The Champion Table

After about five months the Champion Table is finished and in its new home outside of Chicago.  The woods in this table are Kansas Black Walnut and White Oak (the base uses oak from Kansas, the top uses oak of lesser known origin, beyond my friend, the lumber man), the top features also a small amount of Ebony and sulfur.  The design is original, and evolved throughout the building process.  Central, is a crucifixion theme and the arc.  There are other symbolic elements as well, throughout.  I am deeply grateful to the Champion family for the opportunity to build a significant piece of furniture for their home and living.  I am also humbled and thankful for all the encouragement I have received throughout the building process.  Ultimately I am glad in my heart, laboring to make something that celebrates the goodness of God.

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16 thoughts on “The Champion Table

  1. Glory! They say God is in the detail! What wonderful work, I hope you get many more commissions, thank you for sharing its development and the final piece. I am guessing that the Roman numerals in this (and through all your work) are personal? Or can you let us in on their meaning?

    1. Thank you, Helen. The Roman numeral V is the number for grace- symbolizing the 5 wounds of Christ. Saint Francis called them the five Windows where grace came into the world. The Roman Numeral C is a newer symbol for me- right now it stands for the 100 fold blessing of God’s Covenant with us through the blood of Christ- redemptive death- “when a seed falls to the ground and dies…” It may perhaps yield 100 times. I don’t speak to the prosperity messages out there but to the true blessing of being reconciled to God and living as His children. In this table it handily represents the last name of Champion as well:).

  2. I’ve been following your blog since coming across your hope chest last year and, as a woodworker, really find your work inspirational. (Though I’ve also come to love your work in other media and scenes from your farm) This table is beautiful and unique I deeply appreciate your instruction and inspiration. If you have the time, could you comment on the finish routine you used?

    1. Thank you, Jeremy. I am grateful to know that the work inspires you. It is a good complement. As far as the finishing is concerned, I used a missed finish, similar to that used by Sam Maloof and George Nakashima. The basic recipe is equal parts tung oil, poly urethane, and “boiled” linseed oil. I used a slightly higher proportion of poly urethane for the top especially, in order to achieve a higher level of resistance to moisture and heat required for a dining table. I sanded to 600 grit and wiped the finish on with cotton rags. Ultimately I applied 8-10 coats on the top- sanding between each coat. The base received about 6 coats and then a top coat of a different recipe, which was tung oil, linseed oil and beeswax. The top received a final treatment of paste wax- much harder than the beeswax finish, and was polished to what I felt was an appropriate sheen. I hope that this answers your question.

      1. Yes, it absolutely is. I’m also a fan of the Maloof finish but had not tried that many coats. Again, thank you and wonderful job on the table!

  3. Dude, it’s just incredible. So many nice moments. I love that the sulphur inlays are little stars…

  4. JACK This is a most magnificent piece of work I’ve seen. You are so gifted from our Lord and you are showing it in your tribute to God. Thank you for sharing and God bless you and your beautiful family. Karen Ubben

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Thank you for your kind and generous words, Karen, and for blessing my family. I am glad that you got to see the table in person.

  5. Jack, what a glorious piece. Nice post of your work in progress. Good timing on Hanukkuh, blessings on your family.

  6. Such a beautiful thing you have crafted! I am imagining your relief and satisfaction from such concentration of effort and care .

    1. Thank you, Trevor. It is always a relief to bring something like this to conclusion. I am slowly learning to embrace some measure of satisfaction.

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