The story of the river table

A look inside after all the epoxy was set

A good friend of mine gave me a call one day and told me her sister was interested in having a water-feature table made for their beach house and asked if I was interested. Shortly after I said yes, this massive piece of live edge burl maple came dropping  into my life. Truth be told, I helped pick this beast out via FaceTime as the table seekers lived in Seattle and wanted to pick the wood in person. We brought it to a local rent-a-woodshop space and to my disbelief, this was too wide for their band saw and too thick for the table saw. Pictured below I was considering attaching a sled to the piece itself (hence the two skinny pieces of wood) but the blade was still too short. I called in a dear friend to help me figure out how to cut this straight down the middle and it was a great relief when he wanted to do it for me. My small battery powered circular saw cut half way though and when we flipped it over he cut the other half with precision.

After it was split and a tad easier to carry around, I brought it to a beloved workspace called Creative Woodworking. BIGGEST PLANER EVER! It was exciting to see this begin to take form.  So many choices go into laying it out and in the end I decided to put a lighter section on the right with sand so your eye would follow the left curve. I added the resin one eighth inch at a time on a three inch thick table. This one was on my workbench for a couple of months as I made two other tables in the mean time to see how different resins would perform. I have a lot more experience with resin now than when I built this table and still that is the way I would do it today, layer by layer. Often when people do thick pours they need to use mica powders to hide the imperfections and the result is less translucent and more glittery.We were going for a way to show off this beautiful hunk of yummy wood.

One of the slides is a glass jar with layers of all the blues I didn’t pick!  There are so many bubbles in it because I didn’t want to point my torch in there. I love the way the color did come out on this beauty. After a few layers of color I switched to clear resin to make sure you could see the detail of the burl with its wonderful under water like texture. On the last layer came the spider, the one I was always worried about.. I designed the legs and had them fabricated at a local company and then powder-coated for a scratch resistant and durable finish.






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