Natural Edge Black Walnut Night Stand George Nakashima Style

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Project by WoodArtbyJR posted 04-07-2013 11:15 PM 2421 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is another natural edged side table I just finished. Measures about 15” x 15” and about 2+” thick. It is also from a local black walnut tree harvested 15+ years ago and has been air drying ever since. I sanded it to 240 grit, applied one coat of teak oil and the finished it off with 2 coats of Arm-R-Seal. Again, I used legs from out of New Port Beach CA. I know everyone is always looking for vendors that are good to deal with and these folks are. My wife wanted the night stand to be level with the bed so that’s why it’s so high. I use 24” hair pin 3/8” dia legs. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. Thank you for looking.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

7 comments so far

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8776 posts in 3880 days

#1 posted 04-08-2013 12:38 AM

Nicely done Jim…..the finish looks great, always curious how to finish a live edge….you got it right…

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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717 posts in 3213 days

#2 posted 04-08-2013 01:22 AM

great lookin table very nice

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View WoodArtbyJR's profile


428 posts in 3880 days

#3 posted 04-08-2013 02:15 AM

Jeff, I did this one a little different. The last table I hand wire brushed all the loose debris off and then I sealed it with two coats of Arm-R-Seal. It came out with a shine (I didn’t like that). This time, the bark was firmly attached and very pronounced. The flat edge where it got sanded along with the table edges (& top) I sealed it with the 2 coats of Arm-R-Seal. Being porous it soaked it up and it’s still thirsty so it doesn’t get that shinny look. The rough bark area I hit it with a diluted teak oil & mineral spirits. I diluted it so I could spray it with a spray bottle. It soaks up the oil giving it an oiled look, provides a bit of a seal without giving the shinny look. Now, this is all theory on my part so time will tell if this was a good choice or not. I am going to use this same method on the next one that will be a match for the first end table on the other end of the leather couch as it has some adhered bark as well.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

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369 posts in 2882 days

#4 posted 04-08-2013 04:25 AM

Nice Job!

-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

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3375 posts in 3936 days

#5 posted 04-08-2013 04:56 AM

Jim, that is a very nice looking table. I really like the live edge

-- Larry in Hawaii,

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180 posts in 3886 days

#6 posted 04-08-2013 06:02 AM

That’s a nice table , anything live edge makes a difference.
But you (and all the others) really have to stop saying ’’‘George Nakashima Style’’’. If you are influenced by GN work that’s all fine and dandy but as far as style goes you are one cut away from a rectangular piece of walnut on metal legs, absolutely nothing to do with GN.(even your finish is different)
I don’t mean to piss on your parade it just seems everyone is saying ’’George Nakashima Style’’.
I had a look thru your projects and you have some very nice pieces, maybe its time for you to say this is made in JR Style!!

G Vavra
(rant is over)

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428 posts in 3880 days

#7 posted 04-09-2013 02:01 PM

kimosawboy, I think you and I are going to have to disagree on some of your points. “To be inspired by” or “In the style of” to me are pretty much the same. The “free edge” was innovated by Mr Nakashima. His early trainings in Japan in the ‘30s and later during internment in the ‘40s where at the camp he met Gentaro (sometimes spelled Gentauro) Hikogawa, a man trained in traditional Japanese carpentry, I believe, are the beginning’s of his whole outlook on life and inspirational woodworking creations. I think he is also quoted in saying that when we (man) harvest a tree and we make furniture from it, the tree is starting it’s new life. Thus, we honor the tree. True, he didn’t use steel. He did though do “right angles”. His philosophy was, “To honor the tree”. He was also green before it was even known what being green was. He tried to use the tree in such a way that it showed off it’s beauty, live edge, cracks, checks, holes etc because in his eye that was part of its beauty. I have always loved the live edge even before I knew there was a name or a style to it. As far as the finish goes, I believe he would have loved the Arm-R-Seal finish as it seals the wood without giving that thick plastic look while at the same time helping to bring out the beauty that nature has produced. True, I have 3 right angles, but that’s what I had to work with. To some that piece might have been a scrap piece or would have been re-sawn into dimensional lumber of peppermill blanks but I didn’t want to loose that beautiful natural edge. So, am I inspired by Mr. George Nakashima? Yes I am. Does Mr. Nakashima have a style? Yes he does. Do I believe that any live edge piece is in the style of? I like to think so. With that, I like to think that I honor and thank Mr. George Nakashima (1905-1990) for his insight, philosophy and his stylistic creations.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

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