Walnut table and Bench
This project was completed for a client requesting a refined version of a farmhouse style table. She is a caterer who provides tastings to her customers and wanted her table to be the center of this event.
This project started with walnut sourced from a lumber yard in Nashville, TN. After breaking down the lumber, milling it S4S I took my time selecting the boards for the top. The beauty of walnut in my eyes is the vivid rich color, the ability to join boards seamlessly together and incorporating the use of the sap wood to your advantage. I chose to glue the table top in two halves to make a final glue up more manageable. Once completed I then prepared for the breadboard ends. to avoid subtracting length from the table, I chose to use floating tenons. I made the floating tenons about 2" wide from the same walnut and included about 7 in total for the breadboard. The thickness of the tenons was 10mm. I secured these tight on the table side, loose on the breadboard side (minus the center tenon) and did draw board walnut dowels. The knots and defects received tinted black epoxy. Then what appeared to be a lifetime of sanding prior to finish.
The base was constructed first by laminating the legs. this was made from 8/4 walnut as well as 6/4 walnut. After laminating and milling back to square the legs ended up being right around 5"x5". To secure the massive legs I used 2 10 mm dominos in each apron with a 1/2" offset. The rails were 1 1/2" thick to support this large top. one cross brace was added between the aprons and the base was complete.
The bench felt like a breeze compared to the table. The most difficult part of the bench was determining proportions. I started with the legs around 3x3 and worked my way back. I did the same for the breadboard ends and the aprons. The concern in pairing a bench with a large table is wanting to find a good balance. I didn't want the bench to appear too small or over sized. Once I believed I had achieved that I used 6 mm dominos for the joinery and three stretchers between the aprons. I chose to only use dowels underneath and not drill all the way through as I thought it made the bench look more seamless. the bench top received an 1/8" roundover.
With construction and sanding complete I moved on to finish. I worked through the grits on all surfaces, choosing not to skip a single grit and sanding with a vacuum attached to eliminate any scratches along the way. All surfaces received the same finish, Osmo Top Oil. This was my first time working with Osmo but it will not be my last. I applied two coats. For the top I used a soft spreader before I came back and buffed with my ROS using a white scotch-brite pad attached. I used the scotch-brite pad by hand for the base. I did find best results when after the finish was applied to grab a fresh pad and go over it once more to eliminate any buildup and ensure a tack-free dry surface. About an hour after the second coat I buffed with a microfiber pad using a cheap buffer and this laid out a perfect satin sheen. I could not have asked for a better finish and feel then what I received from this table. The table top and bench top were secured to the base with table top buttons made from 3/4" baltic birch that fit in to oversized 8 mm slots to allow for movement.
Thank you for reading this much and taking in my project, so final thoughts and considerations in closing. I analyzed every board, flipped them over, turned them around to try and create the most visually appealing top I could. I didn't let knots or defects deter me from achieving this as more often then not, some of the most beautiful grain is centered around a defect. Also, I had quite the surprise when I realized one of the boards was indeed curly walnut and I knew that had to belong in the top. When I said I enjoy working with sapwood and integrating it in the design, I do. On the breadboard ends I included the sapwood on the outside of the breadboard ends of the table as well as the bench. When paired together it makes it more visually appealing and let's someone know these two pieces were made together to belong together. I really enjoyed making this table and I hope it can provide some inspiration for someone else.
#woodworking #handmade #makersgonnamake #maker #craftsman #walnut #diy #builtnotbought #moderndesign #farmhouse #woodwork #makersmovement #osmousa #osmotopoil #walnut
Rough 6/4 walnut on top, 6/4 white oak on the bottom (no white oak was used in the making of this project, ha)
First half of the table top after glue up.
First look a the two halves to make sure the center seem was tight.
Fitting the breadboard ends. The ends were trimmed flush with a Japanese saw which worked surprisingly well.
Dry assembly of the base.
Bench top after surfacing
I used a ratchet strap to secure the base of the bench while the glue cured and it worked very well.
Tinted black epoxy for defects and knots.
First coat of finish while still wet.