t wait to see what I can do by this time next year!

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