Friday, February 21, 2014

Conference Room Table - Beginnings

This project, when finished, will by far and away be the biggest project I've ever undertaken. That log in the foreground of the first picture is 10 feet long and almost 1 1/2 feet in diameter all the way along. Plus, it's "bent" allowing for an arch of sorts. It will ultimately form the meat of the tabletop.



The tree this log came from is a Douglas Fir. It was located right behind my shop and presented a hazard should it fall over. So, it had to come out. Because it was bent a bit, I decided to dig it out by the roots instead of just cutting it off at the base because part of the root was actually exposed and would make a really gnarly tabletop if slabbed right.

After a very long and arduous process of digging around the root system, many curse words, and a whole lot of frustration that I wasn't making as much progress as I would have liked to have made, a kindly neighbor and some of his young pups came over to help this old duffer.

We still had to dig some, but ultimately wound up pulling it over with a "come-along" chained to another tree close by. After that, it was a simple matter of cutting off the root system and deciding how long I wanted to leave each log cut from the tree trunk - three total.

I decided on 10 feet per log, and am now glad I did because the conference table will ultimately wind up being 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. Cutting the logs to 10 feet lengths allows me some "wiggle room" to play with.

Once we got the log situated up by our barn in a place where it could dry naturally, the patience quotient became a factor.

Three years later, it seemed to me it was ready, especially given that the bark virtually fell of when I tried to peel it.



In order to take advantage of the curve in this log, it had to be stood sort of "on end" with the arch up in the air.



Once that was done, the peeling was a breeze.


After all that, all I had to do is chock it to help prevent it from rolling over.


The next step in this process will be to sharpen the ripping chain for the 32 inch bar on my Stihl chainsaw, and try to cut this sucker right down the middle all along its length. That way, I'll have two bookend slabs to flatten out using my router planer. Those slabs will form the outer rails of the tabletop. I won't explain how I envision it to work in this post - that's fodder for when I'm farther along in the process.

The journey begins.