How a Table Gets Made

One of the best things about being a custom woodworker is that I get to work with great people.

I recently made a 70″ round sycamore table for Steve and Andrea Luebbert here in St. Louis, and it was a great experience. The process of making their custom table is a perfect illustration of how things work here at David Stine Woodworking. Here is how a table gets made:

1. Though many people find me on the Internet,  I meet most of my clients at shows and events or through referrals from existing clients. I met the Luebberts at an event in St. Louis. The process started when they later contacted me about making a round table for them. They had a specific size in mind, and I came up with a design and sent them a sketch. We then met and discussed details and came up with a final sketch over the course of a week or so:

Sketch for the round table


2. After they approved the design they came out to the farm and wood shop to choose their wood species and their boards. They chose sycamore for their table, a beautiful choice. To make the table, I used three sister boards. The wood was sustainably harvested and milled last year, and the boards were dried and ready for the right project:

sawing sycamore copy

Sycamore slab


3. After the boards were chosen they were sawed, planed, and glued together:

The boards are glued and clamped together.


4. After a few days of drying, the boards were flattened further then cut into the rough circle of the table top:

4. cutting


5. Then, the top was sanded to a smooth finish:

5. sanded


6. The hallmark of a David Stine piece is the finish. Hand-rubbed linseed oil is my preferred finish, and I use about 20 coats in all, meticulously applied by hand day after day until the finish is smooth as silk. Why linseed oil? Linseed oil is natural and clear. It doesn’t change the color of the wood; rather, it enhances and protects it. When applied correctly, it forms a durable, naturally waterproof finish, one that brings out the natural beauty of the wood. On this piece the Luebberts wanted a darker tone so I stained the piece before applying the linseed oil.

6. oiled


7. The clients chose a simple pedestal base, also of sycamore. Here’s the table, all done and ready for delivery:

7. round table final


And that’s how it’s done here at Stine Woodworking!