|Project by Eli||posted 03-08-2010 05:34 AM||10301 views||20 times favorited||36 comments|
This is a reproduction I did for a client. They wanted it to look exactly like the one in the photograph (picture 3). I researched the table and found this style was originally by Gilles Augustin, although there are murmurs that he based it on an earlier form. The table measures 6’ wide, 3’ deep and about 38” tall (I think, I don’t remember the height exactly). I do remember that the table top was surprisingly low, around 28”. The butcher block part is hard maple and the rest is soft maple.
Almost every aspect of this table was an adventure for me. I was able to take the drawer fronts our of the aprons, so the grain flows straight through. I located an iron yard outside of Boston for the corner brackets, although I had to bend them myself. The elephant in the piece is the top. It’s an end-grain butcher block and was dished out, like the original. That was a pain. The table was finished with two dyes, oil, and wax, except the top. Despite the client’s assurances that it was a show piece, I wasn’t comfortable dyeing the top, so it’s just oiled and waxed, both food safe. Finally, it was distressed. I tried to be realistic with the distressing. That means no keys and no nails. I used edged tools, and an occasional mallet, in “realistic” ways. At one point, I took a break from denting mouldings and came back to my girlfriend pretending to “chop vegetables.” Adorable.
The piece goes together in 4 parts: the base, the moulding under the top, the top, and the back-board. It was done this way because the base only made it through the door by 1”. Also, the top itself was really heavy, so the more we could break it up, the better.
In the end, I was satisfied with the piece and, more importantly, my clients were. I learned a lot of new techniques and even more about client relations.