Big Horn Tables in Winfield Walnut

Last year, in collaboration with Crosstimbers Woodworking, we designed and built a series of coffee tables and end tables for the Big Horn River Lodge in Montana.  Most of the walnut was salvaged from the rejected timber from the logging of a farm in Winfield, Kansas.  Photographer Steve Hebert traveled to the lodge and captured some beautiful images of the tables for us.

Walnut Long Table

The following are a series of photos of the construction of what I have chosen to call a “walnut long table”, featuring a large center cut black walnut slab about 2″ thick from Fall River, KS.   The legs are also black walnut from Boaz, KS.

Butterfly sockets along the seasoning check.

Removing material for a large sliding dovetail and dado for the cross brace.

Sawing the slope inside of the dovetail-dado (dovetail bit in router not deep enough).


Fitting the legs.  Lower right is a view of the end of the sliding-dovetail on the brace.

Settled on steel bolts over mating the legs to the brace with another sliding dovetail.

View from the “South” end of the table.

From the “North”.

Walnut Headboard-Chest

The walnut headboard-chest will have a “free-edge” on the top.  The lid will be “floating” within the top of the chest.  So the top edges need to be balanced out and given a certain quality of surface to fit  this application.


Below, I am cutting along the top edges with a medium sized gouge.


Below, a detail of the edge.  More adjustments will be needed as the bed progresses.


Walnut Headboard-Chest

Below are some pictures of the main carcass for the headboard-chest of a black walnut bed underway in the shop right now.  It was dry fit for the first time yesterday.  It was quite a challenge to get the nearly eighty hand-cut dovetails to mate properly.

walnut bed 3 (2)

The tops of the boards are still rough- they will be shaped a little- softened- but mainly left as is.  The lid will “float” inside the top of the chest.

walnut bed 1

A foreshortened side view.  Here one can see all the dovetails- yet to be trimmed- th chest will be taken apart and re-assembled a few times before final assembly, where after the pins and tails will be trimmed flush.

walnut bed detail 1

A detail of a Q.S. white oak butterfly- decoratively and hopefully functionally placed in a knot with a small split.  There are quite a few butterflies throughout the piece for the task of securing splits and abnormalities-  the joys of screwball  Kansas walnut.