The following story and pictures were submitted by Ed at the Windsor Plywood Winnipeg. It was started with pictures shared from a loyal customer, Boris. t (Thank you Boris! For going the extra mile, we see your hard work in your words and pictures.)
I am sending you a number of pictures that show not just the final product but some of the process steps, too.
I have worked on a number of projects, but this one was fairly large and in some ways new to me. It all started when I came to Windsor Plywood to buy paint as my wife and I started to redecorate the house. We knew we needed a new dining table and were already considering making it out of a live edge slab. There was no plan made, but then I walked into the store and immediately saw this gorgeous slab. The wood looked warm and beautiful, with a striking edge, and the width was perfect. The slab was almost flawless, and after about a week of contemplation, we decided to take the opportunity. It was the quality and the uniqueness of the slab that became the final decision point.
The size of the slab was 3-3/8” x 44” x 16’. I figured I could make a 10’ table top and use the two 3’ ends of the slab for the legs. I am an engineer and I like to first make a design of my woodworking project using DraftSight software. The project got me so excited I would sometimes wake up at night and start thinking of and coming up with good ideas and solutions.
The slab was delivered to my house at the end of January, and it took me about two months working after work and on the weekends to have it finished. One thing I have learned is, making something the first time never gives the best result. So I had to check everything several times before making each step. And yes, I know I could do some things better yet.
I built a guide jig around the slab and a sleigh for the router. I flattened both sides of the slab which brought it from 3-3/8” to 2-3/4”. I sanded the face side using a rented floor sander. I made a template for the legs by drafting them, then using my scroll saw to cut the template out of 3/8” MDF board. I used a jig saw and a router to finalize the shape of the template.
The table top of this thickness does not require a frame, and each leg can be attached to the top using side blocks on each side of the leg. The support blocks were attached to the legs with good epoxy. Each block had 3 holes for 3/8 x 5” stainless steel lug bolts to hold them to the table top (6 bolts per leg).
After the legs were attached to the table, it was finally ready for finishing. I used 80, 120, 220 and 320 grit sandpapers to prepare it for oiling. I also decided to use pure unmodified tung oil from Lee Valley, to finish the table. Tung oil has several advantages: it does not change the color of the wood, preserving its original color and penetrating deep and bringing up the texture. It protects wood from liquids, juices, and alcohol spills. It does not darken over time. It is food safe. The only problem with tung oil is that you have to have a lot of patience waiting for weeks to add another layer. I am still in the process of doing it.
Parota wood had it surprises! First, it appeared to be very light and easy to machine and sand. Second, it is the most irritating wood there is, with an effect of a pepper spray! On the scale of irritability, I would give it 10 out of 10. Nothing can be done with it without a good dust mask.
The job is over now and it brings us a great deal of satisfaction. My wife and I like to arrange dinners for our family and friends, and we already had a few dinners around the new table. Everybody likes to come join us even more now! Our dining room became a fabulous, warm place.
Thank you for making my project public, I hope it will encourage other folks to go for big projects.
Steve from the Cranbrook Windsor Plywood store sent in these pictures of a table he made from a piece of Olive wood, an old riverbank stump and a railway spike. The railway spike was used to level out the table.
Handcrafted table made from a huge Bubinga slab from Windsor Plywood Saskatoon
The following story and pictures were sent in from Dan at Integrity Woodworks. Dan can be reached atthewoodbug@ Thank you Dan for sharing and we look forwards to more projects.
HAPPY WIFE -HAPPY LIFE
Finally, I am creating a dining set for the love of my life. Maple table top, black walnut bases, and figured black cherry sculpted chairs.
We started with a 12 foot long 13 ish inch wide 3-inch thick book matched set of big leaf maple slabs.
First step was to cut both slabs in half length wise , three pieces becoming the top
anther the bench top
Top pieces before removing live edge from center board
Top in various stages of layout and glue up, with these I flatten with hand planes after glue up is complete and stable.
After about 40 hours of flattening , setting epoxy and three cherry (dovetail keys) aka bow ties or butterfly keys, sanding up to 320 grit silicone paper, extensive hand planning, card scrapping and some selective belt sanding, and finally, a hand rubber finish has been applied several times.
After my mind flipping back and forth on doing a crazy bent lamination to look like cast iron. My smarter half really liked the two completely different X base tables I had done a few years ago. We found the perfect piece of walnut to do the entire table base from 2″ thick x 15″ x 7′ long. Then we found a second board from same stock for bench legs!
Walnut for table base
I am on the finishing of legs now , then will get a little in depth here on how I attach the bases.
This coffee table was inspired by a picture of one made of four wooden crates. The top is wide strips of solid cherry and narrow strips of Peruvian walnut with edging of the same. The strips are glued together using biscuits, the top was made in four pieces then joined together with glue and biscuits, then the edging was added. The body is 3/4″ cherry plywood faced with strips of cherry. Finished with 6 coats of Minwax Tung Oil Finish.
The center area of the top has an adjustable shelf (covered with rocks in the picture, could hold a vase with plants if the shelf is put lower) and will eventually have a optional walnut piece that will be flush with the top.
This probably took 80 hours to make, used table saw, jointer, thickness planer, router, biscuit joiner, random orbital sander.
The following story and pictures were shared from Windsor Plywood Langley:
I thought I’d drop you a few pics of the stuff I’ve been building with your material.
1st is a really low quaility pic of the bookcases and fireplace mantle. All made of Maple and Maple plywood. These are the 1st pieces I made and I kinda wish I’d used Cherry.
After that, I started in on the living room. Everything is solid Cherry, no plywood (with the exception of the sides of the corner cabinet). It was a bit of a pain to plan the table tops, but they turned out OK.
Hope you enjoy the pics.
The following email was sent in from the Windsor Plywood Langley store
Gavin was kind enough to send in some photos of two projects made from the same original Fir live edge slab purchased from Windsor Langley. They look great! The computer desk was fabricated using the cut off from the coffee table project, with some Walnut to brace. Very cool!
The following pictures were sent in from the Lloydminster, Alberta Windsor Plywood store. The project consisted of two pieces of live edge Maple that were custom stained in-house by one of the staff, Carly.
Here’s a description, “For the sanding I used the Festool Rotex sander started with 80 grit and worked up to 220 grit. I used Varathane brand Oil based stain in the dark walnut colour. And finished with the Varathane brand oil based clearcoat– semi gloss. Hand sanded in between coats 220 grit up to 600 grit for the finish sand”