|Project by Eric M. Saperstein||posted 05-06-2012 05:33 AM||1618 views||2 times favorited||7 comments|
So one day Mike and I wander into a local lumber yard and as usual we ponder over the various interesting slabs of wood. So began the bubinga project last summer … we blogged it so take an interlude trip into the prequel stories here: http://lumberjocks.com/EricMSaperstein/blog/23767
This project started out as about an 11ft 6” slab – if you notice the markings on the image while it was still sitting at the mill that’s a piece of admissible evidence in my case against my father and partner (Mike Pietras) whom elected to knock it down to 8ft while I was conveniently out of the country last August. They claimed it would sell easier and that there was a weird warp in it … apparently it jammed up any sander or planer they attempted to put it through. So off to the CNC deck it went for leveling; when they found it to be warped off went 42”.
So now we had a nice 8ft live edge bubinga slab and a matching 42” cut off (sooner or later we’ll get to work with that for a matching coffee table probably …)
We kicked around all sorts of ideas for a base for this slab, knowing we were going in new directions and it had to be unique. We quickly gave up on any thought of wood, the normal path of slab legs, trestles, or a typical four legger just had no appeal. Mike had just finished the dovetail concrete bench (
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/65492) and it we had been working with ideas for concrete … obviously that is the direction we took.
The angled “T” shape is Mike’s doing – he’s the modern specialist. We played around with a foam mockup until we figured out what we liked. Then built the forms and cast the bases. These are solid fiber reinforced colored concrete. The color is all the way through, not painted or surface. The graining is also solid concrete its not going to wear off. We can do this with any combination of colors, preferably at least three to make the contrast interesting. We can also include glass, metal, tile, or stone into the mix to make an even more unique pattern.
Finish is a process of working with epoxy and tung oil … our own tricks. The net result is a pretty hardy finish that works well with such a tough wood. Shown in the photos is my friend metal artist Erik Hendrickson who is playing with fire dust. The fires are lit on cast metal plates directly on the surface of the table – no trivets or barriers. No damage, not even a mark the wax and carbon wiped right off.
Going forward – well there’s several slabs in our inventory of various different kinds of wood as well as a stockpile of lumber. We’re also thinking about flipping the concept and doing some concrete tops on wood bases. Of course there is glass and metal to intertwine as well.
None of this is entirely new, materials are combined all the time. Wood has been around for just a little while, and concrete certainly longer than I have. Our goal is to do it a bit different – come up with the unique designs that get attention and ultimately make the sale!
-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com