A Very Bad Photo
Step 1: Milling
Step 2: The Line Up.
Step 3: The Glue up
Step 4: Cutting Steel
Step 5: Welding
Step 6: Grinding
Step 7: Surfacing Wood
Step 7: More Surfacing
Step 8: Sanding
Step 9: Finishing
Step 10: Install
A Very Bad PhotoPhoto really doesn't do the table justice. Designed and built, custom for a couple in Russian Hill, San Francisco. 10 feet long, 40 inches wide.
Floating WengeThree supports on the mild-steel base float the 400+ lb African hard wood table top effortlessly.
The WoodThe client requested an elegant and beautiful wood to be used for the table. Since budget was not an issue we decided to utilize the black African hardwood, Wenge.
Step 1: MillingAfter procuring the wood for this custom table, we milled the boards down into 2x2 planks in preparation for the glue up.
Step 2: The Line Up.Great chefs have a knack for procuring perfect ingredients and combining them in a complementary way with one another. I try to apply this same concept to furniture-making, find great materials and orient them in a way that allows them to play off of each other.
Step 3: The Glue upWith a less expensive wood we would have milled twists and turns out to have straight stock to glue up. Wenge unfortunatley does not afford you the ability to procure an extra 30-40% material to mill from, we had to instead clamp out the twists and curves.
The RevealThere's always a moment of truth when you remove clamps from a project and see that the glue did its job and held the lines straight. Amazing how much potential energy is trapped in a table top like this one!
Step 4: Cutting SteelSteel is purchased in 20 foot sections and after procurement, a horizontal bandsaw can be used to cut down your pieces prior to welding.
Step 5: WeldingJust weld it up.
Step 6: GrindingAfter welding there are deposits of filler that need to be grinded down to reveal smooth finishes, especially on joints.
Step 7: Surfacing Woodblah
Step 7: More Surfacing
Step 8: SandingWe were under the gun from a scheduling stand point and opted to rent a floor sander from Home-Depot to surface the table. Wenge is a very hard wood, and the density caused sanding to literally take 2 days of work.
Step 9: FinishingWe used a hybrid Polyurethane/Oil finish and applied 4 coats over a 2 day period.
Step 10: InstallMill-scale finish requires a wax to prevent oxidation.
Stacked CoinsIn an effort to provide contrast from the elegant Wenge top, we opted to finish the mild-steel base with a minimalist, industrial touch. When you pick up steel from the metal yard, it is usually covered in grease to prevent oxidation. Under the grease is a "mill scale" finish that is seen in most industrial, mild-steel furniture. We decided that leaving the mill-scale finish to would allow for exposed welds and were careful to lay down a stacked coin bead.
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