The Champion Table Build, Part 5: Carving and Inlay

championtable504

sanding and refining the shape of the legs

championtable501

carving some details into the lower horizontal member of the leg assemblies

championtable502

“C” for Champion

championtable550

the lower leg joints, reinforced with screws, concealed by pegs

championtable551

cut flush and sanded

championtable508

the legs are finished, awaiting only final sanding immediately prior to finishing

championtable507

refining the shape of the arc, the brace between the leg assemblies

championtable503

one of many facet transitions and chamfers across the arc

championtable505

another of those transitions, in this case, the arcs contribution to the connecting joint

championtable509

adjusting the shoulder of the arc where it meets the walnut of the leg assembly

championtable506

a lot of enjoyment watching the play of light and shadow

championtable510

lets of test fitting of the base

championtable511

my son roughing out a billet of walnut for some stubby spindles. The spindles will connect the arc to the top-central horizontal rail connecting the leg assemblies, preventing any propensity to rack along the length of the table

championtable548

here are the spindles in place as well as a bit of carving on the side of the arc

championtable549

another view of the arc, upside down, an enjoyable shape- part moon, part smile, part rainbow, part horns, it is one of my favorite parts of this table

championtable512

beginning work on the table-top again- softening the edges with a block plane

championtable514

after making paper versions, laying out some walnut shapes that will be inlayed into the table-top

championtable513

re-sawing bits of highly figured walnut for all of the special details

championtable517

along with the decorative inlays, being positioned here are some butterfly-keys, which help to stabilize the splits and inclusions in the walnut making up the table-top

championtable515

after determining the composition and placement, all the parts get some double-sided carpet tape…

championtable516

…and are then stuck in place so that they don’t shift when their outlines are being scribed into the top with a knife

championtable518

after everything has been scribed, the majority of the cavity is established with a small spiral carbide bit in the electric router

championtable520

the rest of the inlay cavity is cut out with sharp chisels. The scribe-line is particularly nice at this stage, giving a positive registration for the tip of the chisel

championtable521

there was a place on one of the walnut planks that had a corner that couldn’t get reconciled in the flattening stages without making it too thin- the remedy was a patch of really pretty walnut

championtable522

clamps were used on the top, where they could reach whatever was being inlayed

championtable523

cleaning the floor and corners of one of the recesses for those butterfly keys

championtable519

glue and clamp…

championtable524

a little congregation of butterflies ready to be made flush with the top, the crack itself, will get filled with epoxy, after the bark has been removed

championtable525

cutting out some of the inlay cavities for the central design

championtable526

lots of chopping up to the line

championtable527

there are a lot of pictures of me hunched over the top of this table, because I was hunched over the top of this table a lot

championtable528

piece by piece, being tapped into place with my indispensable two-sided rubber mallet

championtable529

planing the first round of inlays fush to the surface

championtable530

glueing up some ebony for the next round of inlay work

championtable532

the elements of the central design positioned and ready

championtable531

a few more ebony details being cut out at the scroll saw

championtable533

the slow process of accurately scribing every edge with an “Exacto” knife

championtable534

clearing out as much as possible with the router, carefully to stay just shy of my lines

championtable537

my life for a good portion of October

championtable538

ofter hours of knife, chisel, and dental tool work, the inlay cavity for the crown of thorns is about ready for the ebony

championtable535

a modified dental tool in action clearing out the acute corners of the cavities, somewhat appropriate

championtable536

…still hunched over…

championtable541

some of the inlay uses molten sulphur… being melted here in a spoon

championtable542

molten sulphur is an eerie and beautiful thing, if not pungent to the point of being toxic

championtable543

poured into carved voids it marks a lovely luminous contrast to black walnut

championtable544

also very porous- not so good for a table top- an improved sulfur inlay was devised. First grinding some sulphur crystals with mortar and pestle…

championtable545

the sulphur pigment is then introduced to some two-part epoxy

championtable546

the resultant paste is pressed into the top layer of the earlier sulphur inlay, filling the pores and yielding a slightly tougher surface

championtable552

the inlay work done and all the other voids being filled with epoxy, final sanding has begun

championtable539

as the process goes, there are many flaws in my inlay work that need to be addressed. Out come the pigments and filler

championtable540

it is an enjoyable process that takes me into the realms of another of my lines of work

championtable553

then more sanding

championtable547

this marks the end of this second to last post in the building of the Champion Table, I won’t reveal the finished piece until it’s new owners have had a chance to see it in person. Thank you all for offering your support and comments, or just following along silently. I remain immensely grateful for the kind encouragement which each represents, and I look forward to sharing the finished piece with you all as well.

6 Comments on “The Champion Table Build, Part 5: Carving and Inlay

  1. This is incredible. I love seeing the inlay process and the molten sulfur. Amazing, my friend! Thank you for sharing all of these images!

  2. It feels like a special privilege to have been able to witness this process. Thanks for sharing Jack!

  3. It feels like a special priveledge to have been able to witness this process. Thanks Jack !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: