For the past 8 years, a small piece of "dunnowood" has sat down in my shop waiting for the right project. My Father In Law brought this small (11x20ish) board home with him from Tanzania after visiting my Sister-in-law's family there.
The design was inspired by a photo of a small Green-and-Green table in the book "In The Craftsman Style" from Taunton (p21 if you care), but it was tweaked a lot to fit my space, and with a stretched out top, it seemed like finally I had the project for that board.
Building went fairly quick, using my recently-acquired Dowelmax jig to join the stretchers to the legs. Works like a charm, allows for easy/accurate joints and easy dry-fits, results in a quick and solid construction.
Finishing was pretty much the exact opposite of simple and quick. Yes I used test boards, lots of tests. I wiped on BLO, let it cure for 24-36 hours, and then wiped on Minwax wipe-on Poly. The top wouldn't cure. It stayed sticky.
To make a long story short, I found a reference in Dresdner's book "Wood Finishing Fixes" that certain rosewood species will not work with oil-based poly. I thought that this was likely African Mahogany - it doesn't look at all like rosewood, but nevertheless, it sure exhibited the exact characteristics he described of not curing properly. The finish was sanded off the top (and the inlay) and I used rattle-can zinnser shellac (two coats) followed by three coats of Flecto water-based varathane. (wasn't messing around with oil-based on this project any more!)
And I think the result was pretty slick.
Attachment 20020 Attachment 20021
More images and description are on my web page for this project.