Live Edge Black Walnut and Cherry Hayrake Dining Room Table
This was a custom item for a customer who wanted a heirloom, centerpiece table that would last for generations. After several different concepts we settled on a design from the English Arts and Crafts movement, a Hayrake Table. The customer asked if it would be possible to incorporate a live edge slab as the table top, to really give it a natural look. To get to the requested width of 3 feet, I took a slab of black walnut that was already partially cracked down the center and finished the split. A center section of cherry was then added to get us to the desired width. The top of the table is 6 feet 5 inches long and is 2 3/4 inches thick. The table base was all made of cherry and is joined using hand cut mortise and tenon joints.
Live Edge Oak Coffee Table
This was a fun project trying to make use of a cast off slab from a local lumber yard. Due to the unusual shape and some relatively significant splitting it was destined for a short life as firewood before I rescued it. The slab was planed flat and the split stabilized using a two-part epoxy. The tripod base was made out of matching white oak and joined using hand cut mortise and tenons. Extensive sanding and a simple danish oil were used to finish the piece. It is quite imposing in its finished state and truly commands ones attention. A rather elegant, yet simple centerpiece.
I think every piece of wood has a story and purpose, it is the art of the craftsman to find that purpose and bring it to light. I had a cast-off scrap of black walnut from a larger slab that had split and while I thought about cutting it down and using it for other projects but it just seemed to be telling me something different. I settled on making a sitting bench for the entryway of a house. The top is a black walnut that is about 3 inches thick while the legs are a curly maple with some very nice figure. The legs were hand shaped using a spokeshave and drawknife. They fit into circular through mortises in the bench top and were splined with small wedges of black walnut for the distinctive, contrasting X pattern you see in the photos. Not only does this create a nice artistic effect but the wedges also serve to slightly splay the top of the bench leg ensure it is securely locked in position. The piece really came out beautifully with a wonderful natural feel that has notes of sophistication.
In an effort to experiment with making a floating type of desk top, I built this live edge spalted maple desk. Two pieces of a slab were joined to give a slight curvature which allowed the desk to sit elegantly in front of a bay window. To keep the design modern and minimalist, the base is a simple X cross member made out of black walnut. The top was planed flat using hand planes and entire desk is joined using mortise and tenon or dowel type joints. The piece is simple, elegant, and yet functional.
Modern Cherry and Oak Nightstand/Desk
A build for a friend who had just gotten their first house. They were looking for something fairly simple, yet eye-catching. After working out a few different designs we settled on this modern style, three shelve piece. All the lumber was either reclaimed and scrap cast-offs. In keeping with my love of joinery, two modified bridle joints were used to join the two legs to the vertical pillar. The shelves and upper arms were attached using a central stepped tenon on the pillar. Any hard edges were smoothed using a block plane and some saw marks from the mill were left on one of the shelves just to add some character. Everything was finished with a high grit sanding and several coats of danish oil. Danish oil is a favorite finish of mine, one that I think really brings out the character of the piece while retaining its natural colors and figure. My friend loved the piece and was quite happy with how it turned out. Deceptively simple at first glance, when given closer examination it really has some unique subtleties.