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Assuming you’re building Pekovitch’s hayrake table as found in FWW (the sketchup drawing doesn’t reflect the curves in the hayrake), and that I made a very similar table in exactly that size (mine was a bit narrower as explained below), a suggestion or two...

Recheck you dimensions against architectural standards: That’s an excessively large table to seat ten and trestle-style tables tend to look better if they are not ‘wide’... It’s too early in the morning for a tract on design standards, so I’ll ask you to do the legwork on this.... :)  As a hint, locate a copy of Ramsey, “Architectural Standards”... It’s a college text and excessively expensive, but I believe there’s a PDF floating around. If you can’t find it, I’ll scan the relevant page on dining seating and dining table dimensions and PM.

Make the table 42” wide or less --- that way you can take the slab to a local cabinet shop and they can run it through the wide belt...

Since you list yourself as a noob-in-training, this is an aggressive project... There’s angled joinery and the overall size adds complexity... For example, the Roubo build is a novice project, but the size ups the skill-level to advanced beginner... The hayrake is certainly above the Roubo in skill-level... I’d execute the hayrake stretcher assembly in poplar, soft maple, etc before committing to Walnut... I'd also execute one leg in something cheap before committing to Walnut...

Buy all your walnut at the same time from the same lot. Over-buy for the top – if you screw-the-pooch and have to source more sticks for the top, then there will probably be some obvious color variations.

I’d hesitate in having the lumber yard joint the sticks... They’ll move once acclimatized to your shop... If you can’t do it yourself, then let the sticks acclimatize and arrange for a cabinet shop to joint them...

Don't want to discourage you, because it's such a great table... But it's a non-trivial build and you need to go in with your eyes open...


Good luck.



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Thanks @hhh! I'm following the sizing guidelines from Don Stephan,  It's definitely a stretch build for me which is why I'm designing it 6 months in advance of start time so I can consider all of the skills I'll need to get it done. Great point on the 42" so I can take it to a cabinet shop!

13 minutes ago, Mike. said:

+1 on everything Trip said.  I like the curves of Pekovich's design.  Yours loses the curves in favor of angles which I think misses the point.  Personally, if you are going to ditch the curves then you might as well simplify down to a standard I-shaped stretcher.  Use some through tenons or sliding dovetails in the stretcher assembly if you want to show off your wood-workiness and build some skills.   As it is currently designed, it strikes me as being complicated for the sake of being complicated.  Getting all of those angles lined up nice and clean without weird gaps is harder than one might think.  Of course, that is only one person's opinion and design is somewhat subjective.

I think @RenaissanceWW did an awesome job of balancing rustic and refined with this table.  The joinery is all clean and the dimensions pleasing.  He used walnut where a lot of guys use pine for this sort of thing.  He avoided the woodworker tendancy of adding doohickeys and flux capacitors (I am totally guilty of this).  Still not a trivial build but if you are still looking for ideas I think this is a good one.



I like Pekovich's curves as well but unfortunately the client, aka wife, does not. She said she like the design once she saw this one...

Good thoughts though! I remember Shannon talking about the table but didn't watch the build. I'll go check it out.


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