|Project by Tennessee||posted 09-13-2012 01:25 PM||2341 views||4 times favorited||19 comments|
My wife and I visited an artist’s fair at our local museum a few months back, and we viewed one vendor with a raw edge plank table similar in size to this one. He had this convoluted system of small pieces of wood all glued together for the leg system, and my wife said, “What a shame, the top is nice.” Then we looked at his price tag of $1295, and I knew I could do better.
This is a plank of walnut taken from the middle of a log my wife and I found on the side of the road. After chain-sawing it out, I planed it still wet until I reached this thickness. Then it sat on my table saw bench for about two-three months while I watched it slightly warp, cup, (not split), and I monitored the moisture content until my meter started giving me readings in the 8-9% range. The bark and even the moss was purposely left on. I then lightly sanded the top, and simply poured on a thick glaze coat with the board slightly slanted, allowing the glaze to “flow”, (a fair amount ran off), causing a thicker section in the cupped center, some little places around the edges where the glaze is so thin little bits of wood stick up like rocks, and I purposely left even the still green moss on the bark edge, which stayed under the glaze. It was allowed to dry for three days, then the edges were sanded sharp so I could mount legs.
Then I took some local cedar I had taken down five years ago and had planked, and looking back through my woodworking mags, found a type of leg I wanted, save the legs in the magazine were four pieces. These legs are one single piece cut from a single plank, slightly thinner than 3/4” Very delicate, and one leg did explode during the mortise operation, causing me to build another leg. They are rounded over on all edges. I needed a brace in the middle to mortise in, and I remembered a branch in the corner of my shop from the cedar tree takedown that I was keeping for something, this was it. I resawed the center of the branch out and formed the tenon joints, allowing for the natural bend in the cedar branch. That is why the mortise and tenon joints are not centered on the X of each leg.
The overall look is one of water flowing down this walnut plank, with rocks, moss, and other little bits of debris that would be in a stream, although to touch it, mostly it is mirror smooth.
The remaining legs and brace are 6 coats of gloss lacquer, buffed and waxed to make sure they are not as glossy as the top.
Thanks for looking!
-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com