Custom table design with thick Vine

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Forum topic by litletre posted 01-05-2019 03:27 PM 1159 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 1268 days

01-05-2019 03:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table bark custom design vine sealer

Ok so I have this Vine that is very old I cut down prob 6 years ago. I believe I tested it with s spray sealer initially but I’m wanting to make a custom table with it. My question is, what is best approach? I like the bark but after reading other thread assume this will only be problematic? IDK how I would even remove it all and is Vine react like tree wood the same? And helpo would be greatly appreciated. Also the wood is stabilized so that’s a plus…I think

-- "Everything went wrong, until it came out better than right" -tdh

10 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile


782 posts in 2110 days

#1 posted 01-08-2019 06:57 PM

That is one awesome piece of vine. I have no answers to your questions, but thought a response might get you a bump to where smarter people can help.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Aj2's profile


4491 posts in 3289 days

#2 posted 01-08-2019 08:05 PM

If you want a custom table made from that vine drop it off at my shop with a 8,000 dollar check come back in June and you’ll have the most beautiful looking vine table that’s ever been seen on earth.
Other then that I’d drag it out in a field and hang targets on it. :)
Since when LJ become free designers

-- Aj

View Phil32's profile


1796 posts in 1394 days

#3 posted 01-08-2019 09:29 PM

Not sure what you meant that “the wood is stabilized,” but you first need to find a stable position – a 3 point stance for the bottom. Then to find 3 or more support points at the desired table height. Will the top be glass (to show off the base) or wood?

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View LesB's profile


3500 posts in 4934 days

#4 posted 01-08-2019 10:09 PM

I get lost when it comes to being artistic with things like that but if the vine will support your weight they it will probably support a top for a table…..I assume a coffee table size.
Boy….dealing with the bark is another problem. If you want to remove it you need to experiment. If the underlying wood is hard I might try sand blasting it with walnut shell sand blasting material which will get you into all the cracks and crevices. If you have a good size compressor you can try doing it your self. There are small sandblasters the size of a spray gun for about $30 or bigger units that suck the blasting material out of a bucket. Otherwise there are commercial places that can do it but finding one may take some searching. Of course you have to like the looks of the underlying wood so be sure to test scrape an area before doing the whole thing.

-- Les B, Oregon

View therealSteveN's profile


10177 posts in 2065 days

#5 posted 01-08-2019 10:37 PM

Not sure what you meant that “the wood is stabilized,”

- Phil32

I was trying to get my head around this as well. If there is to be any cutting, you may find different. I know squat about using a vine as big as you have here, but I’ve found the vine I have worked with is essentially limb wood. As we all know limb wood is only used by our turning brethren, and those who like surprises. Once cut limb wood generally moves quite a bit. Mostly from releasing internal stress. I fear you will have what seems to be a very tall table, or some type of movement.

Is there any of this, that you have, that is not from the piece in the pic? If so I would experiment there first to see what happens after cutting it. Another thing to check if you have a moisture meter is get a reading of the end, of the side of the vine, and then re-read right after cutting. I’ve had vine for just simple wreaths that was cut several years, and on cutting it more, it bled water, was real damp internally. I also have had some grape vine that dried so much it became brittle.

-- Think safe, be safe

View litletre's profile


24 posts in 1268 days

#6 posted 01-11-2019 10:02 AM

Thank you all for your response. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate it

Aj, thanks for the offer, but I’ll prob pass ATM, lol. However this leads me to think you know something I don’t, haha but Steven your suggestions are on this weekends to do, I’ll keep you posted

As for the “stabilized wood” part, I’m finding it hard to think that after more than 6 years, I think even a month or 2 in the crazy Utah weather, and has not changed at all, at least from what I can tell. Makes me realize I have pictures closer to time I brought home and now…hmmm might be worth checking.

A moisture meter is s logic suggestion, one I should have done before posting, so ty for the reminder. And side note are there any ones I should stay away from, etc. Prob a whole other topic, haha.

I am very grateful for the info on possible option of removing the bark. It was exactly what I was looking for from a highly knowledgeable community you have here. Cheers Les.

I have a large compressor andI have cut off a piece lately because I wanted to try and feature/contrast the rings which are the most striking rings I have ever seen. I’ll post pics of what I mean. That’s what makes me wonder if I should remove bark.

And here is most recent pic. I was thinking glass would have highest Arch of would about 5 inches out as there is def prefect 3v point placement below

Thanks again to you all for taking the time to help me out


P s. That large section of rings is the same cut from 6 yrs past. Might givr info on what is doing?

-- "Everything went wrong, until it came out better than right" -tdh

View Pat's profile


24 posts in 1259 days

#7 posted 01-17-2019 03:15 AM

I would start with a laser set up away from the table ,start at the bottom and get your legs flat on the floor and then go to the top and get it all flat and then you have it,,,,that is a very nice peace,

-- Pat Elk Ridge Wild Woods

View litletre's profile


24 posts in 1268 days

#8 posted 01-17-2019 03:25 AM

Pat, that actually a very smart way to do that, didn’t even think of that, so thank you :)

I’m still stuck at what I should do to stand test of time so to speak. Bark on or off, got great ideas about removing the bark, ty for those again, but ideally want to hold onto bark if it’s possible. If it’s not then it’s not, but I thought I would see what the community here had to say.

-- "Everything went wrong, until it came out better than right" -tdh

View tblank's profile


83 posts in 4461 days

#9 posted 01-17-2019 03:48 AM

To me the beauty in the piece is just that. Natural beauty. The way it has grown and formed. It looks like it has withstood the test of time. I would try to showcase the entire vine and seal it with a “watered” down epoxy. I can’t help but think of a glass top. The structure is so unique the way it winds and twists and its’ joints. Some views it looks like a human limb, wiry and muscle(y). I know not a word. It is like a live edge. How can you improve on what nature has created? The thing to do is to show it off.

ps. Epoxy can be cut with denatured alcohol to any consistency you want. Seal it with that, then there is a resin made by Reichold that will polish right up if you want a glossy look.

View litletre's profile


24 posts in 1268 days

#10 posted 01-17-2019 06:12 AM

Well said thank you so much tblank. That was the Cherry on top of a load of great advice and suggestions. I am thinking glass as you can see I have 2 points naturally close to level (ish) and crazily envisioned that hump jutting out of the glass top. (Extending our further than lines though)Only problem is I might have to post the 4th support which wouldn’t be to bad. I’m also going to try and enhance (Dremel sand and clean each ring) each of the cut opening for contrast, as you can see the rings are striking. I also second the test of time but I still was not confident to pull trigger even though any time spent will be great, I didn’t want to waste this one if a kind piece.

Going to try the epixy and reichold this weekend and I’ll post the result.

Again thanks everyone this is a great community you got here

-- "Everything went wrong, until it came out better than right" -tdh

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