|Project by scruboak51||posted 03-09-2014 10:23 PM||3221 views||2 times favorited||23 comments|
I just about wrapped up my coffee table build today, a few minor adjustments are left but it’s in the house, so I’ll count that as finished.
This started as a thrift store score of a ~3’ by 5’ by 2.5” (.91m x 1.5m x 6.35cm) thick slab of buckeye burl for $250. The thrift store does storage locker buy-outs and get all sorts of crazy stuff in inventory. While not the bonanza that the church run thrift shops can be, he’s got a pretty high quality stock of inventory for usually pretty good prices.
At the time I was not familiar with buckeye, but I had been wanting to try my hand at a slab table top for a while and after being scared off by southern California lumber store prices I decided to jump at this opportunity.
I ran the slab under my jig using a my newish porter cable router ($100 purchase at the same shop) and made pretty quick work of leveling the slab out. After a few hours of sanding to get things smooth I started the finish process. Really not much of a process, just shellac; the coloring of the raw wood is pretty phenomenal; kindof like one of those hippy trees went out on a bad acid trip.
Once the slab was finished I picked up a second piece of driftwood and turned that into a base. I was pretty happy with the results.
Then I made this base out of another piece of thrift store redwood
The grain figure and character was just too much for me to part with. So I put the first base up for sale on craigslist. After a few weeks of marginal interest, I sealed a deal for $170. Only made $40 on the deal, but every little bit helps.
Attaching the slab to the base was a bit tricky as the slab is very large (with very soft wood) and the base is very small at the top. I purchased some 5/8th (1.6cm) bar stock and built a simple metal frame. After making all of the cuts and getting the metal prepped, I ran it up the street to a local welder who was able to tack it together.
In the process I may have also landed myself a part time gig. The welder was looking for help and I guess was impressed enough with my marginal fabrication ability to ask if I was interest in helping out. I’ve been wanting to learn the trade for a while now, so this may work out well.
I’ve got the metal frame bolted to the base and the slab on just resting on the frame. Still a bit of work left to best position the slab and make sure everything is nice level before permanently attaching the slab, but for now this is stable enough for use.
Thanks for looking