Waitin' on that Hickory...

Well over a month ago we brought a large slab of hickory in from the barn. It's been stickered and stacked out there for a few years and its ready to become something new. After resting in the shop for 3 weeks or so, the slab was broken down into rough dimensions; much of it resawn to yield the materials for the bench it wants to be.

Stickered and stacked once again to let the lumber (re)acclimate; I'm growing impatient...  I suspect our friends Scott and Sarah are as well, because they really want their new bench.  However, if you want the best nature has to offer - you work on her timeline.  Or you buy kiln dried wood; but the color and workability cannot compare to air dried.

So Monday I decided to entertain myself and I played around with a table design. 

I did a little sketching on the shop chalk board to find a leg profile that I thought would look nice, and then set about building a template & some jigs for the joinery.  (I used dowels)

These took longer than the table... The first set ended up in the wood stove...

Draw and erase until I find a shape I like; kind of fun actually...

Had some leftover ash scraps from the breakfast nook.; their color wasn't uniform which is why the boards didn't make the cut for use on the nook, but if I ebonize this table - subpar coloring in the ash is not an issue.  Plus, I absolutely love how ash grain gains prominence when it's darkened.

I raised the grain twice before applying the stain/dye mixture and buffed with 0000 steel wool after each coat. ( I used a mixture of 50/50 black stain and dark blue dye)

Two coats are good and black, now I can work the edges...

Beveling the edges of the table.  Used a block plane, card scraper, and a chisel. Finished it off with a sanding block.

Beveling the edges of the table.  Used a block plane, card scraper, and a chisel. Finished it off with a sanding block.

The black is pretty, but the table is plain and the edges are sharp; so to provide accent and relieve the edges I bevel all edges 1/6" inch to reveal some of the white ash. 

  • So what to you think of this little 'goofing around' table?
  • Does the leg shape appeal to you? 

I'm on the fence; I think I'll try another leg profile to compare...

Ready for a glass top (and some polyurethane)

Hmmm. Maybe this is the top; put the glass on it this way and a nice plant underneath on the base?