Walnut And Hickory Entry Table – Part 1

While I’ve been letting the stain and paint to dry on my dining room table, I’ve embarked on a new project. This will be my first piece of fine furniture, one that has no stain on it at all. I did a candle holder a couple years ago using walnut and maple but it wasn’t really much of a full scale project. This is also a piece that I might end up selling as it doesn’t have an immediate use in my house, so if anyone is interested, let me know.

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A friend of mine gets drops of wood from time to time and he’s been telling me for years to come check out the stock. I finally went by in the summer and am I ever glad I did. There’s tons of good wood although it’s hard to see the real beauty of it until it’s planed down. Took a while to figure out what species this was. It has an oaky look to it and also sort of smells like it when it’s machined. I thought it might be She Oak as well but I think we’ve finally come to the conclusion that it is Hickory. It definitely has a lot of the same grain patterns and colour of the pictures I’ve seen. I wasn’t going to have enough to build a full table out of this so I needed something to accent this wood. I still had some Walnut kicking around which I was going to use as the wood for my coffee table but my wife wanted a darker top. In my books it’s a mortal sin to stain walnut so I kept it off to the side until a time when I can use it. And here we are.

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I did a quick test with some mineral oil to see the contrast between the two woods. Once I saw the outcome, I was sold. Some of the darker strips of grain from the Hickory almost turn out the same colour as the Walnut so it adds a nice accent.

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I had to purchase a piece of 8/4 Walnut because my only stock is 3/4″. My biggest concern was that the Walnut was not going to finish in the same way as the wood for the table top but it ended up working out all right.

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I cut the 7′ board down into 3.5′ sections and then ripped them in half because my jointer can only handle 6″ width.

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Here it is all cleaned up and ready to cut into 4 table legs.

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4 table legs cut down and ready to be tapered.

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Here they are being tapered down. I originally built this jig for my Muskoka Chair but I can’t tell you how often I end up using it. I’ll probably be using it for the drawer front as well when I get to it.

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The cut left from the tapering jig was a little rough so I got my hand plane out and cleaned up the saw marks. This plane does such a great job and leaves the wood like glass. You can really see the difference between the part that is planed and the part that still has the saw marks.

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All cleaned up!

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And here are all 4 legs cleaned up and ready to go.

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Here is the rough layout of the pieces that will make up the table.

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I missed out on taking some pictures about how the legs and stretchers were attached but they were done with a dowel jig. I’m really glad I ended up going this route and not using pocket screws or something of the sort. The Hickory is incredible tough and I have a feeling I’d be breaking screws off and leaving a mess behind. Really excited to see how this turns out and hope I don’t screw anything up along the way 🙂

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