View Full Version : Auction Table

Jim Tobias
04-19-2008, 6:26 PM
Every 2 years the private school where I work as Facilties Director has an auction to raise funds for unfunded capital needs. I have always volunteered to build something and donate it to the auction. This is a huge event as they have silent and live auctions, drawings for all sorts of things and a dinner and entertainment to boot.
Anyway, I was working on this hall table up until the last minute trying to get enough coats of Target USL on it and dried so I could get the finish I wanted on it. As alwasy, I got it to them the day before the auction.
The table was mae form the following:
Legs - Honduran Mahogany
Feet on legs - Ebony
Aprons and frame of top - African Mahogany
Veneer panel on top is a 4 way bookmatch Yew Burl veneer wiht an ebony inlay surrounding it.
I finiished it with a a coat of shellac to pop the grain,put on a few coats of target water based filler (very easy to use, but does not fill on a single coat), and then about 8 coats of Target USL. This is the first time I have used their products and I found it to be very, very easy to spray right out of the can. I have not sprayed a lot of finishes in the past. A few deft spray cans here and there and a little poly. I had mostly used wipe on oil finsihes(Watco, Minwax Antique Oil, etc.)The target USL has changed the way I view spraying a finish. I have to admit, I was a little intimidated to jump into spraying. I was concerned about a very long learning curve and ruined projects, not to mention clean up. Well, this experience really cvhnaged all of that. Also, I am only a satisfied customer, not connected to Target in any way(other than sending them some of my money for their products).
Any and all design feedback(positive and negative) is appreciated.


Jim Becker
04-19-2008, 6:28 PM
Simply beautiful! I hope it brings in what it is really worth at the auction, too...it's great work.

I feel the same way about USL and the other Target finish products. Good stuff.

Bert Johansen
04-19-2008, 6:31 PM
Wow, Jim, that is a fantastic piece of heirloom furniture for whoever ends up with it. Hope they appreciate that incredible work that went into it. Thanks for sharing.

Bob Rufener
04-19-2008, 6:31 PM
A really nice design and the booked top makes it very special. Should bring in a lot of bucks for the school.

Victor Stearns
04-19-2008, 6:38 PM
You Sir are very talented. And putting your gifts to good use by donating the table place you at the top of my list. Keep up the great work.

Duncan Potter
04-19-2008, 6:49 PM
That is beeootiful.

Could you discuss adding the ebony feet to the legs. I have admired that look on several pieces but have never seen the process described. What substrate did you use under the veneer?


Reed Wells
04-19-2008, 7:08 PM
Jeeze the layout and position of that veneer is beautiful. Great job!

jim sauterer
04-19-2008, 8:27 PM
great job love the table.i hope they appreciate how much time and money that you have in this piece.hope it brings a lot of money for the cause.

gary Zimmel
04-19-2008, 9:04 PM

Beautiful job on the table. I bet it will bring a high price at the auction..

Ron Jones near Indy
04-19-2008, 9:19 PM
Simply fantastic! Whatever the winning bid was, it wasn't high enough.

Jim Tobias
04-19-2008, 9:19 PM
Thanks for all the kind comments! The table brought in $475. I would have to sell it for more than that if I were selling it, but that's the beauty of a donation. Furniture is never a big seller at these auctions, but I have to do what I can do. I cannot donate a vacation home for a week or an auto or other goods or service so furniture or a box or jewelry case is what I give.
Duncan to answer your question --- I marked center on small blocks of ebony and the bottom of the legs and drilled 5/8" holes, then used oak dowels to put them together. Then to the bandsaw for cutting the tapered leg (on 2 inside faces). Then flush trim bit, then hand scrapers, then flex sanding strips (a la David Marks). Same on the aprons.
The substrate for the top is 1/2" BB ply. I usually use MDF, but did not have any 1/2", so used the BB.


Greg Cole
04-22-2008, 8:46 AM
Hi Jim,
That came out VERY nice. The top is gorgeous and I like the accents of ebony in the "right" places.
Making me think I should get it in gear and finish up my hall table..... err my sisters soon to be table.

Well done sir.

Jim Tobias
04-22-2008, 10:04 AM
Thanks Greg, the yew burl is really a gorgeous burl. I used the African Mahogany to tie in wiht the yew burl color, but wanted a contract to break it up and the ebony seemed to fit the bill.
I know what you mean by your comment... "Making me think I should get it in gear and finish up my hall table..... err my sisters soon to be table."
I have so many "close and extended family projects" that I could do this full time and still never get caught up.


Martin Shupe
04-22-2008, 11:14 AM

You hit a home run with that one.

What a beautiful table!

The only thing that disappoints me is the selling price. $475 is way too cheap!

Thanks for posting your beautiful table for all to see.

Jim Tobias
04-22-2008, 12:59 PM
Thanks Martin. As for the selling price/bid, I would never make one of these for $475. However, as stated earlier, furniture items are typically not big sellers as they are cumbersome for people to "take home" and there are so many smaller items that are cash and carry. I am happy to report that we know the couple who bought it (my former vet and her husband) and they had a particular place in their house for it and seemed happy with the purchase.


Dave Avery
04-22-2008, 1:16 PM

That's SERIOUSLY nice work. Best. Dave.

Bill Wyko
04-24-2008, 6:11 PM
Beautiful Jim. I love using straight grain as a border then a beautiful burl figure in the middle.

John Thompson
04-25-2008, 8:35 PM
Nice job all around, Jim. The spray job looks really good.