Fine Line Joinery (Grass Valley, CA)
Category – Furniture Under $25K
Project Description – This project began with 3 slabs of urban salvage redwood. The first two were a 16’ long, sequential pair, 3 -½” thick by about 26” wide at their butt ends, tapering to about 18”. They were to be aligned opposed to each other (the butt of one slab adjacent to the tip of the other) to net a table top about 42 or 43” wide by 13’ long. Not having a machine capable planing such large slabs was an issue. This was solved by using the router sled shown in one of the attached photos, with a 1-½” planing bit. Each slab was laid on my shop floor, shimmed to support it in its “relaxed” position then its entire surface “planed” with the router. Once flat, the slab was flipped over and the process repeated. Needless to say, this was quite a time consuming process.
The third slab (non-sequential) was used to build the legs and stretchers. The stretchers were assembled using traditional mortise and thru tenon joinery, with a tapered key to lock the joints together. In reality, the tapered key was largely ornamental, since I used polyurethane glue in the joint also. The legs both taper and splay outward, to achieve the grounded, Asian influence that the client desired. The bottom of each leg has a -½”thick piece of UHMW plastic recessed into it and attached with stainless steel screws, to protect both the wood and the patio pavers from each other.
Unusual Aspects – The client was drawn more to table designs using legs rather than the typical trestle styles, which would have been well suited to such a long table. She also wanted a design that exhibited a strong Asian influence. Those criteria led to the design you see here: a sort of hybrid leg/trestle design, with the tapered and splayed legs. The dimensions of the table are 43”wide by 13’ long. It is quite massive, yet the elegance of the design belies that mass.
Why I like the CMA – Being a member of recognized trade organizations lends an air of professionalism to my company. It lets potential customers know that I am a professional, take my business seriously and plan to be around for a while.
In particular, participating in the CMA forums has been quite helpful over my years of membership. In reality, I don’t get a chance to participate as much as I would like, but when I have, it has been great, whether to help solve some problem in the shop, or to discuss various business issues.