Mesquite Table progress

Hello All,

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything. We just had a really great Thanksgiving Fair. We so enjoy sharing it with you all, and I want to extend a big thank you to all who attended, both for your friendship and your support. We had just over 23,000 guests in 2 days!

That said, I haven’t progressed on this as far as I wanted these last two weeks, but I am working on this 22 foot long Mesquite conference table. So far, nearly everyone who comes into the shop wants to ask questions about it. At this point, I have poured over 7 1/2 gallons of Epoxy into the cracks and voids (welcome to working with Mesquite).

I am estimating that it will weigh about 2,000 lbs as a whole. It will be shipped in two pieces, and the customer wants me to crate it (two crates) so he can pick it up on a flatbed semi-truck. At this point, I have gotten most of the boards planed and ready to assemble into the top. I discovered that planing epoxy and Mesquite together dulls the knives quite fast! I get about one board planed before needing to stop and sharpen the knives. Thankfully, I do have a knife grinder mounted on the planer so it’s not too bad.

My goal is to have the two large slabs glued together by years end. I have the trestle feet joinery started and it’s coming together. Does anyone have good ideas on flattening both big slabs simultaneously? I want them perfect and flat and can only lift one at a time using a crane…  I’m actually considering using a floor sander…. it is the size of a small room… about 125 square feet.

Wood sprayed down so I could see the color. For those who know our shop, you can see the workbench in the background for scale…


8 Boards for a large top! Both outside live edges are end matched.


These are the start of the trestle feet.


Mortise and Tenon joinery. And no, I did not cut them all by hand, a hollow chisel mortise machine is a good thing for certain projects. In this case, it’s not a substitute for quality though.


6 Responses to Mesquite Table progress

  1. Garrett Foreman December 11, 2018 at 1:16 PM #

    Mark these look amazing; I think your right on with having to use a floor sander to flatten especially with the amount of area your talking about. I’ve watched a couple of youtube videos recently on flattening slabs. Not sure if they would be useful to you but thought I would pass along:

    This one uses a router sled (I know routers..blurg) but it does seem efficient (however it may not be wide enough):

    This one uses a large random orbital sander:

    Keep up the great work!

    • Mark Borman December 11, 2018 at 3:13 PM #

      Hi Garrett, the router seems to me it would work well, but a carriage to do it would be a bit cumbersome. I thought about driving it down to berdoll Sawmill and getting him to plane it on his planer… it would work, and probably well but I don’t really want to haul 2,000 lbs of table top all the way there and back… and then still need to sand it… I could see the orbital working. I’m thinking about a floor buffer as well like 18-20″ diameter disc…

  2. DAVID DALTON December 11, 2018 at 1:51 PM #

    That’s a really massive project, Mark !!! Will there be a single long trestle, or two trestles (i.e. 4 uprights ?) I’m impressed hat you are willing to take these big projects on.

    Sorry to have missed the Thanksgiving weekend fair this year, but sounds like a rousing success.

    Have a blessed Christmas — of you folks at Homestead Heritage. I’d love to drop by and catch you woodworkers one day, and see this beautiful beast of a mesquite masterpiece.

    Peace of Christ for the Season

    Dave Dalton

    • Mark Borman December 11, 2018 at 3:08 PM #

      Hi Dave, this nice fellow came touring through and asked if we did custom tables and when I said yes he told me he would be in touch. I offered him several other woods, but he really wanted Mesquite. I tried 8 mills and finally found one of our guys here in Waco with all the wood I needed. There will be four trestle legs, essentially two separate tables that fit together. At this point the table is due to be finished in mid February. I’d love to see you and catch up, please drop me a note if you are happening to come over this way. Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas in Him!

  3. Bill Stuewe December 11, 2018 at 7:45 PM #

    Mark, I flatten 12′ tops on my setup all the time and have the rail material to do 20′ If I could get 2 more 8′ sections I could do almost 24′. It would take a bit of rigging to get the rails and bed perfectly flat over that distance but I think it could be done. It will do about 7′ wide. click on this link and scroll all the way to the bottom and watch the last video. I am using two PC 3 1/4HP routers with 2 1/2″ spoiler bits (carbide inserts). I take 1 1/2″ swaths about 1/8″ deep per pass with each router so about 3″ per pass. It would probably take about 3-4 hours to do your table both sides once set up (not counting flip over time(:
    How are you joining the ends to connect the two sections? Could we plane it before you do that?

  4. Joe December 11, 2018 at 8:50 PM #

    All I can say is WOW! You are doing an amazing job. Thank you for sharing with us