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Live Edge Cherry Dining Table

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Project by Michael Sanders posted 411 days ago 1892 views 10 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The project started when a client asked me to make him some furniture from a 15’ long, 18”-22” wide 8/4 slab of cherry he had in storage. He had the tree taken down on his property on the sea islands of Beaufort, SC. I grew up in this area, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to work some local wood, especially cherry, which is pretty uncommon in the world of southern yellow pine. And it was a whole slab with live edges, the sort of material I always wanted to work with, but had never had the chance.

He wanted a small dining table for a corner banquet, and a coffee table. He had seen my previous work, and wanted me to build whatever I thought would be cool. He liked the idea of two individual slabs to create the table surface, but that was all the input he had. I could see what I wanted to build almost immediately. I put my thoughts into Sketchup, showed him the concepts, and cut the 15’ foot slab into 8’ and 7’ pieces. He also provided some narrower 8/4 stock from the same tree, and an additional small slab that I was supposed to be able to keep for myself. I loaded it all in my ragged little old Tacoma, and headed back to Charleston to commence the work.

I cut the 8’ piece in half to create the dining table top, which was to finish at ~39”x48”. I flattened the slabs with a router sled on parallel bars. The figure in the wood showed even through the rough surface left by the router, but after I sanded it from there it became apparent that I was dealing with some of the most beautiful cherry I had ever seen. Once I had them flat and cleaned the bark from the edges, I beveled the bottom edges of the 1 3/4” thick slabs to make them appear 3/4” thick. I did this primarily with a powered hand planer.

The base was sort of inspired by the work of Nakashima, especially his joinery techniques used to build the Conoid chair. I rough cut all of the extra material the client had given me, and started milling it when i realized that 2 of the 4 sticks he had given me were actually white oak. They were very rough and dirty when I got them and had no idea they we a different species until I pushed them through my jointer. I probably could have incorporated them into the design if I had known before I chopped them up, but inevitably I had to put the oak aside and butcher the cherry slab I intended to keep for myself. Bummer. I managed to make enough material out of it and complete the base, though slightly redesigned.

I finished it with boiled linseed oil, followed by Sealcoat shellac, and a 50% thinned Minwax semi-gloss poly, wiped on 3x. I finished the finish with steel wool and briwax.

This project came out fantastic and the client couldn’t have been happier. I will describe the coffee table more in it’s own story.

-- Michael Sanders, Charleston, SC, "Tight joints and clean lines"





24 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13258 posts in 936 days


#1 posted 411 days ago

Very nice work

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

3402 posts in 789 days


#2 posted 411 days ago

beautiful table,nice build.

welcome to lumberjocks!!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15404 posts in 1465 days


#3 posted 411 days ago

Nice work. It looks really good.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Arthouse's profile

Arthouse

226 posts in 1249 days


#4 posted 411 days ago

Love the simplicity of your design and feel you have a good eye. I wonder why you decided to leave a hole in the middle of a table. Good luck.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View Michael Sanders's profile

Michael Sanders

12 posts in 411 days


#5 posted 411 days ago

Thanks all! Arthouse, the client wanted to leave the slabs unjoined. He had seen a piece with two individual slabs before and loved the idea. Personally, i would have glued them up.
-Michael

-- Michael Sanders, Charleston, SC, "Tight joints and clean lines"

View kokayak's profile

kokayak

25 posts in 431 days


#6 posted 411 days ago

Beautiful!

View workerinwood's profile

workerinwood

2708 posts in 1666 days


#7 posted 411 days ago

Wow!! Very creative design, love the wood-great job. Thanks for posting and welcome to LJ’s

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View scrollsaw's profile

scrollsaw

13026 posts in 2452 days


#8 posted 411 days ago

Nice job.

-- Todd

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3560 posts in 2174 days


#9 posted 411 days ago

Nice work Mike.
And welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Having fun...Eric

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#10 posted 411 days ago

Welcome to Ljs
Fantastic table

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

3014 posts in 422 days


#11 posted 411 days ago

Wow really beautiful table. This table and the coffee table are two great projects….well done.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View Devin's profile

Devin

162 posts in 2126 days


#12 posted 411 days ago

Nicely done, love the design of the base, big fan of Nakashima and his Conoid tables.

-- If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

View Michael Sanders's profile

Michael Sanders

12 posts in 411 days


#13 posted 411 days ago

Thanks for all the praise guys! I’m excited to be a part of this community!

-- Michael Sanders, Charleston, SC, "Tight joints and clean lines"

View watermark's profile

watermark

394 posts in 541 days


#14 posted 411 days ago

Great job.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View david38's profile

david38

1020 posts in 942 days


#15 posted 410 days ago

great table

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

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