I don’t really know what to call this project. But when A+N asked if I could build something like this, I jumped at the chance. Mrs. Jo was a bit curious that I decided to tackle this project which involved about 30 techniques I’ve never tried before. I’ll walk you through the process in pictures.
Everything starts with good lumber. I picked up ~200 bd.ft. of beautiful walnut from Tervol’s south of Jackson. While it was a bit of a shlep to get there, I highly recommend these guys- they were super helpful in picking out good boards and ripping straight edges and flat faces. After that, milling at home was a breeze. A very, very heavy breeze.
Note: I usually value the planer shavings from projects- they’re great in the chicken run, in the coop as bedding, or in the compost pile as a hearty source of carbon. All parts of walnut trees, however, contain high levels of juglone, a naturally-occurring compound that is toxic to most plants and animals. Not good for garden beds or chicken coops, and especially not for horse stables. So unfortunately, I had to throw all this great material away.
The table top took quite a bit more time than anticipated. Lesson learned. The 37″x72″ top features 7″ wide breadboards. These took a long time to fit, but I’m pretty pleased with the final outcome.
Juno can get quite bored when I spend too much time in the shop and not playing with her. She retorts by pulling everything out of the garbage can and strewing it across the yard.
Then I did a whole bunch more stuff but forgot to take pictures. Let your imagination run free picturing me gluing up 4″x4″ legs, milling the aprons and stretchers, and working out the joinery for the base. I had to move indoors for all the glue-ups because it was getting too cold for the glue to properly cure. The base was assembled upside-down, then flipped to square (thanks, Jo!).
Next, a whole bunch more things happened which I failed to document. Finally, it was time for the finish, which is 4 coats of Waterlox Original wiping varnish. A note about using Waterlox or any other varnish in the winter: don’t. I tried to apply a coat indoors with the window open and fan on when nighttime temps bottomed around 20F with predictable results: a very cold house filled with a noxious odor and less-than-pleased fiancee. We ended up huffing it to another warmer space (thanks, Jo!) where the finishing progressed much more smoothly (wised up to wearing a respirator).
I admit, there was steep learning curve for the entire project. But overall, I learned a lot and I believe they’re quite pleased with the final product.
There you have it. Are you inspired to commission a project? Awesome! I’m ready! (ps I’d like to do a similar table with a trestle base)