I’ve designed a few pieces up to now, but this was the first one that has actually come to fruition. Everything else has been a recreation of some kind even if there has been my own improvisations to make them a little more unique. Not this time though!
Starting with a few sketches, I moved quickly to a 3D model to see if the proportions would be suitable. The legs and apron are reminiscent of the shapes used in Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture but without the classical adornments which I find to be a little ostentatious.
A drawer is cut into the front apron and some reeding along the length. Sadly, these features were not to come to fruition. While building a mockup of the apron, well, let’s just say it looks much better in the 3D rendering than it does on real wood. That old adage of “It looks better on paper” seems to hold true of electronically generated images as well
Build phase & inspiration
Apron half lap and leg mortise joinery
The material chosen for this project was curly maple for the top and straight maple for the aprons and sides. I chose these because if the top were straight grained maple, the legs would become the focal point and it would end up seeming to be bottom heavy. Using curly maple for the top added an element of balance to the whole table. All of the joints were cut by hand. Mortise & Tenon for the side aprons and half lap joints for the front aprons.
The top consisted of 3 board joined together. When working with figured woods, it can be very difficult to impossible to make a perfect match of the grain structure. In trying to see if it could be done with the materials on hand, it occurred to me that the figured wood looked like ripples flowing in a stream.
A beautifully figured top, ready for finish
This is where my inspiration to leave them unmatched came in and call this particular table “Streams of Life” because quite often we are swept along in the current of life by events that we sometimes have no control over and no two people follow an identical flow. A pebble could be thrown in to try and help, but only ripples are made making mostly minute changes in the grand scheme of things. Enough philosophical musings though. At least for now.
Finished with Linseed Oil and shellac, the top has an almost 3 dimensional look to it. The figure within the maple shifts and shimmers as your perspective changes similar to how a diamond necklace sparkles as you move (though not quite as dramatic). The top also has a protective coating of polyurethane to withstand most abuses that a table top is prone to receive.
The Finished Product
I’m very happy with the way this piece turned out. Take a look below and judge for yourself. If you’re interested in owning this piece, contact me and we can discuss it in more detail. I invite any comments you might have below!
Hand cut legs and aprons