Reclaimed Oak table

An architect friend / customer of mine found this really cool, antique steel coffee table base, in need of a top.

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I had a thick plank of reclaimed Red Oak that had been waiting for just such a project.

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Lots of deep checks and cracks in the surface – should make for a very interesting tabletop.

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Creating a straight reference edge on the sliding table saw.

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After re-sawing [slicing down to thinner pieces] on the band saw and cutting sections to rough length.

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Composition, mortise and [floating] tenon joinery, and glue up.

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Shaping round w/ router and MDF template.

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Reinforcing / stabilizing splints on the bottom side.

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The final product.

Table 1

table 2

I love projects like this for so many reasons! They get me out of my patterns and routines – get the creative juices flowing again. Using reclaimed materials allows [forces?] me to loosen up a bit – go with the flow of the materials instead of trying to impose myself on them. A 100+ year old weathered beam that’s full of cracks and knots just is not going to behave the same way as virgin, kiln-dried lumber. You have to let the materials inform the design, or you’re in for a fight. Also, I love that the reclaimed and re-purposed materials add layers to the story of the object – makes it more precious, in my opinion.

So… bring me your funky lumber, your table bases, your slabs and stumps. Let’s [re]make something beautiful together!

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