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Style/ethical question for large slab table

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Forum topic by StDane posted 08-29-2016 01:50 PM 537 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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StDane

5 posts in 299 days


08-29-2016 01:50 PM

I am planning to build a dining table sized slab top table. I am considering using as my base a very cool and large tree stump. At its base the stump measures about 40” across. I have some Hackberry slabs (almost 3” thick before flattening and smoothing, expect to end up at 2.25 to 2.50) but one is about 42” across, and the other about 30, so not quite large enough to compete with the base when you are sitting at the table. Not sure what species the stump is, but the colors for the slab and stump are very similar, so they will look good together.

So here’s the dilemma: Would it be bad form and detract from the look and purpose of using a large slab to splice in an extra 10 or so inches by ripping and adding wood from the two slabs together? They are from the same tree and match up well, but are not book matched. Would dividing the single large slab ‘break a rule” here?

The other option is to leave the big slab as one piece and make a slightly smaller trestle style table. The slab is about 6’ 4” long and has nice live edges that would be preserved in either scenario.

Thoughts?

Thanks

Dan


17 replies so far

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2241 days


#1 posted 08-29-2016 01:59 PM

The way I look at it -

It is your wood, your table – who cares!

If this is a commission piece and he/she is supplying the wood, tell them of your concerns and ask what they want.

Once you splice the two, you will have to deal with the the structural aspects. For a seriously large slab, if it is not quarter sawn, you could get cupping once you get it thinner.

For the stump – be careful of bugs and critters hiding in it and dry it carefully and slowly to minimize splitting.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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StDane

5 posts in 299 days


#2 posted 08-29-2016 05:22 PM

It will be for sale, so I should at least consider the market expectations…if there are any. Maybe I’m over thinking it.

View JKMDETAIL's profile

JKMDETAIL

172 posts in 1120 days


#3 posted 08-29-2016 05:29 PM

Wow, Great idea.

Now somethings I would have to consider. Weight and mobility, a stump that size is going to be really heavy, dry or not. Next how do you get that inside most homes?

I would not be afraid to split and add a section to that slab. Might even consider a contrast type of wood.

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bobasaurus

2672 posts in 2649 days


#4 posted 08-29-2016 05:31 PM

I would put something in-between the sections so it looks intentional, like a band of a contrasting color wood, or an acrylic pour, or even just an air gap. Maybe dovetail keys to stitch them together across a gap?

-- Allen, Colorado

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

697 posts in 688 days


#5 posted 08-29-2016 05:42 PM

The only rule would be broken is if you tell people it’s a single slab table. Pretty much every table I’ve seen is a glue up unless they say it’s a single slab.

I’ve taken live edge pieces and have ripped them to take out any severe cracks and have used matching wood to fill in the spaces.

If you don’t do a good job of matching it and the pieces really clash, then you’ve broken a rule of aesthetics for sure :)

View jbay's profile

jbay

816 posts in 364 days


#6 posted 08-29-2016 06:14 PM

I’ve come to learn that there are no rules in woodworking, just as long as it works and your happy.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#7 posted 08-29-2016 07:43 PM

I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to which one would sell better, but I would prefer the slab trestle table to one with stumps for legs. But that’s me . . .

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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Ocelot

1470 posts in 2103 days


#8 posted 08-29-2016 07:53 PM

From a resort in the Smokies…

View gargey's profile

gargey

477 posts in 240 days


#9 posted 08-29-2016 07:59 PM

Stump for a base would be completely retarded, don’t do it. People won’t have space for their legs. On top of how mixing “slabs” would mess up the slabbiness.

Use the big slab, and make a trestle table. There’s a reason you don’t see stump bases on dining tables.

Note how uncomfortable (impossible) it would be to sit in front of the stump in the picture above.

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#10 posted 08-29-2016 08:05 PM

that pic makes my point, I think.


From a resort in the Smokies…

- Ocelot


-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#11 posted 08-29-2016 09:04 PM

To be a little more serious, I know that a lot of folks like rustic furniture, and it could be that your slab is particularly suited to that kind of furniture.

I love the Nakashima-inspired pieces where the natural beauty/contours/grain/shape of the live edge piece is harmonized with interesting and beautiful woodworking. But what I like isn’t what everyone likes. And given what some folks are buying . . . who knows.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#12 posted 08-29-2016 09:12 PM

check out this hackberry piece: https://porterbarnwood.com/project/spalted-hackberry-live-edge-dining-table/

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View gargey's profile

gargey

477 posts in 240 days


#13 posted 08-29-2016 09:23 PM

Steel beams underneaf?

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3425 days


#14 posted 08-29-2016 09:23 PM

I’m of the opinion that YOU make the rules.
“And that’s all I’ve got to say about that…......”
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#15 posted 08-29-2016 09:29 PM

I wouldn’t use steel, but I like the overall look.


Steel beams underneaf?

- gargey


-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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