June 9, 2011

Custom Coffee Table

Last summer I had this crazy idea we could tile wood from the fireplace mantel all the way up to the ceiling.  I must have seen pictures somewhere or something.  I'm not sure where I got this idea in my head.  I looked on Craigslist for reclaimed wood and found this guy that sells reclaimed wood.

We went down their and got unfinished flooring wood and - surprise! - a huge chunk of maple to use as a mantel.  C ended up knocking out the brick fireplace and replacing it with stone and putting the wood mantel on top.  After all that the idea of tiling wood above seemed over-the-top crazy busy.  Need any unfinished wood floor boards?

Back in May I asked C what he wanted for his birthday and he said he would like to make a coffee table to match the mantel.

Field Trip!  C and I took a drive just south of Olympia, WA to a tiny town called Rochester to the wood man (or Sawyer as C calls him - so official sounding).  This guy retired a few years back and putters around his out buildings shifting wood around and cutting wood and, uh, growing grapes to make wine.  ?! ok, didn't expect that one.  The directions he gave me to his house ended with, "Turn right at the grape vines."

We wandered around and wandered around.  We picked up this piece and that piece and turned our heads every which way to try and envision what the table might look like.  I tried my best not to act like a city suburb girl. Ultimately, we just picked a piece of wood that we thought looked really cool. (oh and was about the right length and width wanted).

Happily, we sped home out to dinner to celebrate C's birthday and upcoming coffee table.  We went to Oaxaca for dinner and totally did-not-need gelato for dessert. Pistachio and stracciatella mmmm heavenly.

I've asked C to write up the making of the table so watch for that someday.  Here's my version.  He looked online for inspiration and how-to.  He worked on understanding the difference, if any, between jointing and planing (never quite understood it myself).  He wanted to get really expensive tools which I worked very hard to delicately talk him out of.  He got a belt sander (useful).  He cut it to the right size.  He put the two halves together.  He sanded the crap out of it.  He put some varnish on it.  He put it together.

Yeah there was way more to it than that but I tried to stay out of the way and let him do his thing.  I love it and think it looks great in the family room.  It'll look even better once we get hardwood on the floor.  That'll be at least another year.  Baby steps.

Thanks C for the table.  Do you want one?  I told him he should make more and sell them!