Ancient Celtic Clans

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Celtic Dining Table

Date Started - 05/23/2007
Date Completed - 06/20/2007

Sources: Learned of a "low" eating table found in the Black Bog, Tyrone Co., Ireland. Further pursuit of details lead us to learn that it is housed in the British Museum. Attempts to contact them for detailed information have not yet been answered.

Notes: Getting a consistent split in the wood was problematic will require some practice. Some of these issues were because of knots and natural twists in the grain, however. (The remedy for which, we've been told is learning how to select good wood from the start!) Adzing and using the broad hatchet was also found to be much more rapid and effective than draw kniving the boards to the desired dimensions.

Update: After requesting additional information from various historical forums (read original thread on Kelticos and Armour Archive) we were able to get a couple of illustrations of the Tyrone table. While that was good news, now that we can see what it looks like, it also means we were way off base with our design.

This illustration was discovered from an online source ( by John Olinger on Kelticos.

Dan marks a cut line with the wedge

Once underway, the froe was used to guide the split.

Two boards, only 3 more to go.

Shaving the boards down to a nice size.

Twisting the freshly steamed board and holding in place until it sets.

Even after steaming some of the boards were twisted enough that we pressed them flat before drilling the peg holes.

Amy shaves a leg for the table down to size for the 1.5" hole.

Final completed shot. You can see the grain twisting that we were fighting against. SO much was learned about working rived green wood that we can't wait to get started on another table. Over all the table is 22"x48"x18"(height)

Although the Tyrone table is packed away in the British Museum, "Æiric Ørvender" at the Armour Archive was able to develop this schematic based on conversations with the currators there.

A better solution ended up starting the split with an axe. then working the wedge.

A knot interfered so we went back to using wedges instead of the froe.

The boards all rived out, and ready for the shape to be refined with a drawknife.

Even after smoothing and adzing down some of the high points steaming helped to take out twists

The boards all shaved and mostly shaped just before being pegged to the frame rails.

The table top pegged and almost ready for legs. At this point we will do a final cleaning and smoothing.

All pegged, legged and ready to go!