|Project by Triumph1||posted 09-08-2011 08:35 PM||2606 views||16 times favorited||27 comments|
Every once in a while I actually design something that isn’t a box. I was asked by a good friend to make a table for his newly installed restaurant booth area in his condo. The booth design was a collaboration between him and I and the table design started out the same way. Once of his hobbies is diving so “Manta” was a perfect name for the table!
For the main table portion he wanted a fairly thick slab. I started with 2” thick, rough cut, black walnut lumber. All but the two inner most pieces were 6” or less wide so I could flatten them on the jointer. For the inner pieces I leveled the boards on a flat surface and then screwed flat runners onto the sides. I then ran them through the planer to get one side flat. After that I removed the runners and processed them normally through the planer.
I wanted to make the grain look as if it was pulling your eye into the corner of the booth so board direction went from “corner to corner”. To enhance this effect even more I put a large taper on the two inner boards. That made all the other boards look as if they were angled. That is the main reason this build was so difficult. I laid out all my boards in a drafting program before starting so that I would get the least amount of waste. In the end it was a massive glue-up of twelve boards. Once all glued up I had to flatten this beast. I purchased a Lie Nielsen No.7 jointer plane to take care of this…wow is all I can say. I watched a video (three times) to learn about proper plane setup and went to town. A lot of muscle and sweat later and this thing was dead flat. Flattening something that you’re going to cut a 4’ x 4’ table out of is no small deal. Very, very impressed with the plane.
After flattening the table I was able to cut out the shape and start on the inlays. The large inlays are quilted maple with a African Blackwood boarder. I did this by inlaying the maple into the blackwood, flattening that in a drum sander, and then using a large circle template routing the round inlay shape out. The straight line inlays are ash flanked by African Blackwood. The curvaceous circle inlays are spalted quartersawn sycamore. The sycamore had a very distinct color variation in the board so I cut out pieces so darker wood would end up by the large inlays and the lighter wood would be in the middle. Gives it more of a 3D affect. Like it going under the large inlays.
I finished everything off with a large 0.7” chamfer on the bottom edge and a 3/8” chamfer on the top edge. I put four soakings of Danish Oil on and let it dry for a month. The reason for the long dry time is that I wanted to use a wipe on Polyurethane finish. I usually don’t use Poly but this is a table and not a box.
“Manta” is 48” x 48” x 1.75”.
We designed a stainless steel base for the table. The base in the pictures has actually been swapped out already.
I put three pictures of “in process” to give you a better idea of what I wrote. One picture shows me flattening with the plane, one of the lumber rough cut in pieces and the last picture of me doing the inlays.
Well, all comments welcom. I actually finished this project up five months ago but was waiting for better pictures. The last five months has been spent making a new box named “Talon”....putting the final touches on that in the next week! keep making that sawdust!
-- Jeff , Illinois Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!