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Project Information

We tore down a wall and installed a bookshelf base for this walnut tabletop.

I overbuilt the base because I wanted to adequately support this massive top.
Dimensions are 46" wide, 56" long and over 1.5" thick

The walnut was air dried for two years. It worked very well with hand tools. After flattening with planes, it took little sanding to get it ready for finish.

I glued up the slab with West Systems epoxy.

Gallery

Comments

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876 Posts
All that sumptuous wood grain, I have green eyes. Lucky you to have all that wonderful material.
 

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All that sumptuous wood grain, I have green eyes. Lucky you to have all that wonderful material.
I showed my wife - she loves it too!
 

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Beautiful outstanding top.Nice wood.
 

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Very awesome work. I like to see the sapwood. Sometimes people forget that mother nature made it to match.
 

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beautiful top.excellent build.thanks for sharing.
 

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Thanks, everyone!

Ted, I'll try m best to remember the finishing schedule. I started with a penetrating oil finish, pretty sure it was Boiled Linseed Oil. After I satiated the walnut's thirst, I moved toward film finished, starting with a oil /poly / thinner mix. 4-5 coats of wipe on / wipe off wasn't building the protection that I knew this surface would require. So I smoothed it out again with 320 grit paper and shot a coat of poly with my Apollo turbine. That provided a nice level of protection but because I don't have a spray booth, I ended up with a gritty finish. I knocked down the dust nips with 320 then 400 wet/dry. Then I quickly wiped on a couple "flash coats" of poly, which is in the 70% thinner / 30% poly range.

Long process but the end result shines like a new penny. The original coats of oil popped the curl and the poly will make sure it is beautiful for years to come!
 

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I love your walnut tabletop. I was wondering…how is it that walnut sometimes get that white streak through it. I was fortunate once to have a piece like that.
 

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Is that the sapwood? And if so, what does that mean?
 

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You are right, DanaLynn. That is the sapwood.

From what I've heard, it isn't as prominent on some pieces, especially those that have been fumed and kiln dried.
I think Wood Talk has discussed this in the past. Shannon might be able to offer his lumberyard process knowledge if you want more information. http://lumberjocks.com/ShannonRogers

These boards are a lovely example of the benefits of air dried stock. Easy to work with edge tools. Unadulterated beauty of nature!

It is important to note that the sapwood doesn't run "though" the piece but rather along the edge. It is shown in 4 bands on this tabletop. I arranged the boards in a sap/heart/sap repeating pattern.

Think of this tabletop as three "sections" that each represent one tangential log cross section (imagine laying the log on the ground and slicing parallel to the ground, also known as "flitch" or "through and through" cutting). Each section will progress from bark, to sapwood, to heartwood, back to sapwood, and finally out the other side of bark. When you set the sliced sections next to each other, the sapwood from one section will merge with the sapwood on the next.

Again, it is kinda hard to explain and really easy to do. Just compose the board until they flow.
 

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Wonderful tabletop that shows off the beauty of the complete tree width. You did a great job composing
the boards. Thank you for sharing.
 

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Beautiful work and very good explanations! Thanks for sharing the project and knowledge with us.
 

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OMG ! I think I'm in love : )
This is one of the most gorgeous tabletops that I've ever seen ! Thanks for including the Sapwood…that is one of my favorite parts of Walnut. The natural contrast of the two is really amazing .
Mother Nature rules : )
Your finish compliments the wood perfectly.
 

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beautiful table. I love the heart and sap of walnut
 

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Thats some handsome wood there!
 

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More & more people are going with air-dried as opposed to kiln dried. Works nicer.
 
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