Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Outdoor serving table II

Once the mortises were done, it didn't take long to finish the table.  Here it is with the salvaged Corian resting on it.

I didn't want a front stretcher on it because I want to be able to sit at it comfortably on a stool.  I doubt that the corner braces on the front legs are really necessary because the table has 14 stout, pegged mortise and tenon joints.  I added them anyway, for additional strength and because I like they way they look.  I did something different from what I usually see.

The grain runs diagonally, which I think looks nice and takes advantage of the characteristics of wood to be very strong.  I created the shadow line to emphasize the difference.  They are held in place with pegs.

I have never understood why the grain on the ones I usually see on arts and crafts tables runs parallel to the leg.  It seems like it would make the brace prone to splitting on the very short inside section.  I also don't think this curve looks right on an arts and crafts piece, but that's just me.  This is a nice library table but the brace just looks crude to my eye. 

The final decision is how to finish my serving table.  I wanted to leave it unfinished and let it weather, with the idea that it would end up looking like an old white oak whiskey barrel after a few years.  However, my wife didn't like that idea, so I found some semi-transparent exterior stain that is almost indistinguishable from the raw white oak.


  1. You sound like you have been married for a long time. Are you going to build up the edge of the Corian to make it look thicker?

    1. No Ralph, I am going to leave the salvaged Corian piece as it is. I don't especially like it but thought it might be a good choice for an outdoor application. I may replace it with a stainless steel or white oak top at some point.

  2. Andy,

    The thinness of the top doesn't bother me, in fact I think a thicker top would make the table look heavy. I like the lack of a stretcher, it also adds to the look of lightness.

    I like it,


    1. Ken,

      Thanks. One of the reasons I don't make detailed plans for most of my projects is that I can't visualize what the piece will look like. I also like the lightness but when I got the frame assembled it looked sterile to me. Adding the corner brackets made it look just right, to my not very artistic eye anyway.