I had this twisted walnut slab for couple of years, just couldn’t find a proper use for it. It had just enough characteristic for a top. I was sitting in the lazy arm chair the other day, and thought to myself, it would be good if there was something flat in front of me to put a book, laptop or even a monitor. Just that thought, it kept me busy for number of days…
Began with the debarking. Although it was dry, for some reasons the bark was extremely stubborn, I had to use a pry bar and hammer to knock them off.
Used a planer to first took off the bulk of rough cut surface, next hitting it with 36 grit belt sander. Since it was twisted pretty badly, took me many hours to plane, sand and plane to level and flatten it.
Half way through, my old Makita belt sander finally gave in. Both the driving pulley, idle pulley and belt were all stripped. Most frustrating moment was half way though during the project a tool broke and I had to stop and find a remedy to fix the tool.
Luckily there was a guy in Craigslist selling the newer model at a discount, drove to New Jersey to buy it and back in business couple of hours later.
Another tedious steps of filling voids with epoxy resin. Since the voids are long and quite wide, I decided to go with turquoise filling. It was still winter and the low temperature really didn’t help the curing process. Took about three repeated fillings spanned across days and a week time for it to totally cure.
While waiting for the top and epoxy to cure, I started the construction of legs.To fit the curvature of the top, I thought that and angled rail that spanned open would be a nice design.
For the lattice rails, I used some Brazilian redwood 1x1s. The Brazilian redwood, although quite hard, is actually very pleasant to work with. Just need to beware of the grain direction as they chipped out easily.
Because of the angled rail that spanned open like a fan, the table was very easy to tip forward. It was one of those things that no matter how many dry fitting and testing I did earlier, I just did not encounter the issue earlier. Guess that engineering versus design is always a challenge, even for woodworkers. To resolve the front heavy problem, I added a pair of extended feet to offset the unbalanced center of gravity.