SketchUp Pro, Woodworking Plans in Progress
Comments 16

Old World Table Woodworking Plan in the Works

I have begun work on my 15th free woodworking plan; a plan which may very well be my last free one (see all my woodworking plans here). A 2018 goal of mine is to return to trying to make money from the plans I create and to that end, I hope to make a series of more simple plans to be sold on Ebay. I have sold my plans in the past, but the income has been pitiful. Maybe this time I’ll at least be able to recover the cost of the software used to make them.

I have been trying to come up with a normal size dining table design. I have one dining table plan, my apartment sized table which is perfect for a small dining room or an eat-in kitchen area. But my wife and I are still using a hand-me-down dining table and it would be nice to have a hand crafted table for the more festive times of the year we actually use our dining room.

I had originally come up with a farmhouse table design which was totally without any amount of originality. It looked like a lot of tables I have seen online. This design therefore went nowhere. My wife, daughter and I are all Harry Potter fans and I like old world architecture (my wife and I once had the good fortune to tour the Cathedral of Cologne). So the idea of researching Harry Potter set design struck me as a good idea. I paid close attention to any table shown in photos via a Google image search…

Note the twin legs per side on these desks as well as the bold feet.

Based on this photo, I came up with an early design which emphasized a gigantic foot (known as the Bigfoot design)…

The dining table with the enhanced foot.

Note how the foot is mostly devoid of curves.

In order to make this pronounced foot design more like the Hogwarts classroom desk, I would need to enlarge the foot to allow for a larger radius curve along the top edges and I felt a larger foot would be out of proportion with the overall table size. I kept looking at more set design photos…

You can barely see the leg and foot design in these dining tables.

In the photo above, the Hogwarts Great Hall dining tables feature extra heavy timbers for legs and the foot design is equally huge. I worked on integrating something along these lines for the table and then I recalled the cover of an old Fine Woodworking Tools and Shops issue which had a killer shop photo…

An amazing assortment of molding planes, but look at the foot of the workbench. The workshop of the late Eugene Landon.

After looking at Eugene Landon’s workbench, I felt the foot profile which is almost like an ogee shape was too ornate. But I also remembered the foot design of Kelly Dunton’s combination outfeed table and workbench…

Then there is this workbench by Kelly Dunton.

This design I like. I added it to my dining table which I had originally called “A Wizard’s Dining Table” but decided to remove the connection to Harry Potter and simply went with “Old World Dining Table.”

New foot design.

Note the beefy legs with chamfered edges. At one point, I had two panels in the leg assembly and even a gothic arch, but all of this seemed to add a lot of mass to the design. Plus with chairs in place, nobody will see these things so they came out. In the end, I kept the center stile which adds a see-through feature and a slender upright rectangular shape which I like. The heavy rail at the bottom is necessary so I can add the through tenon for the stretcher. The table top has a significant undercarriage which can be seen in the image below…

The undercarriage has a nice profile to their ends.

I just love this quarter-sawn oak material on for the SketchUp model.

The table top has some larger than normal (for me at least) pegged bread board ends and I added the super cool dark quarter-sawn oak material to the SketchUp model.

A view of two pages as they look now; its possible they will change a little as the woodworking plan develops…

Woodworking plan cover page.

Exploded view showing main joinery detail.

So, I am well underway on the new woodworking plan. The cut list is relatively short which is good because I hate making the cut list and I am working on page 6 which begins the explanation for constructing the leg assembly.

By the way, I did finally pull the trigger and upgrade to SketchUp Pro 2018. I now have access to their Style Builder program which gives me a multitude of options for applying line styles among other things. This feature will give me more control over adding hand drawn effects to my SketchUp models.

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Have a question or comment about this post? Leave me a comment below; but I also like email. Use my contact form to send me an email (click here).


  1. Hi Jeff,
    I enjoyed the journey on how you arrived at the design. Great looking table – I wish you all the success in recovering your costs and hopefully more!

    • Thanks Brad. I have had a number of people tell me I should sell these plans, but since the income has been so low, I have just given them away for free. But, a recent conversation with another woodworker got me interested in selling them again. So we will see. 🙂

  2. bruce lehman says

    Thank you for including me in your emails. I to love to make wood projects. mI also look forward in many more plans from you,
    Thanks Bruce

  3. Great plan Jeff! I may grab this plan from you, I love the design and need a Dining table now that we have just moved. What do you think about using bolts in the bridle joints instead of dowels so you can take it apart and move more easily? Would there be any downside?

    • So, your comment got me thinking. In this design, I made the top removable, but not the undercarriage. I got my tape measure out this morning and the assembled table minus the top won’t fit through what I consider a standard doorway. So I altered the design to make the undercarriage removable too.

      The changes are notches in the end undercarriage pieces so they fit securely in the legs, but will not get glue. I made the dowels longer so they can be tapped out for removal of the undercarriage. Thanks for your comment, it led to a significant design improvement!

  4. Jeff, a beautiful design! I also love the story behind how you came up with the various elements included in it. When it comes time for me to make a proper dining table, I’ll be circling back to your plans.

  5. David Chang says

    Nice plan Jeff. I respect your dedication to using Sketchup and all it’s abilities. It seems like it has come a long way. I wish I could afford the pro version. Maybe when I retire since it takes a lot of time to learn. I always enjoy your posts.

    • David, you can still get SketchUp Make 2017 for free and it is what I used until just recently. All my other plans were illustrated with images from the past free versions of SketchUp. I would download SU Make 2017 while you still can. It looks like SketchUp is transitioning to a web version of SketchUp which is good, but at present has some significant limitations for woodworkers. For all SU downloads, go here…

      Thanks for your kind words,


  6. Your devotion to this skill is heart-warming. It is interesting to compare the tables in Harry Potter. I wonder what they patterened thier ideas from? Amazing!

  7. Oh this is going to be just such a beautiful piece upon completion and thank you so much for sharing all the thought and time you are taking in the choosing. Just a wonderful photo/essay. All my best to you.

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