We just finished up on another stunning live edge walnut contemporary dining table that I wanted to share with the group. I own and run, Refined Elements, which is based outside of Austin, TX. We have the one of the largest live edge walnut inventories in Texas and are expanding our inventory into Pecan,Mesquite and Maple in the near future. We are building a 52" wide throat, hydraulically controlled, diesel powered sawmill and have a partnership with DeVos Woodworking. DeVos and Refined Elements will be offering live edge, kilned dried slabs at very competitive rates to fellow woodworkers, lumber yards and individuals alike. Our walnut is typically sourced outside of Texas as I've found that Texas walnut is low grade wood due to the drought conditions. Not to say that Texas walnut does not have some amazing character.
The top is a bookmatch set of American Black Walnut. We purchased the log in Michigan and had it milled specifically for a client in Dallas. Of course, we used the extra slabs for other projects, but we hand selected what we felt was the best two slabs for this particular piece.
Each slab was originally up to 42" across. Once bookmatched, we could have produced a table with a minimum width of 65" and maximum length of 124" long. We designed this particular table to allow for proper clearance in the dining room. So the final dimensions of the table was 55" wide x 109" long x 2-1/4" thick.
The base is produced from solid steel which we machined and fabricated We call our solid steel bases the Leviathan series due to their sheer size and weight! LOL. Each leg is double plated brass, polished to a mirror finish. The weight of each leg is 125 lbs. We used brass inserts and machined the base to allow for expansion and contraction. We also do solid bronze, stainless, chrome, nickel, burnished brass and copper bases.
We are quite proud of our finishes and feel they are unrivaled. Yes, I'm personally biased. We take extra time to seal, sand, seal, sand, seal and then go into a schedule of polishing and buffing our hand rubbed oil varnishes. We make our own blends in-house like many others. We don't like film finishes unless it is an extremely high traffic area such as bars, restaurants or a family full of kids. It is an easy care finish and we provide a re-finishing video to all our clients. We also don't use petroleum based solvents in an effort to keep things as green as possible.
Let me know what you think. We are working on a Texas Walnut table that I will post soon. It has a total of 32 bowties and is quite an interesting piece.
Devin Ginther, Owner
Refined Elements LLC
I appreciate all the kind feedback and comments. I'm always looking for critical input so keep it coming.
The top is up to 55" at max. Necks down to about 50". The client wanted an extremely wide table and plus it wasted less wood which they are paying for. Yes, these slab tops are not for everyone to work with. We have some pretty big equipment to handle it without breaking your back, and it requires at least two strong men to flip 180 degrees. I'd guess the entire table with legs weighs 500-600 lbs.
It is funny the mixed comments about the base. I understand both sides. I personally prefer wood but do appreciate metal in some instances. I'm especially fond of bronze myself, if we are talking metal. We do a lot of exotic metal bases as contemporary design is extremely popular nowadays. In fact, we are starting to look into bronze and iron castings. Modern contemporary and traditional woodworking seem to be at opposing stylistic ends. In the end, it is about the end user. This base is certainly a minimalist, slim profile base. I'd like to see a 4-5" thick base but then we'd be talking 250-300 lbs per leg. Starts getting very difficult to move anything!
We are working on a few lines of contemporary solid wooden legs. I will have to post some pics in the next 1-2 months to see what you think. We are milling 10"x10"s from logs and hope to produce some unique stuff.
I too have ( needless to say) agree with the others.It almost goes without saying that these are some beautiful pieces of wood made into some very stunning wooden tables . I could see them in a conference room, or large room in someones home ,or indeed a hotel ,etc.
I really have to give you a well deserved pat on your back (Metaphorically speaking of course) but you know what I mean , really wonderful.And thanks for showing us this. Alistair
Thanks Randy, I know most band saws cut 26" wide slabs. I have an opportunity to buy a costume made one that cuts 46" wide boards for less than $7500; $1100 portable. The loggers around here leave all the crouches and tops in the woods to rot as they don't see any value in them. Most of them don't even bother with anything bigger than 26" as they have to use chainsaws to cut them in half before turning them into lumber. My consideration is to purchase that 46" sawmill and pay a descent price for those tops that are normally left behind to rot. Just have to figure out how to store that much wood one purchase at a time.
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