Walnut Coffee Table

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
10
Location
Salisbury
Chris Knight":2s3qmas8 said:
European walnut will lighten in colour considerably if/when exposed to the sun or strong daylight, so you might want to consider this before committing to a finishing scheme.
Agreed Chris. A couple of years ago I went round an Elizabethan stately home close to Salisbury, where in one of the upstairs rooms there were a number of very decent antique pieces in English Walnut that were displayed directly under a large fanlight. I had to take a second look just to try and identify the timber as it was so pale. Where they should have been a lustrous, richly polished brown they almost took on the appearance of pine. Not quite that bad, but enough for me to do a 'double take' - Rob
 

Steliz

Camberwell Carrot
Joined
11 Dec 2017
Messages
434
Reaction score
57
Location
Hungary
Current update -

Following the leg issue I have made some new legs, completed the drawer front frame and glued the top boards together using dowels.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-1tPXArCDzjI.jpg


and here it is planed

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-QS0ogFHbtlcZ.jpg


cut to final dimensions with a bevel and sanded and with the first coat of hardwax oil

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-8pPHawm0cV5FC2.jpg


Once sanded, I gave the legs and rails a coat of hardwax oil to make the glue clean up easier and glued up the end sections. After that dried I put the whole frame together.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-ZO841nidqDox.jpg


The top is getting a daily coat of hardwax oil. How many is enough? I thought 5, I recall hearing that somewhere. To be honest, it looked great after 1! How many days should it be allowed to dry before I give it to it's new owner?

Meanwhile, I've been installing the drawer frame structure. It is half lapped (glued and screwed) at the back and glued up mortice and tenons at the front and glued at the sides.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-cWEVkyW0WaPKWYfA.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-Gy4Jg3OnijQAxRN.jpg


Just the guides to put in and then it's on the drawers which will be dovetailed.
 

Attachments

  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-1tPXArCDzjI.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-1tPXArCDzjI.jpg
    232.7 KB · Views: 245
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-8pPHawm0cV5FC2.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-8pPHawm0cV5FC2.jpg
    248.9 KB · Views: 245
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-QS0ogFHbtlcZ.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-QS0ogFHbtlcZ.jpg
    241.2 KB · Views: 245
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-ZO841nidqDox.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-ZO841nidqDox.jpg
    227.7 KB · Views: 245
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-cWEVkyW0WaPKWYfA.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-cWEVkyW0WaPKWYfA.jpg
    244.5 KB · Views: 245
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-Gy4Jg3OnijQAxRN.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-Gy4Jg3OnijQAxRN.jpg
    239.5 KB · Views: 245

Steliz

Camberwell Carrot
Joined
11 Dec 2017
Messages
434
Reaction score
57
Location
Hungary
This is a coffee table in exchange for free wood deal so, technically, I've already been paid!
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,158
Reaction score
672
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
Ah yes, I remember.

Anyway, it's looking great. Just a tip....think about the placement of your buttons and how you are going to get a screw driver to them. There is often an issue with drawer runners getting in the way. If they do, not much of a drawer runner actually is in contact with the drawer, and it is perfectly possible to drill a big hole through the part that isn't under the drawer through which you can stick a screwdriver. But sort it now before you are too committed.
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
10
Location
Salisbury
It's a personal thing, but i detest the use of sapwood in any project; the first thing I do when I get hold of a board(s) of English Walnut (amongst others) is to rip off every conceivable bit of sap showing. I stored a prime board of 50mm thick, 2m long walnut in the 'shop a few years ago where I foolishly left a small amount of sap in one corner. Some time later, I casually hoiked the board out whilst looking for something else and the sap was FULL of worm. It was immediately cut off, burnt and the remaining heartwood smothered in woodworm killer. Fortunately I got to it in time and the rest of the board is now fine - Rob

Edit - apologies, I mentioned this on p1 of this thread.
 

bp122

Expert at Jibber-Jabber
Joined
20 Aug 2019
Messages
774
Reaction score
348
Location
Haddenham
Great looking table there.
Well done.

As a novice who is toddling away at making small wooden gifts to people and a rather ambitious couple of projects (wall hung bedside tables and two part coffee table) coming up, I am impressed and quite inspired by your undertaking.

I am hooked into this W.I.P and can't wait to see the end result.

Best regards
bp122
 

Steliz

Camberwell Carrot
Joined
11 Dec 2017
Messages
434
Reaction score
57
Location
Hungary
Rob, I understand your reasoning for binning sapwood but it is a luxury most woodworkers don't have. I would have struggled to find enough wood to make this table in the entire log if I had stripped off all the sapwood so, what should I do? Double my material costs or carry on and hope that there are no woodworm?

bp122, thanks for the positive comments, I'm working on the drawers now and I'll post pics of the completed table in the next couple of days.
 

Steliz

Camberwell Carrot
Joined
11 Dec 2017
Messages
434
Reaction score
57
Location
Hungary
MikeG.":1uqehatz said:
Just a tip....think about the placement of your buttons and how you are going to get a screw driver to them. There is often an issue with drawer runners getting in the way.

Mike, thanks for that tip, you're absolutely right. Once I'd got the drawer frame finished I checked and, even using my stubby screwdriver, I won't be able to access the button screws on either of the side rails! I had already done the slots but it wouldn't have made any difference as the access is the same all along the side rails so, a couple of holes for a screwdriver will be required. :wink:
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,158
Reaction score
672
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
Steliz":2asx3gcm said:
Rob, I understand your reasoning for binning sapwood but it is a luxury most woodworkers don't have.......

It's not really a luxury, I'm afraid. Think of sap wood as the wrapping and the heartwood as the present. The sap is where all the bugs and beasties lurk, and it is generally much softer and more vulnerable than heartwood. Look at a 400 year old timber framed building, and the stuff that has rotted is the sapwood. The only timber where I would keep and use the sapwood is yew, but walnut is one of those marginal cases where some people do use it, and many don't. Maybe this is because all of the walnut board is comparatively soft, so the sapwood isn't such a huge physical contrast as it is in other timbers.

I've just finished processing £1100 worth of European oak. I bought waney edge boards, and in the woodyard they measure between the sap at the midpoint of the board. In other words, I didn't even pay for the sap. The first job I did was spend hours working out how to get the most out of each board, then ripping off the edges to discard the sapwood. Sometimes you are scrapping about trying to squeeze an extra 5mm out of a board but never, not once, was I tempted to leave any sapwood in anywhere.
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
10
Location
Salisbury
Steliz":2nrcfrn9 said:
Rob, I understand your reasoning for binning sapwood but it is a luxury most woodworkers don't have. I would have struggled to find enough wood to make this table in the entire log if I had stripped off all the sapwood so, what should I do? Double my material costs or carry on and hope that there are no woodworm?
Yep, if that's what it takes, that's what you do! Sorry, there are no half way measures. English Walnut is so rare and precious (it's about £100 a cu') that in my book, any piece of furniture made from it needs to be the absolute best that you can possibly make...which means stripping off the sap before you start work.

If you wanted to make it go a LOT further, the solid board(s) sans sap could be converted into thick (2 or 3mm veneers) which once laid on a proper substrate could be effectively treated as solid ie; planed and sanded. The process is complex though and requires a method of deep sawing (bandsaw) accurate thickness sanding (drum sander) and a way of laying the veneers, in my case, the use of a vacuum bag - Rob

If you scroll down the projects in my sig block below, quite a few are in English Walnut; you won't see any sap, anywhere.

What Mike said ^above^ is Gospel. - Rob
 

Sgian Dubh

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2004
Messages
2,662
Reaction score
497
Location
UK
MikeG.":35k98jhw said:
Steliz":35k98jhw said:
Rob, I understand your reasoning for binning sapwood but it is a luxury most woodworkers don't have.......

It's not really a luxury, I'm afraid. Think of sap wood as the wrapping and the heartwood as the present. The sap is where all the bugs and beasties lurk, and it is generally much softer and more vulnerable than heartwood.
There's much truth in what you say, Mike, particularly with regard to timber species in which there's marked colour differentiation between sapwood and heartwood, as well as durability issues, e.g., European oak heartwood is classified as durable, and the sapwood is essentially non-durable.

American black walnut along with American black cherry come under some species specific rules in the American grading system permitting more sapwood in a board than would be allowed in other species: and, of course, pretty much 99% of both those species come from North America, and will have been graded using the American grading system prior to export elsewhere, e.g., to the UK. On top of that, almost every board of American black walnut that's been through the typical large commercial mills and processing plants in the US are steamed to disguise the sapwood, not always particularly successfully unfortunately.

Still, sapwood in boards in some species is actually considered and graded as a desirable characteristic, because it's white or very pale in colour, and frequently virtually impossible to distinguish from the heartwood through a superficial inspection, i.e., a quick look at the board prior to basic machining. Specifically, species such as hard and soft maple fall into this category, as does as ash.

I guess all of the above was just a long-winded way of getting to make the point that sapwood isn't always a 'bad guy', but in relation to the table under discussion in this thread (the principal subject), I agree that I'd prefer to see the sapwood cut off in a walnut table, leaving only the richer coloured heartwood. Slainte.
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,158
Reaction score
672
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
Sgian Dubh":nr8yef2a said:
......American black walnut along with American black cherry come under some species specific rules in the American grading system permitting more sapwood in a board than would be allowed in other species: and, of course, pretty much 99% of both those species come from North America, and will have been graded using the American grading system prior to export elsewhere, e.g., to the UK. On top of that, almost every board of American black walnut that's been through the typical large commercial mills and processing plants in the US are steamed to disguise the sapwood, not always particularly successfully unfortunately........

Whilst it's impossible to be certain from a photo, I reckon this is likely to be European walnut rather than American, don't you Richard? There is just more of the colour variation that we typically get over here but which is less pronounced in American walnut.
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
10
Location
Salisbury
Sgian Dubh":yp47yrfo said:
Still, sapwood in boards in some species is actually considered and graded as a desirable characteristic, because it's white or very pale in colour, and frequently virtually impossible to distinguish from the heartwood through a superficial inspection, i.e., a quick look at the board prior to basic machining. Specifically, species such as hard and soft maple fall into this category, as does as ash.

I guess all of the above was just a long-winded way of getting to make the point that sapwood isn't always a 'bad guy', but in relation to the table under discussion in this thread (the principal subject), I agree that I'd prefer to see the sapwood cut off in a walnut table, leaving only the richer coloured heartwood. Slainte.
I'd agree also with Richard's comments about ash and maple varieties where it's virtually impossible to see the difference between the sap and heart woods. I've been using quite a lot of what I assume is kilned American Ash where it's all but impossible to differentiate 'twixt the sap and heart - Rob
 

Sgian Dubh

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2004
Messages
2,662
Reaction score
497
Location
UK
MikeG.":1e0e276m said:
Whilst it's impossible to be certain from a photo, I reckon this is likely to be European walnut rather than American, don't you Richard? There is just more of the colour variation that we typically get over here but which is less pronounced in American walnut.
I suspect it's likely the walnut that's the specific material under discussion in this thread is Juglans regia, it is possible it's Juglans nigra, or one of the other walnut species native to North America because those species have been introduced into Europe. However, the wood's source is local I believe, so more likely to be native.

As to colour combinations, there are usually subtle clues to differentiate between unsteamed European walnut and similarly unsteamed American black walnut. Of all the American walnut I've worked over the last few decades, both here and in the USA when I lived there, I've never worked any that wasn't steamed, and probably only once (I think) seen an example of the unsteamed stuff.
I think European walnut generally has a honey colour as the background, whereas American walnut tends to be closer to a background chocolate colour, with pinks, purples, blues and even a suggestion of green getting into the act in both species all depending a number of environmental and climate factors during the life of the tree. From the photographs I've seen of the table top here, and the wood's source, I strongly suspect, like you, that the material is Juglans regia ... but I could be wrong, ha, ha. Slainte.
 

Steliz

Camberwell Carrot
Joined
11 Dec 2017
Messages
434
Reaction score
57
Location
Hungary
I was going to use some of the Walnut offcuts to make the drawer boxes but I decided to keep them for myself. I had a piece of Beech that a kind person gave me recently that just happened to be slightly bigger than what I needed.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-oOSokge4VfFAp.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-0ztpOCVznnL.jpg


I set up a guide to router out the groove for the base

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-Dc39wOvMzQRAH.jpg


I decided to add a chamfer on the drawer fronts, gave them a coat of finish and attached the handles.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-aqNNS76pt2.jpg


Drawer boxes complete with 4mm ply for the base. I have avoided showing any close ups of my dovetails as they weren't as good as I was hoping.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-G8F4sFF1EO.jpg


I gave the internals a coat of finish and attached the drawer fronts. I also got the buttons done.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-lcMKLCvyVovkbZUY.jpg
 

Attachments

  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-oOSokge4VfFAp.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-oOSokge4VfFAp.jpg
    237.3 KB · Views: 226
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-0ztpOCVznnL.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-0ztpOCVznnL.jpg
    245.2 KB · Views: 226
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-Dc39wOvMzQRAH.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-Dc39wOvMzQRAH.jpg
    239.7 KB · Views: 226
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-aqNNS76pt2.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-aqNNS76pt2.jpg
    240.1 KB · Views: 226
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-G8F4sFF1EO.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-G8F4sFF1EO.jpg
    248 KB · Views: 226
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-lcMKLCvyVovkbZUY.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-lcMKLCvyVovkbZUY.jpg
    243 KB · Views: 226

Steliz

Camberwell Carrot
Joined
11 Dec 2017
Messages
434
Reaction score
57
Location
Hungary
And here is the finished table.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-pSM7RqYijgFh5Wh.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-CBFr9GpKqbCXcz3.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-5amw6W8QpfUDFNh.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-cxTV2lW0ZljgOsR8.jpg


This was a great learning experience and, apart from a couple of things that I would do differently if I started again, I am very pleased with the result.
My wife says I should take it up professionally, I'm still laughing at that!

Comments welcome.
 

Attachments

  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-pSM7RqYijgFh5Wh.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-pSM7RqYijgFh5Wh.jpg
    249.5 KB · Views: 212
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-CBFr9GpKqbCXcz3.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-CBFr9GpKqbCXcz3.jpg
    224.5 KB · Views: 212
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-5amw6W8QpfUDFNh.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-5amw6W8QpfUDFNh.jpg
    246.6 KB · Views: 212
  • imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-cxTV2lW0ZljgOsR8.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-cxTV2lW0ZljgOsR8.jpg
    246 KB · Views: 212

bp122

Expert at Jibber-Jabber
Joined
20 Aug 2019
Messages
774
Reaction score
348
Location
Haddenham
Steliz":2qkvaoud said:
And here is the finished table.






This was a great learning experience and, apart from a couple of things that I would do differently if I started again, I am very pleased with the result.
My wife says I should take it up professionally, I'm still laughing at that!

Comments welcome.

You have done that walnut tree proud!
And in the process, inspired me to aim for a better attitude towards projects.

Well done.
 
Top