|Project by fissionchips||posted 11-08-2015 08:32 PM||1036 views||2 times favorited||11 comments|
A dining table built for functionality and longetivity.
The top is a slab of Spanish Cedar, recovered from Lake Bayano in Panama. In 1979 an entire tropical forest was submerged when Lake Bayano was created as a hydroelectric resevoir. The native tree species are extremely rot resistant, so they stay preserved in the freshwater indefinitely.
To recover underwater trees local workers don diving suits and attach plastic float drums around the trunk. The tree is then cut ‘down’ using vegetable oil lubricated hydraulic chainsaws, ready to bob up to the surface and be wrangled to shore by boat. Coast Eco Timber is an FSC certified producer who works with the community to develop this capacity to harvest and mill wood for export. [Youtube]
The slab started at 40×56x3”. An inch or so of sapwood was removed from either side to get rid of some deep chainsaw gripper teeth marks. A narrow band remains on either side, adding a lighter accent colour. Incredibly there is also sapwood in the middle of the board at one end indicating a very wavy trunk profile. In fact the cedro espino trees sport rather malicious looking trunks.
The base is 3×4” white oak milled from an urban-felled tree. The material was fully air-dried when I aquired it, always a windfall for hand tool work. I’m a big fan of custom milling as the pieces retain features and grain that can’t be found at most wood dealers after grading and sorting. I experimented with several methods for the charred finish, and found the most consistency and grain retention using a heated iron (picture 5). Both sides of all seven base pieces have a rounded taper profile, a trick that lightens the visual weight without requiring much material removal.
In retrospect the piece has loose nautical ties. The top edge took on a line resembling a ship’s hull, and the base is a variation on Nakashima’s Frenchman’s Cove II table. The table has been in use for a year now and has held up very well.