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Thread: Organic table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583

    Organic table

    I'm not sure this is what you'd call flatwork, but i don't know where else to put it. I'm making a small table that hangs on the wall. While the top is a flat single black walnut board (hand flattened and thickness planed because, at a bit over 15" deep, it's too wide for my jointer / planer). The apron supporting the top is made from 3 layers black walnut laminated around a curved form. It's just shy of 1/2" thick. The Tree branch motif was sketched on the wood and i'm about half done with cutting out the voids.

    The design idea is something about the string of processes involved in making round wood flat, thin, then curved again, then representative of the trees it used to be - after much processing, control, and work. I don't usually wade so literally into design theory, but this project is for a gallery showing and a benefit auction for the Missouri Coalition for the Envirionment.

    There is the first sketch i made and a couple of progress pics.

    Paul Hubbman
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails strandfox table - progress 1.JPG   strandfox table - progress 2.JPG   FoxStrand table sketch - small.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kea'au Hawaii. Just down the road from Hilo town!
    Posts
    1,357
    Great looking idea Paul!
    Aloha,

    What goes around, comes around.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,002
    This promises to be a fun one to watch the progress on.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
    Posts
    4,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    This promises to be a fun one to watch the progress on.
    Ditto, I'll keep an eye on this one, and from what I've seen it is going to be great and fun project.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583

    Organic Table - Progress

    Last night i got the top flattened - first time i've flattened anything of any size using only hand tools. The scrub plane is a beautiful tool. I think i've exhausted my patience working without a good woodworking bench. The Workmate is a poor substitute - good at what it's made for, pretty flimsey for holding stock for hand planing.

    At any rate, i had some good fun last night. My shoulders aren't even too sore. So now the top is nearly done, and the apron has been cut out with some relief carving to indicate branches slipping behind or in front of each other. The attached photos show the two pieces laying upside down and not yet connected. To attach the two, i plan on routing a radiused groove in the bottom of the top. The top of the apron will set in the recess. The middle third of the apron will be glued into place, and there will be a small bracket hidden on each side near the ends of the table to attach the apron at these points. This should fix the apron centered on the top and allow it to expand and contract with fluctuations in humidity. I wish i knew a more elegant way of connecting the two, but i think this might just be the best option. Any suggestions?

    To attach it to the wall, i will have a 1" steel "U" channel that will attach to the wall, acting as a cleet. I will run a continuous slot about 1" along the bottom of the back side. The top will simply rest on the cleet, being nearly invisible unless you get down on your hands and knees. I will pin each end of the apron to the wall, near the bottom, with screws set into drywall anchors. This should keep the ends of the apron from moving and keep the top from lifting off of the continuous cleet. Again, if anyone has some other suggestions, i'm open to input.

    So now, all that's left is to route the radiused groove, finish up the relief carving and smooth out the back side of the apron - there's some glue that squeezed through during the lamination process that i need to remove. I've got to smooth out the edges from the jig saw cuts, give the apron a final sanding, apply the finish coats (i'm thinking 3 or 4 coats of gel varnish), take some pictures, and deliver it to the gallery.

    It's fun to see it coming together.

    Paul Hubbman
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FoxStrand table progress 2-1.jpg   FoxStrand table progress 2-2.jpg   FoxStrand table progress 2-3.jpg  

  6. #6
    That is some excellent craftsmanship Paul!! Did you use a vacuum bag for the lam? Thanks for sharing!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,243
    Wow all I can say is I keep feeling totally inadequate when I see work like this.

    Great looking table and I love the design. Good job Paul. I dont know how but i missed the initial post.

    Those legs are an amazing idea.
    cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Richardson View Post
    Did you use a vacuum bag for the lam?
    Barry, no vacuum bag - i'vce never done that and didn't want to start on this project. I made a form and clamped the layers to it. I've got a vac pump and will get there some day. I should try it with some scraps first.


    Thanks for all the encouragement folks. I do appreciate it.

    paulh
    Last edited by Stuart Ablett; 04-21-2009 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Fixed a "QUOTE" Tag :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Geneseo, Illinois
    Posts
    61
    Nice job Paul..........
    Is the radiused part attached with a dado in the top ????

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    No new pics this time, but last night i finished up the many hours of sanding on the apron for the table. For this project, i bought a pelican carving knife and a hand made rasp for working the "branches" on the apron. Man, was THAT money well spent. It took me about a week and half working into the wee hours to smooth out the cuts, eliminate any tool marks, and smooth it down to 220 grit. Last night finished that all off. I may have some spot touch up here and there, but the 4 hour sanding sessions are over (until i start on the next table - one for my wife).

    Progress now should be pretty visible. All that's left is to attach the apron to the top, make the brackets and pins for connecting it to the wall, and some finish work.

    I've got to say, though, that with baseball season going, the quiet work in the shop goes quicker. I like a lot of tasks, but sanding can get monotonous.

    More pics soon.
    paulh

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