Joe’s Curly Ash and Walnut Table
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!