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What do we do with this WOOD?! #9: Two Cherry Slabs and a Mulberry Spat!

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Blog entry by Eric M. Saperstein posted 03-10-2012 06:07 PM 1688 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Blood Red Manzanita Burl - Another Cool Pending Project Part 9 of What do we do with this WOOD?! series Part 10: A Giant Walnut Butterfly »

Our quest for wood continued this past week – two amazingly figured cherry slabs jumped out at me while wandering through the local lumber mill. Positioned in a flipped butterfly position these two combined would make a great table.

I’m thinking of finding two old growth beams – reclaimed lumber – and forming a mortis and tenon “H” as a structure for the slabs. We’re going to setup to inlay the labs keeping all the edges live into the beams leaving just the long outer edges of the cherry exposed. The end grain edges will be fully inlaid into the beams as will the inside edges.

My debate then is if we will make the base of reclaimed beams or concrete. Either way – thinking four large pyramid legs that will mortis strait through the corners of the beams as support and stability factors will definitely apply with a large flat slab. I don’t want an apron, but we’ll see … maybe I’ll apron just the sides with the open cherry with a good inset so the edge of the cherry is still the primary viewpoint on that face of the table.

If we do concrete that would also be amazingly interesting. We’ve designed a method to create hollow concrete castings for the pyramid shapes. Working on submitting the designs for prototype molds to be cut hopefully by month end.

This – well IDK – it is simply cool. Time for a crazy concrete base, maybe contrast the natural random nature of this slab which will only be sanded and finished with a satin waterlox with some geometric concrete casting underneath it.

Like a pyramid, a square, and a ball … all in concrete perhaps even different color combinations in the casting IDK yet. Waiting for inspiration to settle in.

All these spec projects are being designed to expand our portfolio into the modern lines. Most will be available for sale shortly. My target is to have at least four new pieces done for our event in June (The 2nd and 3rd) – The Blending of Art and Wine at Hopewell Valley Vineyards.

Join us – check out the local artists and you’ll get to see some of these creations in person!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com



9 comments so far

View Marlabee's profile

Marlabee

1 post in 926 days


#1 posted 03-10-2012 06:39 PM

Wow…these slabs are gorgeous. Consider yourself quite fortunate to have found them. I look forward to seeing what you create from them. Good luck with that rather scary “first cut”!
Best of luck . . .

-- MarlaTheArtist

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

762 posts in 1906 days


#2 posted 03-10-2012 06:46 PM

The cool thing is – NO first cut … I’m keeping both of them entirely whole.

All we’re doing is edging, basically we’ll back cut just slightly on the three inlaid edges so that the surface of the edge on the exposed face fits perfectly into the inlay. The live edges all stay live – but three are covered by the beams they will set into.

The ends of the table will be basically bread boarded, but the joint will be traced as is instead of cut square.

Hoping it comes out right – of course the backup plan if we screw it up is square them up … but really trying to avoid that.

There are four more of these in the lumber yard – out of cash at the moment but still very tempted to buy the other four. Three tables matched – would make an amazing setup for a restaurant or high end hotel lobby or conference room.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7015 posts in 1961 days


#3 posted 03-10-2012 11:21 PM

yes Eric those are premium specimens for sure, the weight of this project is on your shoulders…lol…...do them proud…cant wait to see what you do, im not sure about how i would like concrete with the wood, but you do amazing work and Ive never disliked what you have done, so you must have a good vision of this project and how it will look…cant wait to see it…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

762 posts in 1906 days


#4 posted 03-21-2012 04:41 PM

Hunting for reclaimed walnut beams for this project … so far only luck is 3 8×8’s x 12ft in Wisconsin which I am highly considering ordering. Just hoping to find something local!

Didn’t anyone around here do something stupid and use walnut for an old barn beam ?

The joys of finding the perfect wood for a speculation project. Actually not horribly out of scope $1,500 delivered for the three beams is not bad at all. Trying to keep the cost of these crazy projects in check.

Building this to expand the portfolio – in the end I’ll have an out of the normal sized table worth $10,000 … some great photos of it and another very cool piece in my storage unit!

Someday we have to make chairs to match this – hard to describe where this is going but I will need pyramid base chairs (concrete bases) with an office chair swivel and a modern looking cherry / walnut seat and back … assuming that is I can find the walnut I want.

Need 8 chairs to make it a full fitted set … and of course concrete chairs are HEAVY must have wheels … now we have a $20,000 dining set …

Amazing how these things add up so quickly!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

762 posts in 1906 days


#5 posted 03-27-2012 05:59 PM

I think I found my walnut beam … coming up later this week from Delaware (assuming no disasters or odd interruptions … ) ... slightly smaller than I wanted but given all the weight factors here it may work out OK.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7015 posts in 1961 days


#6 posted 03-27-2012 08:17 PM

well i bet there are walnut beams laying under the steel tracks these trains run over…well at least i bet there use to be, down here in the south they use to cut all kinds of hardwood and use them for railroad…..but the bad part was they treat them in creosote…...Ive tried to salvage them before, but it just wont work…it goes deep into the wood, the smell is terrible…...so …i bet there is some old barn somewhere..with big fat walnut beams..covered in gray age…waiting for the day…someone tears into the old barn…..i hope these work , im sure you will make them work…as you do with all your pieces….cant wait to see what you come up with…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

762 posts in 1906 days


#7 posted 03-28-2012 03:39 AM

Yeah – rail road ties are a mess. So are telephone poles! – not worth trying to save!

I double checked the slabs today – the beam is 6”x6”x12’ ... I actually need 3 approximately 6’ beams … SO I’m gonna have it milled to 4” and 2” planks and then glue up the two 2” ones to make another 4” ...

The glue up will be the center beam as the seem will then be all hidden.

So give or take my table will be a 6 foot square (well sorta) it should be comfortable seating for 8 people. I just have to make sure the legs don’t interfere with seating. We’re going (so far) with four concrete pyramids tapering from 12” to 6” to put the table height at 31”. I want the concrete to pierce through the top of the table – just can’t be a pyramid as that basically puts a splitting wedge right through a beam. THAT will go bad … need a support ridge for it.

Old barns are always coming down, but not a lot of walnut was wasted in them … “unfortunately” ... for me!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7015 posts in 1961 days


#8 posted 03-28-2012 03:41 PM

i like the idea of the concrete coming up through the wood on the top, that will look good, im all for the mixing of different mediums..the base being 12 inches will not interfere with the chairs..sounds like your design is coming together…even back in the days those barns were raised, folks had enough sense not to use good walnut, i would thing that happening was far and few…but there is always something..and that is the hope of every wood worker, that someday i will come upon some hidden timbers…when i took down the house where i reclaimed all of the old antique southern heart pine, i found that they used a beam next to every window opening, they were more like 5×5’s…nothing but heart…i still have some, you work around a few nails but there was much to be salvaged..so you never know what is in the walls of a soon to be reclaimed building, and barns are maybe even more so the place to find hidden treasures…well…looking forward to seeing the end results here…let the saw dust fly….....

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

762 posts in 1906 days


#9 posted 03-30-2012 03:51 AM

The walnut beam will come up next week – it was pulled out today. Apparently has more checks than they thought but that should be OK I can work with that. I’ll break it and reglue it if need be. Even if I have to peg it up or do something odd w/ butterflies or something.

I’ll know when it arrives what we can do with it.

I like the reclaimed theme – and the tree is a storm fall I think or either way local harvest that had to come out one way or another. It’s a salvage.

Working on getting some heartwood pine still – it’ll come in sooner or later!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

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