375 Year Old White Oak Slab Coffee Table (#2)

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 07-09-2013 04:53 AM 3177 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Moving along with our 375 year old white oak slab projects – this is the 2nd coffee table. Simple four leg base with one drawer on bearing slides. The top is solid 8/4 oak with an assortment of butterflies. Stabilized, as the piece was a bit punky to start.

Nothing super exciting in the design just a nice sentimental slab from an heirloom tree on our client’s family estate.

We’re hoping for a few pictures from it’s new home – will post when we get them.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

15 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3539 days

#1 posted 07-09-2013 07:29 AM

the base on this one need to go, its not doing anything for this beautiful slab…it looks like you just grabbed an empty table bottom,,well thats my report here guys…this slab deserves better

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3100 days

#2 posted 07-09-2013 07:49 AM

^ Grizz, thanks. Honesty is refreshing sometimes. And I agree.

To the OP, that is a beutiful slab. Thanks for posting.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30134 posts in 2574 days

#3 posted 07-09-2013 12:43 PM

Beautiful piece

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3103 days

#4 posted 07-09-2013 01:00 PM

This is a wonderful piece for sure. Beautiful wood!

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3484 days

#5 posted 07-09-2013 01:29 PM

Sometimes things don’t have to be overwhelmingly interesting – remember that when it is a business you fulfill a client’s needs, budget, and requests. Simple taste – show off the slab, one drawer, country style base. If we did anything more elaborate, we wouldn’t have been completed the contract. We originally proposed a desk project with this slab, rather modern two legs and a thin pedestal on the other side with a few drawers.

We offered to do more legs, something more unique or modern. The destination is summer home, country style. Very simple decor. It’s actually in a historic site at this point, not sure the final destination. I think it is staying there.

“Free range artist” is often a synonym for “starving artist” ... in this economy if you hold your principle for what projects you would do for yourself and only those you will disappear rapidly.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2191 days

#6 posted 07-09-2013 02:22 PM

Eric is there some sort of Turquoise inlay or some other kind of colored epoxy inlay in the cracks or is that just the lighting? The picture I’m referring to is the last of the project pictures.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View FlyingMLB's profile


166 posts in 3019 days

#7 posted 07-09-2013 04:06 PM

Sorry, I too think the legs just don’t match the beautiful slab. Just my opinion. The craftsmanship is awesome. Everyone has different tastes. Thanks for sharing with us.

-- Flying MLB *** A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3924 days

#8 posted 07-09-2013 06:44 PM

Any side views ? How do you get to the drawer ? Maybe if you stained or painted the legs a very dark color they would be less invasive / distracting. Great looking top though : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3484 days

#9 posted 07-09-2013 07:47 PM

So far these best photos I have it was pouring out when we had it picked up … our client is supposed to send me some in it’s new home. I didn’t get to stage it and set it up the finish was fresh I didn’t want to risk getting it wet and getting little white rings all over it.

This could have been a five or six leg table to have a greater proportion, we considered spanning the gap with a huge butterfly to allow the legs expand out. It went out of budget range.

Here’s the thing – what is right or wrong is subjective as with morals/ethics there is no absolute it is all perspective. When we’re given a time frame and a budget and a set of requirements you alter the format and work within constraints.

This is where we open a debate outside of the furniture itself – we go into business. The customer is always right – no that’s NOT true. I have said no, I have fired customers, I have refused projects. I have told customers they are wrong and I will do what you NEED not what you WANT or I’m doing what is technically and per safety correct. If a design is flawed and will result in a failure, we won’t do it. Sometimes I just also become the crazy artist and say my way or GTFO of my shop.

This client – his taste, the simplicity of their homes (estates) well this worked in the theme. I got one comment back, the legs were a bit too light. We can adjust that if need be when we deliver something else or are out for another project. Not a big deal …

What makes the difference between pro/amateur isn’t skill – it’s the need to get paid. It’s proficiency, efficiency, and the ability to deliver to meet the demand. Its the ability to put your own desire for a design aside and follow the commission.

This is a sister piece:

Here’s unique – interesting abstract: ... great piece, only it’s sitting in a storage unit at the moment. That’s a few grand in pent up cash, its not cash flow. Big difference when it comes to making mortgage payments.

Same with this: – TONS of compliments – sitting in a storage unit.

Artistic and abstract and fun and esthetically interesting all great … but you must adhere to what customers will pay for. That’s it otherwise you’re done quickly.

Drawer is standard – just in the apron. No turquoise that’s just the reflection/refractions in the image.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3539 days

#10 posted 07-09-2013 10:59 PM

well… glad i wasn’t in the room when you typed this….lol…i understand you have to do what the client wants, but to be honest, this is the first piece I’ve seen you do where it just didn’t jive…everything I’ve seen you do has been right on the mark, so one was just different…and as you say, what you and the customer work out is what gets made….and you continue to pay the mortgage…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3924 days

#11 posted 07-09-2013 11:28 PM

EMS, I know what you’re saying.
I actually refused to take on a table commission after getting all of the details that she wanted and then we came the leg design….straight, 1.25” square legs, so she wouldn’t have to dust them…threw everything else we had just discussed out the window. I couldn’t even talk her into a mild taper on them ! I guess I just wasn’t that hungry at the time , and also didn’t want to be known as the maker of her eyesore. LOL : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2926 days

#12 posted 07-10-2013 12:21 AM

That is a beautiful slab with a history (my favorite kind).

The legs aren’t my favorite either but you did a GREAT job explaining to us why they are there. Doing great artistic work sometimes “don’t feed the bulldog!” I have a whole collection of stuff I am really proud of (but can’t sell).

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

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3484 days

#13 posted 07-10-2013 01:36 AM

Oddly I find it interesting and it makes the piece MORE unique now that I’ve actually gotten some negative feedback. It also legitimizes this site as a feedback forum. If everyone always loves everything – well that really does not help anyone grow or evolve. We make unique – and if art is questioned then you’re pushing it and that’s good.

This is my taste: ... and plenty of times I’ve been told it’s gaudy and people hate it. Gothic – is well – gaudy!! It’s true, it can be obnoxious, even more so than this. My personal variant, which i really need better photos of, has more carvings and moldings and other such ornamentation.

I like wildlife carvings – I also like slabs with cool legs. The concrete is growing on me. I’d like to do more with steel at some point.

I like this: ... totally abstract unique grain patterns, its an heirloom from my grandmother’s property, I’d never sell it. Its NOT the best turning ever done, its just something I wanted to do and I like it.

I would love to have a barn or warehouse – IDK 20,000 square feet of nothing but open space to lay out tables of various random sorts without any sort of theme or pattern. Just lay them out, all whatever I want to build for whatever reason and just look at them.

I want a catalog of wood slabs hung like carpets in a store on an overhead rack of chains just to allow me to flip through and look at. And all of these logs plus TONS more are going to become some of that catalog. IDK what we have, not until we cut into it. Some is spalted, some quilted, some crotches, some is just boring. IDK … but it’s wood and it’s going to be cool to have such an inventory!

This summer I hope to catch up – and it’s more important we catch up the queue than we make fun stuff – but I hope to catch up and make some totally unique slab projects with one-of-a-kind pieces. Some of the inventory:

Wait till we publish the redwood table – I hope this summer. We need to get that done!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View David's profile


19 posts in 2033 days

#14 posted 07-10-2013 02:59 AM

Eric, What a great looking a table. very nicely done..

View steliart's profile


2893 posts in 2924 days

#15 posted 07-10-2013 07:10 PM

wish i could get a piece of wood like that in my hands
looks great, well done

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

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