Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Petrified Wood Slab Coffee Table

It started with a slab of petrified wood - a gorgeous piece about three feet long, and maybe twenty inches wide. 

Amazing colors, 

and an irregular edge that was destined to give me fits. 

The owners wanted a framework built around the slab, and a contemporary curved base below.

The framework was complicated because the edges of the slab weren't perfectly perpendicular,

 so a little back cutting was necessary.  

Once the frame was built, sculpted and shaped, I tackled the base. 

I coopered the two curved ends, which essentially means cutting various angles so that the slats of wood would curve into the shape I needed. This is basically how barrels are made; it's an old method that still has practical use in today's world. 

After everything was laminated - the shaping began with a variety of grinders, sanders, and then buffers. Shaping wood this way is tedious, but necessary to remove all the deep scratches. 

Figure-8 tabletop fasteners were the most practical way to attach the top, and those need to be mortised into place, so that the top sits flush with the base. 

Time for a bit of staining and assembly. 

And with the help of a couple of wonderful friends - it all came together. 

Assembly was a bit tricky, but all that's left is a bit of grouting. I'm researching some sanded grouts that come in tubes, so that I can use a caulking gun, rather than mixing up some grout and applying it the more traditional way with a float - which might scratch the top. 

Many thanks to John and Lupe for all their help - I couldn't have done it without both of you. 

Now pass the Ben Gay....

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