I had someone ask for a walnut slab table to sit 8-10 people for a new house they are moving in to. After shopping around and looking and contacting a few dozen sawmills we finally found one we liked that was the right size. A big claro walnut table has been on my bucket list for a while, so I was glad when they wanted one and I would have the chance to do it.
The slab delivered, cracks and all:
Lots of Epoxy and marks where I planned to butterfly dovetail cracks:
Scraping epoxy and leveling it a bit. There was about 1/8" of a cup on the lower end of the slab that had to be planed out.
First Coat of Shellac on:
Some great grain at the top end where it looks like the tree split in to three large branches:
Many coats of varnish later:
The base design. The trestle style allows maximum flexibility in seating, and I really like the swept style of the arch and the end pieces. It all breaks down by 4 bolts which connect to threaded inserts on the underside of the slab. The end pieces connect to the stretchers with some bed frame hardware I adapt for uses like this and can be assembled tool free. The upper stretcher doesnt connect to the top slab, but it does let the middle spanner rest on it so the slab won't sag in the middle. This slab was about 1.5" thick, but most slabs this size are 2.5-3" thick, so they don't have much concern about sag. But it also cost half of what 3" thick slab would run, which was a huge consideration.
Base in progress. This is black walnut and had some sapwood in it. I didn't want it to distract too much from the top, so I dyed the sapwood some to blend the color to an even tone and help it look more uniform.
End view of finished table:
I always try to do a little extra, so I had a piece of claro walnut crotch grain and made a bowl to go along with the new table. I really enjoy doing these kinds of projects, and it takes a lot of trust for someone to spend as much on a table like this, so I always try to go above and beyond.