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Thread: Wood choice made - what do you know about Brazillian Cherry?

  1. #1
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    Wood choice made - what do you know about Brazillian Cherry?

    My youngest daughter got married nearly 3 years ago an I promised her a piece of furniture as a gift. She hemmed and hawed a bit, but finally decided on a dining room table. Originally she had wanted something in a Greene & Greene style, but she just purchased a home and the style will not fit. So, she has sent me a picture of what she wants. Not my taste, but hey, it's not for me. I'm not sure what wood might work best. The top and legs are very thick, so it needs to be something that's pretty stable. I was thinking a soft maple. Birch? (The original is birch) Anyone have any suggestions? Also, anyone have any idea where I might find the hardware? Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Zoe's Table 2.jpg 
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    • Overall Unextended: 86" long x 42" wide x 30" high
    • Overall Extended (1 leaf): 104" long x 42" wide x 30" high
    • Overall Extended (2 leaves): 122" long x 42" wide x 30" high
    • Leaf (2): 18" long x 42" wide
    • Tabletop: 3" thick
    • Overhang (at side): 2.5" wide
    • Overhang (at head): 6.5" for unextended table; 24.5" for extended table
    • Legs: 4.5" square, 27.5" high
    • Distance Between Legs: 64.5" at sides; 28" at head
    • Clearance Under Tabletop: 27.5"
    • Weight: 253 pounds
    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 04-26-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Hi Rennie, I believe that the hardware is rather easy to find/make. The threaded tensor you can find it in any hardware store or ironmonger, remove the hook and the loop and use the central part. Then make the long parts out of an iron bar, with a 1/2" long thread at each end. Then fix one of those threaded loops (see image) on each side of it.
    I personally do not like the way this guy has attached the tensor bar to the leg stretcher, it makes it look too farfetched to me even if the original was like that.
    I would use an open loop hook screwed onto the stretcher and after puting the loop in close it.

    You can use a chain instead of a bar, or make an striking contrast using a polished stainless steel rod, try to find suitable parts at carwrecks or shipyards that do not necessarily need to be or resemble like the original ones, feel free to change those things to your liking, be flexible enough to accept that.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As per the wood choice, why not use salvaged rail sleepers? they are hard, and treated with creosota, so wear a mask when working them if you use those.
    Last edited by Toni Ciuraneta; 03-08-2012 at 07:24 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Rennie, have you considered pine? I think birch would be my first choice, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    ...As per the wood choice, why not use salvaged rail sleepers? they are hard, and treated with creosota, so wear a mask when working them if you use those.
    I suspect the creosote would make working with the wood very difficult. In my limited experience working with rail ties, I saw they dulled a chainsaw pretty quickly and thoroughly. Also, would it inhibit proper adhesion of the finish?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Rennie, have you considered pine? I think birch would be my first choice, though.



    I suspect the creosote would make working with the wood very difficult. In my limited experience working with rail ties, I saw they dulled a chainsaw pretty quickly and thoroughly. Also, would it inhibit proper adhesion of the finish?
    Ties, around hear at least, are pretty rough and usually softwood. I recently went shopping for some to use outside around a flower bed and could not find any suitable even for that. The creosote scares me both for finishing properties and for food contact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    Hi Rennie, I believe that the hardware is rather easy to find/make. The threaded tensor you can find it in any hardware store or ironmonger, remove the hook and the loop and use the central part. Then make the long parts out of an iron bar, with a 1/2" long thread at each end. Then fix one of those threaded loops (see image) on each side of it.
    I personally do not like the way this guy has attached the tensor bar to the leg stretcher, it makes it look too farfetched to me even if the original was like that.
    I would use an open loop hook screwed onto the stretcher and after puting the loop in close it.

    You can use a chain instead of a bar, or make an striking contrast using a polished stainless steel rod, try to find suitable parts at carwrecks or shipyards that do not necessarily need to be or resemble like the original ones, feel free to change those things to your liking, be flexible enough to accept that.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	loop.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	8.2 KB 
ID:	65585

    As per the wood choice, why not use salvaged rail sleepers? they are hard, and treated with creosota, so wear a mask when working them if you use those.
    Another suggestion that came to me via PM was to seek out hardware meant for farm use, such as silos. However, I like some of your ideas as well. Had not thought of chain, but that would not offer any compression resistance and would have to be tensioned against the leg connection. This might loosen up over time.

    As for the ties, for a more rustic table perhaps, but this will be indoors and used as a dining table.
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  5. #5
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    Tractor Supply probably has the type of hardware you're looking for, but it'll likely be galnanized finish.

    Probably not in Boise, but a ship chandlery would also have the deadeyes and turnbuckles. They'd likely beither chromed brass or stainless steel, though, and would be very pricey.

    As for the wood - what are they using for shipping pallets there in the PNW? I'd try a pallet sawmill. It'll all be rough stock, but then, so is that table, so it ought to work well. BTW, back here, pallets are often white oak, but sometimes poplar, too. It's also not uncommon to see several different species in one pallet.
    Last edited by Jim DeLaney; 03-08-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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  6. #6
    Seems to me that birch would work just fine as the original is also made from birch. Why complicate it?

  7. #7
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    I am with Toni go with rail sleepers. I disagree with Vaughn they are not all bad to work. Have seen some incredible furniture made out of railway sleepers they nice hard wood when finished ist beautiful.

    This is not a cheap table when you see it in Pottery Barn, table alone is running for CDN$2229.00 .

    http://www.potterybarn.com/products/...-dining-tables


    Just to give you an idea check out this site from where i came from

    http://www.kingsofsleeperwood.co.za/
    cheers

  8. #8
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    Rob, from the looks of that site, rail sleepers in SA are quite different from those in the US. For one, they are hardwood (teak and ironwood). Ours are usually softwood (pine and fir are common) and chemically treated with creosote. Have you worked with any of the creosote-treated ones from the US? It ain't fun.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  9. #9
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    Unless your daughter married a weight lifter, you might want to take the design and see how you can fake it... for example a hollow box construction rather than a 3 inch thick top (which may be unstable for warp and cracks as well). I can't imagine a 3 inch thick table top weighing over 250 pounds - how many people will it take to add a leaf or vacuum under the table.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    Unless your daughter married a weight lifter, you might want to take the design and see how you can fake it... for example a hollow box construction rather than a 3 inch thick top (which may be unstable for warp and cracks as well). I can't imagine a 3 inch thick table top weighing over 250 pounds - how many people will it take to add a leaf or vacuum under the table.
    The description says 253 lbs. Don't know if that includes the leaves. I had thought to use 3" thick at the sides and 3/4" in the field. Just a thought.
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