Piecrust tilt top table, finally after 8 years


Hi friends
It’s been a long time since I posted my last project, I’ve had some but nothing I felt of consequence.
Here is a Piecrust table I’ve been working on and off (mostly off)since July of 2009 I started a blog on it and never got that finished.My apologies to those who were following it. http://lumberjocks.com/a1Jim/blog/10077
This project was a big experiment for me since I’d never carved anything before and had never made a table anything like it before. I usually don’t use plans but this was a project I didn’t have a clue where to start so I used Charles Neil’s Router technique for the top and got the other details from a book called “Making a Piecrust Tea Table by Tom Heller & Ron Clarkson” pretty much a step by step book. I’m a little underwhelmed with the end product but as someone’s tagline says”better done than perfect” as if there really are perfect projects?
Thanks to my good friend Charles Neil for his great routering technique and for his help with finishing and other questions.

Some of the mistakes I made are:

(1)Using Poplar for this project my thought would use this as a low cost but I should have used a higher quality wood worth all the hours put into this table. plus it seems to be tough to carve and sand.

(2) I used a power carver to carve the details in the pedestal .legs & ball and claw, these and all the details on the routered top took me months and months of sanding to get a halfway presentable look.
This is why one of the new skills I ‘m starting to learn is traditional carving making clean cuts with no or little sanding.

(3) when finishing I should have know that the end grain areas around the ball and claw would turn much darker than the rest of the table, this caused much more hours of trying to sand out the darker areas of hard to sand details.

Thanks for looking I’m sure real wood carvers will get a kick out of this:)

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That is a beautiful and amazing build. I can’t imagine ever being able to build that. You are “upper crust” Jim, congratulations!!


“Upper crust” I get it ha ha
Thanks for your nice comment Jack.

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Beautiful Table, excellent workmanship.

-- Soli Deo gloria! ( To God alone be the Glory)

Truly a thing of beauty.

look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a big hunk of the bowl I was turning.

Thanks for your nice comments folks.

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Ta,Ta,ta! Nice finish!

Thomas J. Tieffenbacher/aka docSavage45

:) :) :)

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Ah I recognise that pie

Regards Rob

Poplar not a very tasty pie :)

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Your talent definitely show in your work . Fantastic job .


Thanks, Bruce I appreciate your nice comment.

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Good morning, can’t believe I missed this one, exceptional work !

wood wolf

Thank you, Dandy and William.

Happy new year

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I can see why it took so long, Carving is a talent beyond me at this point. Thanks for the insights into the process.

James J Tillman


I wonder why I missed this fabulous feat! I’ve always loved these tables and you really delivered an exceptional table. I would not have guessed that it was poplar. My guess would have been cherry (which does make a good pie).

By now you’ve had a while to admire it and forget all the difficulties it caused you. You should smile with pride every time you look at such a fine accomplishment.


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

That table is amazing. Beautiful job! You did a great job on the carving.