Monday, November 04, 2013

Emergency woodworking

Building tables from old house parts

Someday I'll remember to take better pictures. This is the first of several planned tables using reclaimed lumber from Burlington, Iowa's, Preservation Station, a non-profit run by the Heritage Trust that strips old houses of useable parts before they're torn down. They were kind enough to donate the materials to the Art Guild, where we're creating high-tops for our social events. 

Here's the plans. Quarter sawn oak from baseboards, accented with brass kickplates aged with ammonia and coarse salt.
We chose baseboard, stripped the finish off on the jointer then glued it up to form the thickness necessary.
These brass plates came from an old school, where they protected the bottom of doors. Aged them with a mixture coarse salt and ammonia, then let it sit in the sun. Finished it with a spray of clear fix. Below is the base laying on the shop floor.

So here's the thing. This old wood is VERY dry and the cracking forced us to give up on details like mortise and tenon joinery for pocket hole screws and lots of glue. And because pieces kept cracking I had to substitute wood I had in the shop, which was often pine, when I ran out of oak baseboards... did I mention the tight deadline? So instead of the tung oil finish I'd hoped to use to bring out the grain, I ended up using a a Minwax gel stain in Cherrywood..The top is pine covered in blackboard paint, which was fun for the partygoers. Since these are all donated materials we're hoping for a nice soapstone for the remaining 4. Maybe slate. Maybe chalkboard. If not, it's all good.