This bar height table was comissioned by a local client here in Midland, MI as a gathering place in their recently remodeled basement.
The entire piece was made from red maple and steel. The top was made by joining two large slabs that came from the same section of trunk. The tree these came from was over 100yrs old with a trunk diameter of 40″ which is unusually old and large for this species. This tree was past the end of it’s life and had to be removed from a residential neighborhood in Bay City, MI. These two slabs sandwiched the slabs used for the tops of 13.24 and 13.17.
The feet were made from the sections cut off of the top slabs to make the straight, joined edge and the uprights were made from quartersawn pieces from another red maple tree. Angled supports were made from heavy 1/8″ wall structural tube steel and flat bar. Joints were all seam welded. This is significantly stronger than the 16-22 gauge tube steel and tack welding typcially used for mass-production furniture this size. The client will never have to worry about denting, bending or breaking these components.
The angled supports supplement the extremely strong fox wedged through tenon joint used to attach the feet to the uprights. Steel supports were connected to the feet and the uprights using high strength welded through bolts and nuts (not lag bolts). Evidence of the hardware was mostly hidden to provide a clean, finished look to the piece while retaining the full industrial strength of the components. The legs had to be removeable from the top to accomodate delivery through single doorways, around corners and down a flight of stairs. Accordingly, the top was attached with 16 bolts that connect to threaded inserts built into the top slab. This allows the piece to be assembled and reassembled many times without the risk of screws stripping in the top slab.
In this particular piece you will find various types of figure such as birdseye, ambrosia and burl in addition to ample curling throughout. The color of the wood was selected to be cohesive with the other finishes in the space and was achieved using water based analine dye which penetrates without masking the figure as much as a typical wood stain. Voids were filled with dark translucent resin to provide a top surface without anywhere for food and junk to get stuck. This was followed by more than 10 coats of water based polyurethane providing a smooth, durable, low maintanance surface that doesn’t require coasters or regular maintanance and will be easily refinished after a few decades of use.
After a month of planning and four months of construction. The graciously patient clients were finally able to recieve their finished piece. Measuring 42″ high, 56″ long and 54″ across and weighing in at 235 lbs, this is a solid piece that will comfortably sit eight and should last for a very, very long time.