From a tree to a table
How do i turn my tree into a table? I’ve been asked recently about where we get our lumber for our projects. The answer is quite simply, that depends on the project. Almost all the furniture we build is custom by request from the client or a designer. For this particular table we were contacted by Tom. He is a local business owner who was expanding his facilities. Where he needed to build were some very large Red oak and White Oak trees. He really wanted to save the trees but his design did not allow for that. We met at his place to discuss how we were going to remove his trees safely, and how much beautiful Oak lumber he would have after we milled his trees. Tom gave us the green light and we started saw milling the next day.
It took us over a week to mill Tom’s Oak trees due to their sheer size. The Trees were over 42 inches in diameter at their base.We had to have Two different sawmills operating at once. Our Granberg Chainsaw mill with a 46 inch capacity to make live edge slabs, and Our Woodland Mills HM126 to process the smaller tree parts into dimensional lumber. We managed to save over 3000 board feet of beautiful midwestern Oak for our customer. We Cut , Stacked, Stickered (placed small pieces of wood in between each piece) and covered from the elements until The wood could be moved inside .
Fast forward to One year in the future. Tom reaches out to me with an idea for a dining room table in his home. He wants 2 of his Oak slabs joined together to form the top of the table. For the legs we agreed to use some of the dimensional Oak 4×4 posts we milled for him set into each corner with a shouldered tenon. I met Tom at his storage facility and we picked Two slabs he liked for their interesting character and grain. We loaded the slabs and the dimensional lumber and it was off to the shop for drying and preliminary sizing. Keep in mind these are solid pieces of Oak at least 3 inches thick. That’s the size I like to work with.
The slabs have been drying and were ready to be sized. I straightened out One edge of each piece with a straightedge and our big Makita 10 inch circular saw. It was then time for planing. I started with a #5 fore plane on the bottom side of each piece followed by a #4 smoothing plane and a straight edge to get each piece as close to flat as possible. then it was time to flip each piece over. How was I going to flip such a heavy piece safely? A trip the local tool store supplied me with an automotive engine lift and some nylon straps and we were ready to move these pieces around the shop safely.