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Mesquite Slab Table #4: Sneak Peek

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Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 04-25-2018 08:31 PM 780 reads 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: No Looking Back Part 4 of Mesquite Slab Table series Part 5: Finish Finished and Done »

I still have a way to go but I thought I’d post a sneak peek of where I arrived at in terms of design.

As of now, the slab just sits atop the two walnut uprights without any form of connection. Since I flattened the underside of the slab as well as the finished side, it’s rock solid and doesn’t move unless the top is picked up. I thought I might use wedged thru mortises of some kind to keep everything stable and connected, but the mesquite is actually pretty heavy and doesn’t move unless the intent is to do so. However under consideration is cutting loose tenons from some cherry and have them pass thru the top into the walnut and then wedge them from the top with some walnut. I could also create tenons on the top of the walnut uprights and then do non-thru mortises. Both options are always a possibility, but I like the look of the natural slab and maybe that would spoil the look. Nakashima also always seems to keep the slab free of anything that would take away from the natural appearance. Actually in some instances, he used screws from the underside to secure the top.

As for the base. The stretcher may get shorter and/or both walnut uprights may get pushed further to the center as the table looks more like a bench than a table :) It’s also a little taller, at 17” than I think I want it to be. I left the walnut uprights a little longer incase I wanted to make the M&T connection. I guess I’ll have to do some sketches to see what appears best.

I just set this up to get a feel for the stability and to see how well my hand work was. I’ll have to say myself, it wasn’t bad at all and the base is rock solid. Here are some progress pics.

Unfortunately I didn’t have any 8/4 cherry and sourcing stock here in Pittsburgh has been more difficult than I anticipated. So I had to laminate the 5/4 I had. I’m not thrilled seeing the seam, so I may try to mask it by finishing the cherry with a stain that will more closely appear as aged/oxidized cherry, making it darker. Then the entire base will get an oil finish to complete it. Work remaining is to hand scrape and apply finish to the base components. I also need to complete the finish on the top.

So far this has been a really fun fun project and something I actually have a need for :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)



26 comments so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10979 posts in 3601 days


#1 posted 04-25-2018 10:32 PM

Very nice. The seam doesn’t look terribly awful. The legs and top will blow the viewer away.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

3210 posts in 1497 days


#2 posted 04-26-2018 12:24 AM

That is awesome wood Bill, I love the way you did the stretcher! Thanks for building that for me, I’ll PM you my shipping address.

I don’t think the stretcher will shrink to any critical extent. I vote for non-through tenons, but you only need one in the center of each leg. If by chance the stretcher does shrink, you can always pare off a little of the tenon.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2650 posts in 1113 days


#3 posted 04-26-2018 12:37 AM

Thanks Gene. I think I can work and live with the seam in the cherry. I didn’t get a pic of it, but it actually has some neat figure along the top that’s book matched. It’s even more apparent in the sap wood. Hopefully when the finish hits it that will bring that out further.

Duck lol Well I do appreciate the idea that someone else would want something I made :) That’s a complement of the highest order.

I don’t think the stretcher will shrink either and actually it’s a pretty tight fit without any kind of pinning. The tenons would be for the slab to hold it fast to the walnut uprights. But I think I’m forgoing them and allowing gravity to do it’s thing. Should the slab go moving about I can always make them or come up with another solution.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

3210 posts in 1497 days


#4 posted 04-26-2018 12:47 AM

If you do need tenons down the road, just make some loose tenons not glued.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2700 posts in 755 days


#5 posted 04-26-2018 01:03 AM

Bill, you do good work, and you’re moving quickly. When you’re done with Duck’s table, you can make me one!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

3210 posts in 1497 days


#6 posted 04-26-2018 01:17 AM

Hehehe!

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View swirt's profile

swirt

3304 posts in 3144 days


#7 posted 04-26-2018 01:27 AM

That is well on its way to being a nice looking table.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10979 posts in 3601 days


#8 posted 04-26-2018 01:30 AM

Well, as long as we’re putting our orders in, put me down for one, too. Heck, I’ll even supply the mesquite slab.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2650 posts in 1113 days


#9 posted 04-26-2018 12:30 PM

OK ok. lol Gee wiz guys. Now you’re blowing air up my shop smock lol At least Gene will supply the slab ;P And I’m not sure why he would need me to make it for him. I just saw his beautiful river table. That’s a stunner Gene. Don’t know how I missed it. Really nice work! Actually your projects list has quite a lot of beautiful work. Wow!

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10979 posts in 3601 days


#10 posted 04-26-2018 02:11 PM

Many thanks Bill. It’s too bad you’re not closer. I have a nearly inexhaustible supply of mesquite slabs nearby. Cheap, too. The slab used for the river table was about 50% bigger and I paid $20 for it. Got enough left for a nice sized end table.
How do you like working with it? I love it. But, I’m weird.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2650 posts in 1113 days


#11 posted 04-26-2018 03:29 PM

$20? :O Yeah I paid a bit more for my slab :( Can I order some and have it shipped freight? :)

I actually liked working with it. Mills pretty nicely. Just had to make sure I kept sharpening the irons on my planes often, but really just to touch up the edges to they took clean whisper-thin shavings.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10979 posts in 3601 days


#12 posted 04-26-2018 05:26 PM



$20? :O Yeah I paid a bit more for my slab :( Can I order some and have it shipped freight? :)

I actually liked working with it. Mills pretty nicely. Just had to make sure I kept sharpening the irons on my planes often, but really just to touch up the edges to they took clean whisper-thin shavings.

- builtinbkyn


Packing and shipping would probably eat you alive.:-) My slab was 3” thick, about 6’ long and, in places, 24” wide. Didn’t weigh it but it was HEAVY! Took both the wife and I to muscle it out of the truck and on to the bench for prep work.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6593 posts in 1311 days


#13 posted 04-26-2018 06:32 PM

Hmmm… a table where you sit adult beverages on a large, heavy slab where you’re


...allowing gravity to do it s thing.

- builtinbkyn

Nah, I don’t see any possible issue there. ;-) In all truth, I probably would add some loose tenons just in the event someone bumps it or kids decided to use it for a jungle gym or drunk uncles get in a fight at Thanksgiving.

Table looks great. Good design decisions all around. I was leery of the woods you chose but after seeing it together, they’re great choices. I really like the inclusion of the sapwood on the Walnut. Put me on the pre-order list too! ;-)

And I’m with you Bill, $20 for a slab of Mesquite like Gene’s? I’ll take at least a dozen!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2650 posts in 1113 days


#14 posted 04-26-2018 06:50 PM

Ah no kids but I do have some lush friends. The slab is pretty heavy. May have to see how it goes before committing to tenons though.

Yeah a dozen of those slabs would be nice. Maybe we can combine an order and see where that goes in terms of cost :O

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6593 posts in 1311 days


#15 posted 04-26-2018 06:58 PM

I’d be on board with that Bill. I probably wouldn’t really need a dozen ;-) But I’d definitely take a few at anywhere near that price if freight was reasonable!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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