Building Laurie's Table

I met Laurie last year, through a mutual client of ours. We met up at a local coffee shop, talked about art, sustainability and the massive influx of humans to our "small" city. That meeting was specifically about building her a Work Table for her studio, inspired by the Design Tables that I built for our mutual client, Thirteen23. In that first meeting, she did mention how she wanted to replace her existing Dining Table with something new and beautiful and made by someone local. So, this new table was always in the back of both of our minds over the next year or so. We exchanged numerous emails with ideas, measurements, specs, materials, sketches, pictures. We totally killed the brainstorming session of this build. And the end result, not only exceeded both our expectations, but turned out to be unbelievably simple. And if you know, I'm pretty much all about simple. So below is just a short journey through the building of her Dining Table that sits in her beautiful South Austin home.

We made a trip out my friend Bill's place to look through some slabs. Bill had a lot of locally sourced trees for us to choose from. We ended up going with Spalted Burr Oak book match slabs. It didn't take us long to recognize the beautiful grain action in these slabs of wood. Yes Laurie, right there!

And of course, as always, I had to go out in his "backyard" and look at the rest of the wood he has waiting for me. I always spend way more time than I need to out there, and always seem to come back to the shop with a few more pieces of wood than I intended. #woodworkersheaven (:

The slabs I got from Bill, were 6/4" and we wanted to bring those down to a little over an 1", and because these slabs had some imperfections in how they dried, they needed it anyway. So, I had to whip out my homemade Router Planing Sled. A fun, and definitely a dusty process it was. Apparently I forgot put my dust mask on that day. Oops. Shhhh. Taking the top layer of any slab and revealing the beauty of the grains  is one of my favorite parts of what I do, and oh boy, this slab didn't not all!

For the legs on this table, we were going for a clean, modern look. So we bent and welded some 4" Steel Flat Bar into some sleek, sturdy, rectangle shaped legs. And I think we achieved exactly what we were going for on this one.

This what the legs look like after welding and grinding, and before adding the patina and finish.
Ignore the shirt. It's to work and get dirty and sweaty in. (:

After adding a patina and finish to the legs, a few bow ties to the top and spraying a finish on the top, the table was complete. I love how this table turned out and it's still one of my favorite pieces that has come out of my shop. The grains and contrast of the these slabs are amazingly beautiful. I am honored to have this piece sitting in the dining room of a talented artist here in Austin. That, for the record, still hasn't invited me to come eat dinner on it. Ha.

See the full gallery of pics in Dining Table section.

Pics by Lisa Woods Photography