Kitchen Table – Pickled White Oak with Hairpin Legs

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The finished table. “Pickled” Quarter Sawn White Oak with breadboard ends and hairpin legs.


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1 inch and 2 inch Quarter Sawn White Oak from my friendly neighborhood hardwood dealer.


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The 2 in. thick wood was substantially more expensive than the 1in. thick wood so I glued together 1 in. pieces for all the center boards. The outer edges and breadboard are 2 in. stock.


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Lots and lots of work on the thickness planer to get everything to the right size. Here is one of my helpers. Yes, shoes are ABSOLUTELY required in my shop. He just happened to be playing in the driveway and wanted to help shopvac so I made an exception.


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All the boards planed and rough cut to size. You’ll notice the center board are two sticks glued together


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I glued up the tabletop in thirds so I could run each third through the planer again. I had some extra pieces of maples which you see on the outside to help even out the clamping pressure and not make marks in the oak.


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The final glue up. There’s cauls in the middle and clamps on the ends to try and keep it as flat as possible.


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I cut out the tongue for the breadboard end with a router and a straightedge. There was a lot of material to remove and the tongues were a good 1 1/2″ so this took quite a while and made a big mess. Here I’m cutting out the “shoulder” of the tongue. The edge of the tongue was cut about 1/4″ narrower than the grooved breadboard to allow for wood movement over time.


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I screwed up and made one of the tongues just a little too thin so the grooved breadboard sat on their too loosely. I had some extra thin oak lefotver from cutting the boards to size so I glued them on both sides as shims. I then went back to the router to get a tight fit.

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Here is the breadboard ends before I hogged out all the wood on the router table. It took a long time and, like the tongues, made a big ol’ mess. The groove is about 1/4″ deeper than the tongue to allow for wood movement.


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The breadboard end with all the wood removed from the groove. It’s hard to see in this picture but that groove is a full 2″ deep.


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Cutting the holes through the breadboard for the 1/2″ dowels.


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Now that the breadboards have the holes predrilled I fit them onto the tongues, made sure they were dead flat with cauls, and drilled through the tongues.


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After drilling the holes all the way through I removed the breadboard and applied glue to just the middle third of the tongue. I also elongated the tongue holes on either side using the router and a straightedge. Again, the elongated holes and partial glue up are to allow for wood movement of the breadboard.


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I got some help from my #2 man pounding in the dowels. The center dowel was glued all the way through while the edge dowels only got glue on the top third


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All the dowels pounded in. Once the glue dried I cut them close flush with the router and then sanded them completely flush.


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Marking the holes for the hairpin legs. About 1 1/2″ from the long edge and right up against the breadboard end. Legs are 28″ high and purchased from


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I used threaded inserts and #10 machine screws to mount the legs. Wood screws wood have worked but I wanted the option to remove and re-attach the legs without screwing up the holes. The nuts are on there to help screw in the inserts.


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The completed tabletop before finishing. I sanded to 220 and then blew all the dust out of the pores with the compressor. The finish is Minwax White Wash Pickling painted on and then wiped off 3 minutes later. After that dried I gave it four coats of Minwax water-based polyurethane in satin.

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