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Thread: Giant Dining Table Delivered

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448

    Giant Dining Table Delivered

    I posted this on Facebook (where I hope to attract customers) and had a huge reception, including many from this forum. But I am feeling guilty for not sharing with my woodworking "family."

    Last weekend I delivered a solid Mesquite dining room table that expands to 4 feet wide by 18 feet long. Too big. I will never build another one like that. It over-filled my shop, with final assembly in our living room. At one point, I had to call the neighbor to help turn it over. The basic table is 4 x 8 feet, with 5 leaves, 2 feet wide apiece. The customer plans to have one leaf in routinely, and add more leaves as required.



    Note that at this point there is only one leaf in the table - overall length 10 feet, or just over half size. I used slides from Osborne Wood Products - great slides, but when they are this large they probably added about 60 pounds to the table.



    The legs were two layers of 8/4 Mesquite glued together and turned. I do occasionally turn spindles and bowls. There are middle legs that fold down when the table is fully expanded.



    The customer wanted their initial inlaid in one of the leaves, with turquoise granules. The customer specifically requested that the wood grain in the leaves go the opposite way from the main table. Whatever!

    The usual cracks and gaps in mesquite were filled with black epoxy - I estimate over 50 batches mixed and applied over several weeks.

    The finish was quite simple... Target EM1000 sanding sealer, sanded with 320 or 400 grit, followed by Target EM8000cv gloss conversion varnish, rubbed out with Mirka synthetic steel wool, Maroon very fine (about P360) followed by Dark Gray ultra fine (about P1200), then rubbed with an old T-Shirt. All rubbing done with a Festool 6 inch sander, except the legs which were hand robbed with an almost dead Mirka dark gray pad.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    4,698
    Great looking piece of work Charlie.

    Haven't had the pleasure myself but I've heard mesquite is a tough wood to work (hard and hard on tools), must have been quite the endeavour to build!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
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    WOW, Charlie! What a monster. That's some of the best looking mesquite I've seen. Isn't it hard to find long straight stock like that? Any idea how much time you have in it? Beautiful work. I hope it gets you some more commissions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    13,439
    Looks like they are going to need more chairs. Wonderful job on the table, would love to see more of the slides and extra legs, but understand if it's not possible.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Calver View Post
    WOW, Charlie! What a monster. That's some of the best looking mesquite I've seen. Isn't it hard to find long straight stock like that? Any idea how much time you have in it? Beautiful work. I hope it gets you some more commissions.
    I was looking at tht also, but there really isn't any piece on that table over 4 feet long?
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
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    1,553
    gorgeous absolutely gorgeous!! Nice piece Charlie!!!
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    A beautiful piece. Love the story about the challenge to assemble and deliver. There are those pieces we didn't charge enough for no matter how much it was, hope it wasn't quite that bad . I enjoy making pieces for folks with larger scale homes. Probably because it is so different than my own home.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Independence MO
    Posts
    561
    Congratulations.
    I saw one that I have seen variations on for quite a while, and like the idea, just not sure I have the time to make.

    So I am wondering if you could pm me the slide information for my (hope to get shop time) list.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Humid Gulf Coast
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    542
    That really is a beautiful piece Charlie.

    I noticed the sideways grain in the leaf right away, and personally I think it adds a lot of character and uniqueness to the table.

    The finish came out really nice too!
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Calver View Post
    WOW, Charlie! What a monster. That's some of the best looking mesquite I've seen. Isn't it hard to find long straight stock like that? Any idea how much time you have in it? Beautiful work. I hope it gets you some more commissions.
    Berdoll Sawmill, near Austin, specializes in large slabs and local wood such as mesquite. (He has a chain saw with a 9 foot bar, and a planer 100 inches wide). The pieces of mesquite I bought started at $12 per board foot, and went up from there. I asked Brandon how wide he can get mesquite and he said he had some (if I recall right) that was 42 inches wide, and fairly often gets some logs over 30 inches in diameter, but he was quick to point out that such wood is FAR more expensive than $12. He takes a trailer truck around Texas to pick up or harvest special logs. There were lots of filled areas that I tried not to show in the pictures - especially in the 2x2 edges, etc.

    I thought I should allow a month to build the table, but it took closer to 3 months wrok in the shop, and more than that total with the Holidays. I would have lost money if I had to pay myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Looks like they are going to need more chairs. Wonderful job on the table, would love to see more of the slides and extra legs, but understand if it's not possible.
    They bought 8-10 chairs, for the minimally expanded table, but the table will seat over 20 easily. I bet they don't want to store the chairs (in addition to the challenge of storing the extra leaves).

    The slides were totally routine, 3 inches high, each section about an inch thick, but SIX sections on each side. Osborne Wood Products is great - they even put a slight camber in slides for 4 leg tables, so the center rises to compensate for the sag. For pedestal tables the camber is reversed, where the ends rise to compensate for sag. I didn't weigh the slides, but carrying one was all I could handle - probably 30 or more pounds for each side.

    The extra legs were simple rectangles with a hinge that locks when the leg is up, and locks in the down position. I used the legs during construction to work on each half of the table - This is the progress picture for the client where you can see the center legs (looks like only one, since they were next to each other.)



    You can also see more of the patching necessary in the mesquite, on the left front leg in the picture, on the edge, and on the leaves.

    The challenge was putting the pins in the leaves - even though I made a jig to predrill for the pins, still many had to be plugged and redrilled to fit. All that had to be done in the living room with the table set up. I only had room to work on one leaf at a time, with the sofas and recliners moved back to make room for the table.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

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