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Crosstimber Tables

These images document a build in its early stage of a family of black walnut tables, centered around a richly grained and beautifully colored walnut tree which we salvaged from a farm near Winfield, Kansas.  The tables are a collaboration between my best friend/business partner and myself, sharing designing and building tasks to create, what we hope, are some authentically good pieces of furniture in the continuing tradition of live-edge/natural-slab furniture.

Walnut Timber Mantelpiece

The six and a half inch thick, 13 foot long walnut slab filled the shop as it came from the chainsaw mill.

Beam cutter on the old worm-drive

“rough-sawn” to the max

Using the “beam-cutter” to rip the slab into a six inch square timber

Pulling the saw at the end of the cut to save the last bit of slab for the corbels

Aluminum C-channel as a guide

start of the smoothing

a jack plane with a radius set to take heavy shavings

Now the joiner

pretty obvious

chopping out for a patch over a rotten knot

the same, fitted

filing the edges of a little copper butterfly template

bench-top with tools for making butterfly templates

variety of butterfly templates

Scribing the timber for butterflies to bind the main check

Routing out the waste

chopping the rest

right up to the knife line

ready for the joining

carving the corbels (my documentation fell off for most of this process)

mating the various natural edges of the corbels to the mantel

a little further back

fitting the opposite corbel

rough-cut cove on the left corbel

both corbels with coves-cut and awaiting final shaping

apply the final touches on the ends of the timber

“C” for the covenant

installed over the fire box, and the home-owner’s sandstone work.

I look forward to seeing it with the stone work done

Sister Hog, Brother Tree, and the Voice of Copper: a Celebration of Long Labor and Process

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Wood Vessels

etsy bowls12.jpgetsy bowls17.jpgetsy bowls04.jpgetsy bowls23.jpgetsy bowls11.jpgetsy bowls21.jpgetsy bowls03.jpgetsy bowls16.jpgetsy-bowls01etsy bowls13.jpgetsy-bowls07etsy-bowls09These bowls are all for sale in our Etsy Store if you are interested.  Thanks for looking.

There Is A Season

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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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Champion Table Build, Part 4: Base & Arc

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preparing to fit the base to the leg assembly

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defining a semicircle with 3 saw cuts

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3 saw cuts get refined into facets with a paring chisel

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and again

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then shaped with a rasp

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the base of one of the leg assemblies after the 1/2 lap-tapered dado has been cut

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here, mated with the white oak leg

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a different piece of white oak being shaped with a rasp, one of three slats joining the top of the leg assemblies together and to the table top

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the slats also receive a long bevel

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the slats will rest in the notches being cut into the top of this leg section

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clearing out material from the notch with a 1″ chisel

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establishing the final depth with a router plane

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here the slats are temporarily in place

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an arsenal of shaping tools to begin sculpting the legs

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shaping inside-curves of the leg assembly with an aggressive rasp

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forming a radius where the legs meet the base

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the preliminary drawings had a horizontal stretcher connecting the two leg assemblies at floor level. Having rough-shaped the components and taking a look, I started visualizing an arc instead. PVC pipe (already bent from a previous life in some low garden tunnels) offered a quick prototype to help see how it would look.

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the arc made sense, so now setting about squaring up a white oak timber for re-sawing

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re-sawn white oak and a glue-lamination form ready to make an arc

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the glue lamination in the form- my 8 year old son was indispensable in this process, helping to roll glue, assemble, and clamp

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rhythm is in unity to woodwork

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the white oak timber, reconfigured as a messy arc

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work for the jack plane

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now the smoothing plane

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cutting the tapers along the length of the arc at the band saw

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marking the taper at the width

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cutting the taper at the width

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more elbow grease with the smoothing plane

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shaping the many curves and facets along the arc, first with a drawknife

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then with spokeshave

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establishing details with knife

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facets ease into curves

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test fitting- some refining-shaping to go yet

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setting the location of the chamfers on the leg-base

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shaving away rasp markings

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carving corner transitions

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so many details to bring together- here the leg base is about done.

That’s it for this round- next week there will be lots of sanding, also carving and inlay work as the table finally starts to become unified. Thank you to everyone for following along, and for your encouraging comments.