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Dining room table to fit 10 people

This large dining table was designed for a family in Jonesboro, GA, who typically hosts a large family gathering several times a year. I worked with them in designing a table that maximized the number of seats in the confined space of their dining room. We came up with a table that measures 8 ft long x 5'10" across, allowing two people to sit on each end and three along each side. It fills the room but fits the family's space and personality.

This project was a first in several areas for my work. The design was inspired by a picture of a table online and scaled for their needs. The top is 1 1/4" thick and uses breadboard ends to prevent cupping. Breadboards are the two ends that run perpendicular to the rest of the top. The main panel (glued up from seven boards) has five tenons cut into the ends and shaved down to fit inside mortises cut into the side of the end pieces. The ends are glued in the middle tenon and pinned with dowels through the other four tenons, allowing the main panel to expand and contract, as all wood does, and not bind against the opposing grain of the ends. This is a traditional method of joinery and can be seen in many 'rustic' tables and doors.

The other new skill was in the base. We wanted the table to be built without any exposed hardware like screws or nails. The base is instead held together with through tenons and mortises. The cross pieces have tenons extend through rectangular mortises in the legs, which are in turn pinned to the legs with smaller 'pegs' in mortises. The main stretcher does the same thing in the middle of the cross pieces. The pegs apply pressure between the outside edge of the tenon and the mating piece, holding it all together with a tight fit and friction. The main stretcher has a middle upright that connects with the middle of the top for support; it is glued to the stretcher with a half-lap joint. The only hardware are the bolts that attach the base to the top using threaded inserts and furniture bolts. And the two bolts holding the leather tag on the upright.

The legs measure 2 1/4" thick and 10" wide, meeting the top/floor at a 15 degree angle. The top is 96" x 70". The table is made from white oak finished with Rubio Monocoats' Havanna Oil Plus 2C hard wax oil.

A future project for the family will add a China cabinet/hutch along the interior wall in the same wood and finish.

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