Multi-grain Ta­ble

Empty the cut­off bin and turn out a tremen­dous ta­ble.


Make this ta­ble uniquely yours, us­ing rem­nants of past projects, and col­ored by what­ever species you choose.

Start with a solid base

1 Cut the legs (A) and stretch­ers (B) to size and shape [Drawing 1, Ma­te­ri­als List]. Cut mat­ing notches in the stretch­ers [Ex­ploded View].

2 Cut bis­cuit slots in the legs and stretch­ers, then glue the stretch­ers to­gether. Af­ter the glue dries, glue the legs to this assem­bly [Photo A].

3 Cut and sand the bases (C) to size and shape [Ex­ploded View]. Scribe the bases onto two pieces of 71∕4×143∕4" solid stock for the base trim (D) [Photo B, Drawing 2], mark­ing each piece so you can mate them up again. Cut along the lines and sand for a close fit. Mark the outer edge [Photo C], cut and sand the trim to shape, and glue it on [Photo D]. 4 Round over the curved edges of each trim (D) [Ex­ploded View]. Glue and pock­etscrew the base/trim as­sem­blies flush with the bot­tom edges of the stretch­ers.

Clean out the scrap bin

You’ll need two blanks at least 21∕2×101∕2×27" made of glued-up scrap to cover the ta­ble. As you build them up, keep the thick­ness less than 3" [Photo E] so you can cut the blanks at the table­saw.

1 For each blank, we ripped and planed scraps to make four glue-ups about 25∕8" square, and a fifth about 1×25∕8" [Photo E, Skill Builder]. Joint and plane the glue-ups square, then glue them into a wide blank [Photo F]. 2 Af­ter the glue dries, plane both faces of the blanks to bring them to 21∕2" thick. Cross­cut one end square to an edge. 3 Mea­sure from the top of a base (C) to the top of a stretcher (B). Cross­cut 16 blocks to this length.

4 Glue up the strips to fill out each sec­tion (E) [Pho­tos G–I].

Add the fin­ish­ing touches

1 Po­si­tion each sec­tion (E) on a base (C) and scribe around them to trans­fer the trim (D) curve to the bot­tom of each sec­tion. Band­saw and sand to the line.

2 Round over the curved edges of each sec­tion [Ex­ploded View]. Drill and coun­ter­sink 3∕16" shank holes through the base/trim (C/D), and 1∕8" pilot holes into the sec­tions. Screw the sec­tions in place (no glue). 3 Sand the top flat and smooth. Ap­ply a clear fin­ish. (We used Dan­ish oil topped with lac­quer to min­i­mize yel­low­ing the lighter col­ored woods.) Now start col­lect­ing more scraps for your next ta­ble.

Tip! Start with 80 grit to smooth the end grain and work up to 220 grit.

Pro­duced by Craig Ruegseg­ger with John Ol­son Project de­sign: John Ol­son Il­lus­tra­tions: Roxanne Le­Moine, Lorna John­son


B Po­si­tion each base (C), ex­tend the straight edges, and trace along the curved side. Tip! Don’t worry about keep­ing edges per­fectly flush while build­ing the blanks. In­stead, joint a sur­face be­fore ad­ding the next piece of scrap.

D Glue the trim to the base, clamp­ing as shown. Keep the faces of the pieces flush.

C Nest each base against its trim, and strike a 101∕4" arc. Cut and sand to the line.

E Mix up species, thick­nesses, and widths in each glue-up. com­pleted ta­ble. This adds vis­ual in­ter­est to the

F As­sem­ble the glue-ups into one wide blank. Press the bot­tom edges against the clamp bars to pro­vide a flat sur­face to rest on the planer bed later.

G Ar­range the strips in a chevron pat­tern. Place par­al­lel strips in the same ori­en­ta­tion (in­di­cated by the high­lighted sec­tion of the pat­tern).

H Band­saw these strips. Dry-fit the strips and mark 101∕2" and 11" radii on them. Band­saw along the 11" ra­dius on the two in­ner strips.

I Cut­offs 10½" ra­dius Fill in the sec­tion with the two cut­offs. Make sure the cut­offs ex­tend be­yond the 101∕2" ra­dius line. Glue the six pieces to­gether to make a sec­tion (E).

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