I follow Jesh’s All Seasons blogfest, but I’ve never participated. Her topic this week – Made from Trees – is close to my heart, so I thought I’d cheat and enter the post I wrote about my current coffee table. Well, it seems I didn’t really write one. Oh, I wrote several posts where I talked about the table and I had several where I shared photos. So, regular readers may want to skip this, but I thought it would be good to share. If you want the longer version of the history, you can visit the bar when I explained this.
The WoodCraft store in West Springfield usually has a nice selection of rough-cut slabs. It’s where I found the worm-eaten hunk of wood I made my first coffee table out of. The shorter slabs are ideal for small tables, or, if you have the ability to cut them, they could make nice live-edge bookshelves. As I pointed out in that earlier post, I had made a coffee table for my office, several years ago. I liked it, but a friend of mine liked it more. When he retired, I gave it to him. I thought I could live without a coffee table in my office, especially since I would be retiring in about a year and a half. I was wrong.
I started looking for a new slab. I found one at WoodCraft and I began planning my new table. As Jesh points out in her welcome post for this week’s blogfest, fallen trees begin to decay. The process often yields some remarkable features in the wood, but the endgame of the microorganisms doing the work is to digest the tree. Unfortunately, they had eaten more of the slab than I first thought. So, my second coffee table ended up being a little shorter than I had planned.
The bark edge, often referred to as a “live-edge” which makes little sense, since it’s quite dead, had to be stabilized. It was separating from the slab in several places. I mixed woodworking glue and sawdust from sanding the slab into a thick sticky paste. I coated both sides of the openings with wood glue, forced the paste into the gap and said a few quick prayers. So far, it’s holding very well.
As with the original table, I wanted a metal base for this coffee table, in order to call attention to the slab. I had some very heavy rectangular steel tubing, but I didn’t have enough for four legs. I didn’t even have enough for three legs and a trestle-bar. I did have enough for two legs, each with two feet, if I cut things at an angle. That was fun. I like cutting, welding and grinding metal. I’m not that good of a welder, so I have to grind a lot.
I played around with several ideas for the trestle-bar, none of which seemed to really impress The Editor, or myself, for that matter. I remembered that I had kept a branch from a wild cherry tree we cut down, so I decided to use that. A few holes in the steel, a few bits of PVC pipe, some rare earth magnets and some careful assembly, and we have the illusion that the trestle-bar goes through the steel.
Note: the first two pictures in the gallery are the first coffee table I made (also from trees)
You can add a Gallery in a Classic block via the Add Media option (the icon that looks like a camera with musical notes attached).
The Editor also contributed the idea for the feet. I was going to simply let the steel legs rest on the floor. She thought wooden feet would look better. I have to give her credit, I think they do.