|Project by justgrif||posted 09-07-2016 09:37 PM||757 views||2 times favorited||5 comments|
This piece was a commission, and the client selected this particular slab, which would not have been my first choice (I prefer clean looking walnut for these things.) Lots of cracks, divots, tearout, this and that all over the place. I spent a lot of time with dental tools and small files cleaning out all the little channels throughout. Eventually, I had to leave a certain amount of rough detail to just let the slab “be itself”, so to speak, opting to smooth and round the lighter colored edge to contrast the chaos on the top.
Because of the deep cracking in this table, plenty of reinforcement was necessary. There are three large-ish bowtie keys inlaid deep into the table holding three potential movement points in place. The client didn’t want to see these details so I located them on the bottom.
I flattened the slab with the “Offerman” router jig, and it went pretty well. I’m happy to have the jig for my next slab project, or possibly cutting boards.
The base of the table is made from 8/4 white oak and is very strong. I wanted to overbuild a modern looking base a bit to compensate for a relatively thin and irregular slab. The angled bridle joints were a lot trickier to get dead on than I anticipated but provided a great learning experience. I’m now quite hooked on cutting my joinery by hand where possible and leaving my table saw and other power tools for rough dimensioning only. My router plane gives a LOT more confidence when it comes to truing up tenon cheeks and the like.
Overall this project was a learning experience, and paid for a sweet new Veritas plough plane, which I’m about to use to groove a drawer for my current project, a Shaker side table.