Woodworkers Source Blog
Finishing Tips & Project Help from Your Friendly Lumber Supplier

Blog Home > Woodworking Projects
Red oak and purple heart table by Doug Johnson

Red oak and purple heart table by Doug Johnson

This thing’s a beauty!

To help display red oak and purple heart (two featured woods this month) in a finished project, Doug Johnson built a table using both woods together.  Doug is the store manager of the Woodworkers Source Tempe location, and you can come by the store to get a look at the table if you want.

When you see it up close, you’ll realize it’s more than a table, it’s more like a 170-pound workbench . . .  one that you’d probably consider too nice for a exposing to the rigors of a woodworking shop.

He made the top butcher block style: uniform 2-1/8″ wide strips of lumber turned on edge and glued together to make the full width means it’s super strong and super stable.  He also laminated the legs to form 3-inch squares, and included a vented bottom shelf.  The overall dimensions came to 36″ tall, 36″ wide, and 72″ long.

You might be thinking that the story of this table should be called, “How Doug used 3 gallons of glue on one project,” but he’s also the pocket hole king.  He employed the Kreg K3 Jig for making a number of pocket holes on this table, too.

Get Lumber Prices or Purchase Online!

Vice President of Operations – Woodworkers Source
We’re a family-owned lumber & woodworking supply retailer with 3 delightful stores in Arizona, and 35 friendly employees.
Mark oversees the company and creates tutorials on wood finishing and woodworking tips for hardwood lumber.

Discussion, Questions & Answers

  • Ian Kimmins

    I am working on a school woodworking project where I use purple heart in a similar way. Its an accent streak surrounded by other woods. I was wondering how you finished this piece to keep the purple heart vibrant instead of turning brown?

    • I like to seal it with dewaxed shellac right after sanding. It seems to do a nice job of holding the color, but it won’t last forever. However, freshly sanded purple heart can look gray, so it may need to spend some time in the sun first. Dewaxed Shellac is not much of a protective coating, so from there it can be finished with clear lacquer, polyurethane or a water based finish. I would also buff it with a polish and paste wax. The killer of the natural color will be UV lught, so it’s best to protect it from prolonged exposure.

  • Gary

    Wow,beautiful job Doug. I really like the wood mix and I think that it will look even better as the Purple Heart darkens with age.