|Project by JayT||posted 09-10-2015 01:55 AM||2232 views||12 times favorited||24 comments|
Oh, the places you’ll go.
The proverbial journey of this table was long and convoluted. It all started over a year ago when I purchased a maple burl slab from another woodworker at a yard sale with no idea what to make with it. I just knew it was cool and a bargain price. Fast forward a couple months when my wife and I were on vacation at the Amana Colonies and ran across a gorgeous, one of a kind, slab top desk at Amana Furniture. That started the thinker going.
I was working on a couple ideas when my wife mentioned that it would be nice if the table could provide some additional wine storage. Yeah, I can work that in. Several more go rounds of design and this was the final Sketchup plan.
Realizing that this design would push me in some areas, I decided to build a prototype out of some reclaimed redwood left over from rebuilding our front porch last summer. It was a much better choice than practicing joinery on some really nice walnut.
The prototype came out well, but the base looked/felt a little heavy and my wife and I agreed that some proportions needed tweaking on the final table. Taking those into account, I started laying out and breaking down a couple slabs of walnut for the base. You can see the differences in the last project pic.
The walnut slabs came from the same tree, so color was not going to be an issue.
Once parts were roughed out, I made a negative space template out of some posterboard in order to find the best grain alignment for the arched pieces.
Lots of hand tool work went into the project. Legs were tapered by hand with a jack plane. All mortise and tenons are hand cut, and I even had an excuse to buy a new tool to work the arches—a Stanley #20 compass plane. There is a learning curve (pun intended), but it’s a very handy addition to my plane addiction . . . . . uh, collection.
After laying out and making the holes in the arches and the four top supports, sub assembles could be glued up.
The last major step was to pull out the maple slab and start working it over.
Got it scrubbed off and mostly flat with hand planes and then placed a call to a fellow LJ for a bit of assistance. DrDirt kindly helped me to finish flattening and thicknessing the slab with his wide belt sander. Thanks, Dave. After that, voids were filled with tinted epoxy and everything was planed and sanded to a smooth surface.
All that was left was finish. Natural Watco Danish Oil on the walnut and the same, followed by multiple coats of satin wiping poly, on the top. Got it all waxed and assembled tonight.
If you made it all the way through this long winded and picture heavy post, then your journey was nearly as long as mine. Hope you enjoy and thank you for looking.
-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson