Dining Table and Chairs

One of the more interesting piece that I have made so far is a padouk and mahogany dining table. The piece is interesting not so much for its design, which is essentially mission style, and which was borrowed from the book Making Contemporary Wooden Tables by Thomas Stender, but because of the starting material that went into it. The top was made from a padouk board that was 10 feet long, 28 inches wide and 1 3/4 inches thick, purchased from Yukon Lumber in Norfolk, Virginia (the staff there remarked that in more than 20 years in business, they had not seen boards like this). This board included sapwood at both edges, which was retained in the table. To bring the top to the `standard’ dining-table width of 42 inches, two other padouk boards were attached to the larger board, with the sapwood forming a natural, irregularly shaped inlay on the completed table top.


Starting materials for table top
Boards joined to make table top


Table top, after first coat of oil.


The base of the table is made of mahogany, with padouk slats. The finish on the base is a burnished oil finish, with three coats of Danish oil, burnished after the third coat, and waxed. The top was treated in much the same way, but it received four coats of Danish oil.

Table base, made of mahogany with padouk slats

The slats in the base are 3/8″ padouk, while the rest of the base is mahogany.

Chair frame

I have made 10 chairs to go with the dining table. The image below shows one during the construction phase, with a black seat taken from another chair. The completed chair seats are upholstered in an African print. I did the upholstery myself.

The curved portions of the chairs are steam-bent mahogany. This means I had to learn how to steam-bend wood. The legs are also mahogany, while the slats in the back are padouk.

Final product: dining table and 10 chairs