Elm TV stand/coffee table. 1785 New England barn beam transformed!

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Project by CampD posted 05-18-2013 12:45 PM 3180 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I present my greatest “rescued from the woodpile” salvaged piece to date.
Where I live and the proximity to some great Timber framers, from time to time I get asked to help out with a barn restore or tear-down. This particular barn had collapsed few years back during a heavy snow accumulation year. Most of the barn was in pretty bad shape but some was salvaged. I was able (with some persuasion) to procure a 8” x 10” x 5’ section with-out knowing for sure what type wood it was (we had done some tests and most of the beams where Chestnut but this section had different properties). Took it to the sawyer and after the first cut we knew what I had.
Quarter sawn 250 yo Elm. If any have worked on and smelled Elm they will know what I mean.

This piece just kind of transformed into a TV stand as I was building. First took the 2 center cuts to make a book-matched breadboard end top. I was going to make the base using rustic logs but once I finished the top and poured some oil on it, wow! what color and I knew I had to use the rest to make a complete piece out of all of the stock. I wanted to keep it clean lined, shaker style to keep with the age of the wood.

Table is 19” x 42” x 20”H and construction is mortise and tenon, tapered 2” thk legs. Hand-cut dove-tailed birds eye maple drawers (that I found at HD) with soft-close drawer slides (had to have some modern to it). Finish is 3 coats Danish oil, natural and 2 coats hand rubbed paste wax.
I included a close-up pic of the top to try and show the color but it just doesn’t quite show the depth of it.
Already have had offers but I don’t know I may just keep it.

-- Doug...

8 comments so far

View Stephen Fox's profile

Stephen Fox

110 posts in 3632 days

#1 posted 05-18-2013 02:03 PM

So many barns in my area falling down and rotting away. Great to see that at least some can live again and that exotic woods don’t have to come at the expense for old growth forests in distant lands.

-- Stephen NYS

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2428 days

#2 posted 05-18-2013 02:39 PM

very nice,great build.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2743 days

#3 posted 05-18-2013 02:58 PM


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2928 days

#4 posted 05-19-2013 12:55 AM

A gorgeous project! That old elm is just spectacular. And you did it proud!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3305 days

#5 posted 05-19-2013 01:58 PM

Very nice!! Like the design.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 3954 days

#6 posted 05-19-2013 06:52 PM

very nice work

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View CampD's profile


1742 posts in 3724 days

#7 posted 05-19-2013 08:20 PM

Thanks all!
This project gave me a great satisfaction and pride knowing I was bringing a piece of history (elm is pretty much extinct in these parts) back to life.

-- Doug...

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2414 days

#8 posted 05-22-2013 02:02 PM

Marvelous table! Great design and joinery. A project to be proud of, you just created an heirloom piece.

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