|Project by Manitario||posted 01-20-2013 07:22 PM||5707 views||30 times favorited||43 comments|
Like so many of my projects, this started off with my wife wanting to buy a piece of furniture. She’d been bugging me that we needed a new kitchen table and started sending me pics of tables from stores…I told her that there was no way I was going to pay money for something that I could make.
I’ve admired the slab furniture on LJ’s and really wanted to try making a slab trestle table. I’ve used elm before and I really admire its rich grain figure; as well I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba which unlike most of the cities in N. America still retains most of its elm forest, so I have a certain nostalgia for elm.
When planning this table, I thought it would be relatively simple to make; a couple of weeks of casual work to throw it together. As I started the work though I realized that this was a huge undertaking. The joinery is simple; basic mortise and tenon construction for the base and only one glue joint for the top, but it presented several serious difficulties due to the size of the pieces. The bookmatched slabs for the top came “planed on on side and jointed on one edge” but in reality the top was not flat and the edge was not at 90 deg. After several very awkward attempts to feed the 80lb slabs through my 6” jointer I gave up and used a #7 plane which was still awkward given that the top is almost 3” thick. After I got the edge jointed as best as I thought possible I glued the top together; which ended up with an almost 1” cup from edge to edge. Time for more hand planing. And more hand planing. And hours of sanding. Then filling most of the cracks with epoxy which I dyed black. Finally, almost 3 months after I started the “two week” project is done!
Finish is 8 coats of Minwax “Tung oil” aka wiping varnish progressively sanded up to 1000 grit. The bowties are walnut. Now comes the fun of making benches and chairs….
-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil