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Dining Room Tables

©2015 by Charles A. Plesums, Austin, Texas, USA

Giant mesquite table

This large dining room table was made from Mesquite, a very hard and heavy wood. How large? This picture is only about half of the table. The full table is 4 feet wide and 18 feet long including a total of 5 leaves each 2 feet wide. There is only one leaf in the picture, so here the table is only 10 feet long - just over half it's final size. There are two more hidden legs that fold down when the table is fully expanded.

Normally this would include a hint that "I could build one of these for you." Sorry, I cannot build another one of these - it is too heavy for me, and too large for my shop. I had to call a neighbor to help me move it during construction - my wife and I could not handle it alone. It is so large that the final steps of construction had to take place in our living room. If you would like one exactly like this, I suggest you find a larger shop, with at least 5 employees. That said, I would love to build a smaller dining room table for you, out of Mesquite or more traditional woods.

The customer wanted his initial inlaid with Turquoise granules in the table - and chose to do it in one leaf (that will normally be in the center of the table). He also specifically requested that the wood grain in the leaves go in the opposite direction of the wood grain in the main table.

What made the table so heavy? Mesquite is a very heavy wood, and with a large table correspondingly large legs (4 inches in diameter) were required. In the shop I normally carried one leg at a time. The slides that allow the table to be expanded were extremely heavy - I didn't weigh them, but carrying one of the two slides (with 6 sections for expansion) was a full load for me. Just the slides probably added 60 pounds to the table weight.

As shown, "priceless"       I cannot build another like it!
Mesquite, 40x60 inches with two 18" leaves (expands to 8 feet long), $5,800
substantially less for other wood species
Other sizes, shapes, veneers, woods, and features available

Large Round Table

Table top

This client wanted a six foot diameter dining room table with a three foot diameter lazy susan in the center.

Walnut veneer was selected, with quartersawn walnut for the starburst pattern on the lazy susan, and a walnut burl band separating the eating area from the lazy susan.

The pedestal base had four curved sides with similar quartersawn walnut veneer. For strength the structural base was a square plywood column inside the curved sides. The feet were also veneer over curved plywood over a plywood form, bolted to the column. The apron was bent plywood with a matching veneer.

Table base
Table before delivery

The lazy susan is slightly above the height of the table, and can be removed if necessary to clean spills. The eating surface of the table was built in two halves so that it could be delivered and moved more easily

See the construction details for this table below.

$6,850 as shown
substantially less for smaller sizes
(e.g. a table 4 feet in diameter would seat 6 easily and cost about one third as much)
Other woods, veneers, and features available

Other ideas for your consideration

I recently designed an oval table with a walnut starburst (similar to the round table above), 92 x 38 inches, four legs, top approximately 1½ inches thick, that I could make for $3,400.

A similar walnut starburst on a rectangular table, 40 x 60 inches, would be $2,400.

I would be glad to build almost any type of dining table for you. In addition to writing tables and the dining tables above, I have rebuild several tables with leaves, and built replacement leaves for several more tables. My personal bias is for a table with legs at the four corners, since I have long legs and don't like a pedestal in the middle, but sometimes a pedestal is the best solution, such as the round table above. The real decision is "whatever you want." As always, I am glad to build using solid woods, plywood, or veneers of exotic woods over plywood or other base.

Dining chairs require lots of unusual angles and joints, so custom dining chairs are often much more expensive than factory made chairs. I would be glad to work with you if you want custom chairs, or as a compromise, I can get pre-cut parts for some chair designs, so that the chairs are completed and finished as part of this project.

What not to do

This interesting glass-top table, with exquisite craftsmanship, was exhibited at the 2010 "Texas Furnituremaker's Show" in Kerrville. Someone came up behind me and asked what I thought of it. I said "not much room for my long legs if I were sitting at that table." Well, he said, "maybe it could be an entry table." Not many houses I have seen have room for an entry table the size of a dining room table. Turns out it was the craftsman that I had just insulted! He would be glad to sell you the table for $8,222. Recently I heard that this really is an entry table... in a hotel lobby.

Construction details of the large round table.

The table above took three months to build. If you want me to build one like it for you, hopefully the next one will go faster, since I have kept the special forms for bending wood.

The starburst pattern on the lazy susan was made from 36 precisely cut pieces of veneer, taped together before being attached to the top as a unit.

Once the veneer is glued to the plywood backing (with solid walnut edges), the tape is removed, and you can see the starburst. After this step, the bearing (1000 pound rated load) is attached, and the edge is trimmed round using the final bearing to rotate the lazy susan at the cutter, so the edge will be precisely aligned when the final lazy susan is rotated.

A similar process was used to tape together the pieces for the outside (but with about 60 pieces of veneer, since the circumference was larger). The quartersawn walnut provided a very straight grain pattern, but only in very narrow pieces of veneer. The burl band was taped separately, then both the burl and the radial pieces were cut (using a custom made template) so they could be joined before being glued to the tabletop. Like the lazy susan, the top was trimmed round after the veneer was attached.

Since someone might step on the feet, the braces were left in place... this is the underside of the feet before the veneer was applied and the edges trimmed. Then adjustable feet were added at each corner of the big foot (total of 8 felt feet touch the floor, two per large foot)

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We primarily serve Austin and the Central Texas area, but travel to the DFW area periodically and are glad to serve the Garland, Plano, Dallas, and other North Texas areas, and are willing to ship anywhere.