Building a Table

One thing we came to do at Brindejon was work on making a table. Years ago, my parents had an enormous oak tree with a base about six feet in diameter or more. Huge old tree, it fell during a storm and destroyed part of their house. The house got repaired, the tree was not so lucky—it died and mostly got chopped up for firewood. But several big slabs of oak still remain. Bob and I have been lusting over those slabs for years. Several years later, Bob has taken up woodworking. He’s learned how to make sleds and use a router to flatten wood. Perfect skill for using one of those beautiful wooden slabs, so we came with tools for woodworking. During the last couple of days, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Bob and my Dad making table tops.

First step was grinding off the extra wood and making it flat. To do this, one builds a stand and a box surrounding the slab. The edge of the box provides a support for the “sled”—a special three sided U shaped box that supports a router. The router sits inside the U with a blade descending down through a slot. Moving slowly back and forth, the router chews up the wood, leaving a flat surface. It takes skill, practice, and patience to make this work. But the results are wonderful.  Below are a couple of pictures from the routing process


prepping slab


Sanding is going to take a long time.  This is very hard wood.



And of course, there is always clean up.  They managed to fill an entire trashcan with sawdust.  I think I’ll take a bag or two of this sawdust home for clay.  Add 2 cups of sawdust, 1 cup of flower, and water as needed to make a clay.  Make a sculpture, let it dry for a few days, sand, stain, and voila–a lovely wood sculpture.  Or at least that is what the sculpting forums say.  I haven’t actually tried this.


But the results are fantastic.  Here’s a piece of the bark from the edges.  oak bark

And here is the table top after some sanding and routing.  Notice how there were two trees that grew together.  We haven’t been able to count the rings, everyone gets lost and needs to use pencil marks.  We actually have a matched set of these two table tops.  One came from the burn pile, mistakenly put outside.oak detail

Next challenges: Sanding and Legs.  I’ll follow up with details sometime in the future.


Author: Heres to ART not Cockroaches

Welcome to my life. My life as a mom is changing as the kids grow up, leave home, and build their own lives. This gives me a chance to rebuild myself as an artist, develop a spiritual path, and most fun of all, start going out on dates with my husband. Come here the stories about the small things in life that can make one very happy. Dogs running on a beach, great breakfast dates, kids and their adventures, and my own adventures in this wacky life. I'll share some of my progress in learning art while juggling a full time job as an engineer. And best of all, it's a chance for me to practice writing stories while keeping in touch with my kids. I look forward to hearing from you. Comments, thoughts, and invitations to meet for coffee are all welcomed. Enjoy the stories.

2 thoughts on “Building a Table”

  1. What a gorgeous specimen this tree was! Those rings certainly tell stories that we will never know, but so beautiful.

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