|Project by pickpapa||posted 09-19-2011 04:50 AM||2223 views||19 times favorited||34 comments|
My beloved wife of 21 years has always wanted her own harvest table for Thanksgiving dinner where everyone could sit at the same table. The first year we had it, there were 12 of us sitting rather comfortably around this monster. The story behind this project is both simple and complex. Let me try to shrink it somewhat.
She loves quilt patterns and just asked one day if I could duplicate a quilt pattern with wood. It sounded simple, and I had plenty of short pieces of 8/4, so why not.
I used a piece of 3/4 CDX plywood, !!! first mistake !!!! which should have been 3/4 paint grade 11 ply birch. I used 1×2 poplar to create outside corners around the edge and also to partition off 21- 1 square foot sections. My wife printed out numerous patterns which we place in the blocks in an effort to not have similar geometric designs beside one another. I then had to do MATH. Some patterns were not meant for 12 inch blocks so I had to re-figure them to make them work with the layout. I had chosen a total of 17 different species to simulate fabric colors and patterns. They are as follows: Poplar, Walnut, Yellow Pine, Heart Pine, Antique Fir, Maple, White Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany, Spanish Cedar, Cypress, White Oak, Red Oak, Alder, Aspen, Cherry, Eastern Cedar, and Osage Orange for the rays of glory coming from the Cross. Everything on top of the table is 3/4 inch thick. There are a total of 737 pieces inlay with 9 pieces in the block with the least and 72 pieces in the one with the most. The apron is also poplar, and the legs are white oak which I salvaged from another table bound for the dump due to the fact that it was MDF and over used.
It took three years from start to finish, but that was mainly due to not having the means to re-saw the 8/4 in half. Once the company I work for moved me from service on the road to inside the mill in the 17000 sqft custom department, I had access on a daily basis, and thus the project had a shot in the arm and was finished in five months of weekends after being at a stand still for two years.
I used a belt sander, then random orbit to level and flatten the surface. I made up nine different sawdust putties for different colors of wood. I discovered how hard that stuff is once it’s cured. Also, I found that soft woods like cypress next to harder ones like poplar do not sand evenly so there are highs and lows, almost ripples on the surface, but it’s done. The finish is Teak Oil, which dried for 72 hrs, followed by finishing wax. I am, however, unsatisfied with the way the wax turned out. I’m seriously thinking about refinishing it with tounge oil, or wipe on poly.
I’m glad to finally be able to post this and welcome all comments and questions. Thanks for looking.
Chuck aka (Pickpapa)
-- Chuck.. aka Pickpapa`'`'`'`'`'` The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. Heb. 1:3