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Greetings all,

I am a brand new woodworker with rough carpentry skills, but no experience in finish work. I have a few questions I hope the group can help me out with concerning this table made by Hudson Furniture:
:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:

http://hudsonfurnitureinc.com/Occasional_Tables/WALNUT_STICK/collection

I'd like to create a similar one of my own, but I'm not sure where to start.

1) Is there a good website for me to source the walnut? Or should I find a local supplier here in Salt Lake City, UT?

2) I thought I'd find a cylindrical form (maybe a bucket) that would allow me to fit the outside perimeter pieces of walnut in place and then fill in the inside pieces until everything fits snug.

My question is how should I join the inside pieces together so they don't shift and move?

3) How should I affix the outside perimeter pieces of the table so they firmly remain in place without visual nail holes? I've thought about glue, but the glue would not have even contact with the interior sticks of walnut and I'm worried they won't stay.

Many thanks in advance for your suggestions!!!!
 

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where's my table saw?
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go in person

A local source will give you a chance to see the wood in person and choose the grain and color you prefer.
As far as how to build it, the outside "staves" have bevels on both lengths, not much, probably just a few degrees. You can rip them on your table saw or set the jointer fence over a few degrees. On the tablesaw the beveled rip on one side can become the opposite face for the next piece. You save time and material this way.

Your idea of a cylindrical form is good, how ever it must be straight walled to work, a bucket won't be. Another method is to cut 2 circles from the inside of square pieces of plywood, leaving a 3" minimum perimeter for strength. Then support the squares with plywood on at least 2 sides at the desired height. This is your building form. Now you can start placing the strips around the interior of the form and secure them with a touch of hot mely glue while using actual wood glue on the bevels. You can also make 2 tapered plugs for each end to force the strips into the form. Or you can find a beach ball or basketball that fits inside and then inflate it to press against the insides to hold the slats.

The infill of full length strips will make the entire thing very heavy. I would use a different method which would use shorter pieces supported on a form on the inside to decrease the weight. An overturned pail or plastic bucket with a circle of plywood cut to the interior dimension would support the short pieces at the same distance off the bottom. It will be important to get the top surface as level and flat as possible or you will be in for a long sanding or planing spree.

The process is called "coopering" or barrel making, but there are some differences in making real barrels with steel hoops.


 

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Old School
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We have an introduction section where you can say a few words about yourself. If you fill out your profile in your "User Control Panel", you can list any hobbies or other facts. You can also list your general geographical location which would be a help in answering some questions.

I would start with cutting two plywood circles about 1½" narrower in diameter than the finished overall width. I would use one for the bottom, and one for the top, maybe 1½" down from the overall height.

Cut the outside pieces the length for the height, and use glue and a pin nail to mount it to the edges of the plywood circles. If you didn't want to use a pin nail, you could clamp them. Depending on how they look you may want to bevel their edges (coopered) for a tight fit, or, maybe not.

You could add weight to the top of the bottom circle. So, basically, the outside is covered with the sticks. On the top piece of plywood, which is recessed, cut short pieces 1½" to sit on top of the plywood, and be level with the outside pieces. Those can just be fitted in with a bit of glue.

If the bottom plywood is on the floor, use small nail in furniture glides (small button type) to space it off the floor.






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Old School
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Another Way

Using the same type of internal use of ¾" plywood circles that I already suggested, use 2 or 3. Take your wide lumber that you want to use, and cut it to the same length (the height). Then machine dadoes ¾" wide x ⅜" deep about 1" from the bottom and 1½" down from the top and somewhere in the middle (if you use 3) across the boards.

Then rip the boards to width. I looked at your sample table and it doesn't appear that they are coopered, as there is a defined space along the long edges. So, it may be unnecessary to bevel the long edges. Set the pieces on the plywood circles with glue. This would eliminate the use of mechanical fasteners. Then cut your short pieces to fill in the top.

When installing the pieces to the plywood, first stack the circles on top of each other and strike pencil lines for getting the outside pieces to line up on the plywood.






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Jack of too many trades..
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I was initially thinking that the table you've linked to is not truly made of all walnut "sticks" and featured a mosaic of short end-grain pieces of walnut on a hollow cylinder. However, it looks like this maker is really into walnut and wouldn't be cutting corners like that.

Were I to make this, I'd likely skip the joinery and go with glue.

Any way you go, I'd suggest just cut a bunch of pieces to length, lay out a length of a thin fabric mesh, place the sticks on the mesh, and then roll it up like a sleeping bag to get the desired size, and adjust placement to get the pieces to "fit" together better.

The big problem I see with a table like that is that you are likely to loose change, keys, jewelry, etc. down those gaps between the sticks...
 

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Master firewood maker
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that looks like a neat table. you might consider building in a little lip and getting a piece of glass to fit in the top to protect it and keep small items from falling into the cracks.

If I were to try to make it, i'd make a couple of round pieces out of 2x6 material doubled up at right angles to each other and glue the outside sticks to those. sort of like this:

I think that would give the frame enough surface area for the glue to hold. IU'd space them about 6-8" from the top and bottom. Then I'd fill it in above and below with sticks and glue them in place as I went.

I would leave a couple of outside pieces off until the end to help get the last few filler pieces in place. Then I'd put the last ones on to finish it up.
 

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