|Project by BalloonGuy||posted 08-18-2013 02:28 PM||1399 views||3 times favorited||10 comments|
I got this live-edge slab, along with some other woods when a friend closed down his studio. I didn’t know what I’d make with it, just knew that I had to have that fantastic-looking piece of wood. I fell in love with the knot, and the bark was all still intact and firmly attached.
The slab measured about 25” long, and is about 21” wide at its widest, and nearly 1-1/2” thick. To this day I’m still not sure what species it is. If any LJs know, I’d love to hear your thoughts. The walnut was also a part of that same trove of wood.
As I thought about this project, having decided that a trestle table would work best, I wanted to explore some contrasts: dark walnut against the lighter slab; straight lines of the trestle base against the natural edge and wild knot.
This was my first effort at mortise-and-tenon joinery. I’d thought originally I’d do a through-tenon on the base, true to the style of a trestle table, but the walnut on hand didn’t produce any pieces long enough. That, and not being certain I could carry off the joint with the necessary skill, resulted in the style you see here. The tenons were cut on the tablesaw, using a jig I’d seen online at Wood magazine. The mortises were drilled out, then finished by hand. All in all, I was pretty happy with the fit.
The bark and the knot were stabilized with CA. It took nearly 1/2 bottle before I was satisfied that it had all been thoroughly soaked and plasticized. The bark darkened up a shade or two, but otherwise kept all its character, including the bits of moss flecking the bark. It also gave a nice finished sheen to the interior, so I didn’t need to worry about applying lacquer down into the knot.
Ten coats of Deft brush-on satin lacquer built up a good base for finishing the top, and another 5 coats on the table legs. After letting the lacquer cure for a week and sanding it lightly with 400 grit, it was buffed out with paste wax and #0000 steel wool. Smooth as a baby’s cheek.
Thanks for looking.
- Tom in Omaha
-- Tom Peterson, Omaha, NE