The following story and pictures were sent in from Ken from Lake Country, BC. Ken is a frequent visitor to the Windsor Plywood in Vernon.
“I have been doing various wood projects for the past 10 years. Mainly for my family, such as self designed cradles and sit on toy boxes.
This summer, I got a chance to buy (7) Black Walnut slabs from a local mill in Summerland, BC.
From these, I built the live edge coffee table and end table. It is the first time that I have worked with this type of rough slabs and took a bit of time to match up the slabs for the table tops and legs. I used my camera and took pictures of each slab and then printed them out. By cutting the slabs out of the paper and matching, it was a good method to develop the tables.
The slabs were narrow enough, that it was possible to use a power planner to smooth out the mill saw teeth marks on both sides of the slabs. From there, use a band saw to cut to length of the table tops. Removed the bark using a right angled grinder with a concrete grinding disk and to shape the live edge curves that I wanted in the tables. Then used the small handheld belt sander and orbital sander to finish the shapes and table tops. Sanding down to 220 grit and using a light and magnifying glass to check for sanding marks.
The legs took some time to design, cut out and finish, using the same tools. Then the tables were sealed with wood conditioner and have 4 coats of gloss Polyurethane. It was hard work to not get runs, so had to sand some of those out with each coat.
I had started to build these for my wife, but there has been interest in purchasing them from a couple people, so if the price is right, I may sale them and then build another set for my wife.
The project was fun and being the first time working with this type of wood, there was a lot of time spent looking at the slabs and then slowly cutting them out and designing how to put them together, overall hours were in the 80 hours per table.
The walnut candle holders were from scrap and for our RV Trailer.”
Thank you Ken for sharing this project with your fellow woodworkers.