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Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

author-gravatar burl Jun 29, 2020

Black walnut dining table with traditional joinery.  And my first breadboard ends

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I had a good amount of air dried walnut that I bought from a family friend for $2/board foot.  It was somewhat damaged in parts as it was barely covered for the last 20 years.  But, when I planed it down, there was a lot of good quality wood

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Getting the boards ready to laminate for thicker pieces        

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Getting the leg pieces glued up

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Cut to length

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I used a thin piece of wood to start making the curve, but it wasn't turning out consistent

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I created a template instead of bending the board as above.  Make it more consistent and way easier

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Sanding up to the line

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

These are just basically balanced on each other.  No joinery yet

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Shaped the feet

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Shaped the top stretchers

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I wanted to be able to really dial in where I cut my mortises.  I got this old piece of plexiglass and made it into a new base for my old plunge router.  It worked GREAT

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

All the base pieces got a round over on the edges

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Used another jig to cut exact width dados with my router.  I put the piece in between, sandwich it tight and the router then makes the corresponding cut on the matching piece.  This was the middle stretcher, which I'll take out of the legs

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Cutting into the legs

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Here are the two legs sandwiching the stretcher.  I'd reinforce with dowels

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Also for repeatability, I created a little template to use where I wanted to mortise for my floating tenons.  I wanted to use the new router base some more so floating tenons it was

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Milled my own tenons from hard maple        

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Laying out on the feet and top stretcher where the mortise will go

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Cutting the corresponding mortises in the leg verticals

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

In go the floating tenons.  I left them 1/16th wide on each side in case of any planning mishaps

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Getting ready for glue up

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Before final glue up, I cut the holes to eventually attach the top.  Elongated holes on the ends to allow for expansion and contraction

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

The walnut I had was 4/4 AT BEST and was going to be too thin to look right with the base.  I went out and got some 6/4 walnut for the top    

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Lesson learned here.  My walnut was air dried.  The bought lumber was kiln dried.  One was red, one was brown.  Crap.  I'll address this later

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

The top glue up

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

At this point, the span seemed significant so I decided to add a middle support to the base

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Hogging out material in the support piece at the drill press    

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Getting ready to clean up with a chisel

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Here I cut the table top to length (minus breadboards)

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Scribe a line for the tenons

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Cutting the channel for the tenons.  I'd go deep into these with the drill press/chisel where the tenons go

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Testing the fit

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I decided to do tenons instead of one big tenon all the way across

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Marking the waste to remove

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Test fit.  It was REALLY snug.  Eased up to it with my shoulder plan to get the final fit

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I cut holes for the pins in the breadboards

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I marked the hole center then moved it in 1/16th to drawbore it tight

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Elongated the two outside holes for expansion and contraction

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

If you look down through the hole, you can see how the drawbore works as it's slightly offset

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I only put glue on the center tenon

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Pegs rounded to allow them to move through the drawn hole.  I could see them angles as they went around.  

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Put glue only for the last mallet hit of the outside pegs so it was only glued to the breadboard board, not the tenon

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

Table top sanded and ready to go

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I finally decided to use some brown tinted dye to bring the base closer to the color of the top and not as red.  It looks muted in this photo, but with the final finish on it was a pretty good match

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

You can see here that the boards I used for the top, a LOT of them were filled with sap wood.  I didn't particularly want this on my project so the bottom got them all.  

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

The top has minimal sap wood and a good amount of figure.  Despite slim pickings at the yard, I was ultimately happy with what I got

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

The base moved inside

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

I used threaded inserts in the top to be able to disassemble this later.  

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

In it's final home, until I die and my kids fight over it

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table
Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

The ends came out GREAT

Photo of Black Walnut 8+ person dining table

1 comment

Wow very nice! Breadboard ends always scare me though it looks like if someone were to lean on an end it could snap off. 

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