|Project by Schwieb||posted 10-05-2014 11:44 AM||1596 views||1 time favorited||20 comments|
Making custom pieces for family and friends is a real joy for me to do. I had the opportunity to make this table of my own design for my friends Jack and Mari. Jack was one of my professors in dental school, and we have remained colleagues and friends for over 35 years. The provenance for the table begins with the marble top. It was a fireplace mantle in a home in Indiana built in the 1850’s by Mari’s great-grandfather. Her grandfather then owned the property and in 1922 the home burned down. The broken marble top was salvaged and has moved, passed on, and stored for the past 90 years.
The broken top was repaired and I basically designed and built a table around it. We felt it was important to keep the original size and the crack just added to the character. The first challenge was to find some walnut. I had crossed paths through my woodturning club, with an elderly man that said he had a “shed full” of walnut and cherry he had sawn up in North Carolina many years ago”. I gathered as much as I could afford and brought it to the shop. I glued up and turned legs, nothing fancy. I was thinking a simple table with traditional mortise and tenon joinery, half blind dovetail drawers with simple wooden slides, built up moldings and trim details. For example the drawer fronts came from a single board so the grain pattern is continuous across the front. The little inlay detail under the front added a little flair the project and softened the design a bit. It is all solid walnut except the drawer bottoms.
I also decided to make a hidden compartment in the back of the center drawer to store details of the history of the piece for future generations. I used some small rare earth magnets to hold the compartment in place.
The finish is tung oil and Watco satin wax. They are coming this afternoon to pick it up, I do hope the like it, but if the don’t I’d be glad to keep it. I estimate I have about 80 hours invested in this.
-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.