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Teak wood tables

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Project by Charles Maxwell posted 2348 days ago 4843 views 5 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When Ronald Reagan decided to beef up the US Navy to 600 capital ships, he brought back to life 4 of our famous WWII battle wagons! On 22 October 1987, the USS WISCONSIN was officially recommissioned and placed into active service. I was a LT at NROTC, University of Wisconsin – Madison and I volunteered to act as the Navy’s liaison to the State’s historical society and helped to create static displays of ship’s memorabilia for display around the state. Before the year was out I received a call from the Oscar Meyer Co. in Madison asking me to, “come and get this crap out of the refrigerators!” I did so and found among “the crap” many decayed USS WISCONSIN teak wood planks that didn’t make it into the static displays. Damn the luck! That week I bought my first Delta contractor’s table saw and I trimmed away the decayed wood. What I found was a lot of pristine teak preserved beneath the rot!! These tables are pieced together with that preserved teak wood. The tops are 3/4” teak and white oak strips to give the appearance of a ship’s wooden deck. The legs and skirts are white oak. Finish is high gloss, hand brushed Minwax Polly. It took many years to finish these tables because I didn’t have access to the tools necessary to do the job correctly. So, the unfinished table tops traveled from duty station to duty station until I finally made it to shore duty in 1995. That’s when I finally put legs on the tops! It took several more years before I could sand and finish. I guess these table will always be a work in progress. The magazine table design was inspired by my wife. She found and purchased an old broken magazine table at a garage sale that she thought we needed to fill our empty newlywed apartment! When that table finally died, a piece of our hearts went with it. So, I made this magazine table in honor of the memories we cherish as newlyweds and our old broken garage sale table!

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com





21 comments so far

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 2351 days


#1 posted 2348 days ago

all I can say is wow! Looks great!

View CedarFreakCarl's profile

CedarFreakCarl

594 posts in 2640 days


#2 posted 2348 days ago

It’s always amazed me that teak was used on carrier decks on the older ships in the navy. Great score and beautiful tables! RR would be proud! Great story.

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1274 posts in 2359 days


#3 posted 2348 days ago

Very nice indeed, excellant work!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2574 days


#4 posted 2348 days ago

Great looking tables!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Greg Salata's profile

Greg Salata

122 posts in 2348 days


#5 posted 2348 days ago

Great looking tables…......excellent story.

Nicely done.

View schroeder's profile

schroeder

664 posts in 2711 days


#6 posted 2348 days ago

Wow! -Nice work!

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 2378 days


#7 posted 2348 days ago

Hi Skipper, Wow, nice story on how you got that treasure trove of wood. As usual you did a fine job with it as well. Just a little side note. My uncle and God Father was a photographer and did printing on the USS Missouri. He had pictures that no one has ever seen. He is gone now but truly a likeable guy. I miss his stories on the Japanese surrender in their harbor. Those tables are too nice to have outside hurry up and get them indoors. haha. Great stuff.

-- Rich, Nevada,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2408 days


#8 posted 2348 days ago

These are gorgeous pieces of furniture and I love the story behind them.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15627 posts in 2804 days


#9 posted 2348 days ago

Great job. I love these!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Blake's profile

Blake

3434 posts in 2460 days


#10 posted 2348 days ago

These are awesome! I love the navy ship deck theme but the story tops it off. These are now not only an heirloom but a piece of US history. Just so cool. Congratulations on sticking with this project through the years and the moves and seeing it through to it’s completion. Worth the wait.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14346 posts in 2652 days


#11 posted 2348 days ago

Great story, good use of historical material and very good craftsmanship. It took awhile to finish them, but they look like they were worth the wait.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2461 days


#12 posted 2348 days ago

Great tables, and I love the historic aspect of the wood. Thank you for serving our country.

View relic's profile

relic

343 posts in 2523 days


#13 posted 2348 days ago

These are a really nice set.

-- Andy Stark

View Hibernicvs's profile

Hibernicvs

65 posts in 2454 days


#14 posted 2348 days ago

On Wisconsin … Go Navy! The history of the teak reminded me of something I read about the restoration of the U.S.F. Constitution. They couldn’t find enough seasoned white oak in the right size, until somebody remembered that eighty years before (I think this was in the 1920s, so 80 years would have been about right for the shift from wood to iron vessels) the Navy had purchased a lot of huge trees, cut them into timbers, and sunk them into a freshwater pond for safekeeping. The timbers were still there, good(er) than new, well-seasoned and ready to go. (I got that out of the old “Landmark” series book on the U.S.F. (for “Frigate”) Constitution, so my information is only as good as theirs.) I never got to see too many vessels during my father’s Navy service—he was Commander of the Base Hospital at China Lake, and there aren’t too many Navy vessels that have the draft for the Mojave Desert …

-- Hibernicvs

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2833 days


#15 posted 2347 days ago

Great story to go with the beautiful tables you’ve made. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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