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Dining Room Tables


birder53
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I'm a woodworker also (actually, a furniture maker; there's a difference), and I made my dining table (42" x 102") of solid 2" thick teak in 1983. I finished it in polyurethane and I leave it bare, always. It doubles as my office table when no guests. My wife lays out placemats when we have company over, for looks, only. The table is still gorgeous, even with the inevitable dings and scratches. We love it, as does everyone else who sees it.

It sounds gorgeous, and must provide a beautiful setting for your food.

Yes, LindaK, it's still gorgeous after all these years, not only because teak is so durable and pretty to begin with, but also all the unforgettable memories of my building it. Like the lumberyard guy who helped my friend and I go through and move several TONS of rough lumber when he heard what it what going into, and the special clamps I made to fasten it all together, and....

Ray

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  • 14 years later...

I now have my mother's table, which I would not have chosen for myself and which holds some not-altogether-pleasant memories, for both of us.  It was her formal dining room table (with matching sideboard).  I don't think it's the very best anything, but it was solid middle-class stuff from 1970.  It's now my everything-table.  

 

When I got it, about 3 or 4 years ago from my brother who didn't want it anymore, I resolved to reject its care with flourish, with the exception of basic cleaning, and barely occasional oiling.  Part of the reason for this is my inner child's enduring sulk; the other part is, I really do want a very different table to anchor my dining.  Also, it has rounded ends, and I hate rounded wood anything.  Basically, I want a very nice picnic-style table.   And I kind of thought that I would eventually get that, in my next. home or something.

 

Well.  I realized about a year ago that it was not likely that my life is going to actually involve me purchasing another very large table.  Because I am now middle-aged enough to be thinking, how much more shit you gonna buy??  With what money??  And -- why, again???

 

And I have concluded:  this is gonna be the table for the duration.  I mean, anything can happen.  But, what is probably not gonna happen is, me buying the 8-9 foot table of my dreams.

 

So then, I took a look at what I had done in the few short years that the thing has been in my possession.  The finish has scratches now.  DEEP scratches!

 

Some places, the finish looks like it has straight-up crazing!  You know, like with old ceramics?!

 

The half of the thing that sits in the morning sun looks . . . different.

 

My mother is so, so, so angry with me, assuming that its allowed in the afterlife.  THROO!!  She took so much pride in this table,  I remember being tasked with taking the Pledge to it WEEKLY as a child.  Repeat:  WEEKLY.  

 

Sigh.  

 

So now I am studying tablecloths.  I want a nice one that fits the whole table with all the leaves (I have some -- my mother's, all nice and white, some with lace -- which fit the smaller version).  I don't want the tablecloth to live on the table; I just want to have an option.  It's a hard purchase, it turns out.

 

Anyway, I also decided to get some placemats, since I'm going to behave like a grownup at this table now.  I got some nice linen ones, for company.  They don't match -- that was a bridge too far. 

 

And I got these rubber-plastic ones from MoMA, for every-day:

 

Doodle:

image.thumb.jpeg.3991cfacc36d80eb040e35926ceb562c.jpeg

 

And Scratch:

image.thumb.jpeg.8eeb7e8b1efa9c25c36ebb0c8a15bd85.jpeg

 

 

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42 minutes ago, SLB said:

When I got it, about 3 or 4 years ago from my brother who didn't want it anymore, I resolved to reject its care with flourish, with the exception of basic cleaning, and barely occasional oiling.  Part of the reason for this is my inner child's enduring sulk; the other part is, I really do want a very different table to anchor my dining. 

 

You've talked to your therapist about all this, right?

 

By the way, I do have experience with people who take things from their brothers, and who may have some issues with their mothers. And brothers.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 hour ago, SLB said:

I now have my mother's table, which I would not have chosen for myself and which holds some not-altogether-pleasant memories, for both of us.  It was her formal dining room table (with matching sideboard).  I don't think it's the very best anything, but it was solid middle-class stuff from 1970.  It's now my everything-table.  

 

When I got it, about 3 or 4 years ago from my brother who didn't want it anymore, I resolved to reject its care with flourish, with the exception of basic cleaning, and barely occasional oiling.  Part of the reason for this is my inner child's enduring sulk; the other part is, I really do want a very different table to anchor my dining.  Also, it has rounded ends, and I hate rounded wood anything.  Basically, I want a very nice picnic-style table.   And I kind of thought that I would eventually get that, in my next. home or something.

 

Well.  I realized about a year ago that it was not likely that my life is going to actually involve me purchasing another very large table.  Because I am now middle-aged enough to be thinking, how much more shit you gonna buy??  With what money??  And -- why, again???

 

And I have concluded:  this is gonna be the table for the duration.  I mean, anything can happen.  But, what is probably not gonna happen is, me buying the 8-9 foot table of my dreams.

 

So then, I took a look at what I had done in the few short years that the thing has been in my possession.  The finish has scratches now.  DEEP scratches!

 

Some places, the finish looks like it has straight-up crazing!  You know, like with old ceramics?!

 

The half of the thing that sits in the morning sun looks . . . different.

 

My mother is so, so, so angry with me, assuming that its allowed in the afterlife.  THROO!!  She took so much pride in this table,  I remember being tasked with taking the Pledge to it WEEKLY as a child.  Repeat:  WEEKLY.  

 

Sigh.  

 

So now I am studying tablecloths.  I want a nice one that fits the whole table with all the leaves (I have some -- my mother's, all nice and white, some with lace -- which fit the smaller version).  I don't want the tablecloth to live on the table; I just want to have an option.  It's a hard purchase, it turns out.

 

Anyway, I also decided to get some placemats, since I'm going to behave like a grownup at this table now.  I got some nice linen ones, for company.  They don't match -- that was a bridge too far. 

 

And I got these rubber-plastic ones from MoMA, for every-day:

 

Doodle:

image.thumb.jpeg.3991cfacc36d80eb040e35926ceb562c.jpeg

 

And Scratch:

image.thumb.jpeg.8eeb7e8b1efa9c25c36ebb0c8a15bd85.jpeg

 

 

 

Consider Rough Linen.  Free shipping today.

https://www.roughlinen.com/collections/linen-tablecloths-collection

 

My table cloth is not Rough Linen, however it is linen.

 

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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sigh. 

any natural wood and/or stained wood will change color over time and with exposure to strong(ish) light.

I made desks&office furniture 'to suit' our sun-room "office" - had to move the printer every couple weeks to avoid having a permanent 'discolored' spot.

so, that's a fact of nature and there's no ducking it except by keeping it covered.

 

obvious the top + extensions/inserts/leaves + etc can be refinished - eliminating/minimizing/hiding scratches and color changes.

 

from the photo, the top appears to be book matched veneer. 

that's a big red caution flag - veneer is thin.  a woohoo yahoo with a belt sander can grind through the veneer in seconds, causing permanent, non-repairable damage.

for refinishing, seek out a very experienced/reputable craftsman - it'll all be hand/slow power tool work and that = $$

 

if there's going to be a noticeable color shift, include all the chairs (?) leaves and etc with the effort.

 

meanwhile, enjoy a table cloth!  changes the room / decor to suit the season/occasion/whim.

you'll need different sizes for with/without leaves/extensions.  perhaps that explains the 400 million DW has piled up in the closet . . . ?

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17 minutes ago, weinoo said:

I think you both need therapy.

 

Retail therapy.  Usually works for me.

 

I'm pretty sure my current tablecloth is this one made in India, purchased from Sur La Table (but in navy):

https://www.surlatable.com/linen-tablecloth-70x90-white/PRO-4110573.html?dwvar_PRO-4110573_size=108inx70in

 

 

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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@AlaMoi Thank you so much! 

 

On reflection, I have a cousin who does some pretty fine woodworking, I might try to import him . . . I mean invite him and his wife and kid up for a [Working] Trip To The Big City.  

 

I actually do like things looking a bit aged/patina-ed; I just don't think that really works that well with this type of style (which you indicate as book-matched-veneer; plus all the edge texture, and the big ole' statement-legs . . .).  

 

On the chairs, we got rid of them way backalong, they had that old caning on the backs and were just a disaster.   But I hear you on the sideboard, which is displaying some extremely weird decay along its edges.

 

No one living from my family of origin approves of my chair replacement, but they do eat the food here.  And I think my mother might've been at least a little piqued (yes, therapy, I got it).

 

image.thumb.jpeg.c7f257f2d16701cb6aa0d6ee5e10d3bd.jpeg

Edited by SLB (log)
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happy to help.

be aware - book matched veneer of the width shown for a table . . . that's not currently available. 

 

my g-g-grandparent generation had a lumber and millwork business in the Catskills. 

being the baby of the baby of their families,,, I have multiple pieces passed down from them.

so when dithering over 'to do or not to do...' it's a no brainer.  an expensive no brainer . . .

DW has a 'family hutch' from the 1800's - dated/signed by all the relatives in possession down the line...

that's another 'no brainer' - touch it NOT.....

from a great aunt, I have a McDougall "Hoosier Kitchen Hutch" from the 1920's.  intact, never refinished - it's another item that fits the DO NOT TOUCH category.

whether to touch or not touch such items is a decision that may be based on market value.

 

basically it boils down to whether to cost of expert restoration has worth to you - and whether 'restoration' may/will destroy the value.

note however, 'doing no harm' is a perfectly valid approach - keep it - use a cover-up - the underlying piece remains there as before.

those are things so dependent on individual situations many many thousands of pages needed to 'cover all the options'

 

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I would just polish the bejesus out of it and let it tell its history.    Our dining table is an old French farm table.    Seats 8 easily, more, no.   It has cigarette  and hot pan burns, gouges from kitchen implements, impressions from grinders having been screwed onto it.    I polish it to a high sheen and think its just fine.    390309683_ScreenShot2022-09-20at6_43_13PM.png.41887cd7c8cf1fa5b3c3587fbf6c9eef.png

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8 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

polish the bejesus out of it and let it tell its history.

 

Good advice.  It's unlikely, @AlaMoi, that the cost of an expert restoration would be worth it to me.  The cost of a tablecloth, on the other hand . . . .

 

@weinoo -- very tippy top of Harlem.  I am on a bluff and get very nice light.  

 

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