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Thread: Hickory Dining Table

  1. #1

    Hickory Dining Table

    I started on my biggest project to date, a hickory dining table. It'll be 4×6' without its leaf, and 7.5' with it. Both halves and breadboards are ready for tenons/mortises but I'm trying to decide what looks best: sapwood out or heartwood out. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Clarks Summit PA
    Heartwood out - it outlines the table nicely, creating a border.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    So Cal
    I like it with the sapwood in. Don’t really think you can call it breadboard ends more like bread board sides.
    Are you sure you want to add that much long grain to the end grain.
    Hickory is pretty powerful wood and will not let you slide if you make a mistake with your jointery.


  4. #4
    Each top piece will be 3 feet by 4, with the breadboards going on the 3 footer. The full 6 feet won't have to move.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Susco View Post
    Each top piece will be 3 feet by 4, with the breadboards going on the 3 footer. The full 6 feet won't have to move.
    Even with just 3 feet, if you don't allow for seasonal moisture movement you will end up with a split, possibly several, in your table surfaces. I made two hickory dressers that I didn't adequately allow for seasonal moisture changes and all four end panels split, they were only about 18" wide. The pop when they split was so loud we could hear it from the next room.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 01-31-2020 at 10:44 AM.
    Lee Schierer
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  6. #6
    Right, that's the point of the breadboard ends. The table top will be tenoned, and the breadboards mortised. The mortise at the center of the table will be snug, but they'll get looser to allow for the movement as it goes out towards the ends of the table.

    I'm just mocking up the final look for thoughts on grain direction, I haven't done any of the joinery yet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    SW Michigan
    I like the sap on the outside. That hickory looks nice, much better than the rustic grade I'm used to seeing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Light wood on outside, all the way around IMO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rainey View Post
    Heartwood out - it outlines the table nicely, creating a border.
    +1 the darker heart wood frames the panels and the eye is drawn in by the lighter sap wood. The sap wood on the outside does not create as stark of a border as the heart wood.

    I am a big fan of the look of hickory though it is not the easiest of materials to work with. I think your table is going to be stunning.
    Last edited by Joe A Faulkner; 02-09-2020 at 8:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Austin Texas
    I like the darker outline too. I have worked with lots of pecan (very, very similar to hickory) and can testify to it's unforgiving nature when it comes to joinery. It is hard on chisels and tennon saws. The grain can be very striking. I don't know exactly why, but I am not a fan of running the table top boards crosswise as you are planning, but it is your table (not mine) and I imagine it will come out just fine. Thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Sap out for me. More natural looking.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Phoenix AZ
    Dave, did you ever finish this?
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

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