Timber Slab Dining Table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 59 Old 11-04-2006, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Timber Slab Dining Table

Hi everyone, My name is Troy, I am from Australia and I am about to create a dining table using a slab of english elm. I am looking for some designs or plans and ideas if anyone knows of any on the web.
I will post some pictures later as it starts to happen.
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post #2 of 59 Old 11-04-2006, 08:27 AM
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How thick are the slabs? Do they still have the bark on them?

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
www.bigdaveswoodworks.com
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post #3 of 59 Old 11-04-2006, 11:57 AM
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Here's one I built years ago. Don't know all the names for the various pieces, but: The top and legs are Douglas Fir, the horizontals on the floor are Arbutus, the horizontal between those is a butterfly'd Yellow cedar bole.
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post #4 of 59 Old 11-04-2006, 12:06 PM
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And here's one I didn't do, but is in a building that I built this spring. It's a bit weird for my taste, but anyway...
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post #5 of 59 Old 11-04-2006, 08:26 PM
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Ok here are a couple that I've done, actually the only two. One is just a long single peice of white pine that had the bark on both edges. It went to a local restaurant and that is the width they wanted. It is 12' long and about 30" wide. The second went to a home that had an alcove that they needed a table for. It was 67" wide by 72" long. It took 3 slabs to get the width and on the ends I let in a leftover peice of the barked edge I had to rip off to get the same look on all four sides.









The drips under the top were sanded off I just hadn't gotten too it before I took the picture. The finish on the tops is an epoxy finish called liquid glass. The finish on the bases is just plain old laquer.

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post #6 of 59 Old 11-05-2006, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Wow guys, theyre brilliant, I love them.
The timber slabs are about 40mm thick but taper to about 80mm thick at one end, but I am going to put them through a thickening machine.
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post #7 of 59 Old 11-05-2006, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Here is one design I was thinking about, and my slabs the start of project.
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post #8 of 59 Old 11-05-2006, 08:18 AM
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Those are some great looking tables...

Nothing like sitting down and pulling up a chair to a big old slab table..

We will harvest no burl before it's time.....
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post #9 of 59 Old 11-05-2006, 09:04 AM
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Those are some nice looking slabs Jesterchef.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
www.bigdaveswoodworks.com
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post #10 of 59 Old 11-05-2006, 12:28 PM
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One phrase you don't hear with this furniture: "Hand me that table"!
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post #11 of 59 Old 11-15-2006, 09:00 AM
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Hey Troy,

Any progress on those slabs???

Did you settle on a design yet

We will harvest no burl before it's time.....
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post #12 of 59 Old 11-15-2006, 04:34 PM
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Slab table tops are great. I recently made a 3" thick bar top out of spalted flame white birch for a cusomer. It's still waiting to go into the kiln and final processing. I'll try to attach a pic here but I'm not sure how well I'll do......


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post #13 of 59 Old 11-15-2006, 04:39 PM
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Ok, that didn't work for $*##*. I knew there was a reason I work in sawdust and not technology......Sorry guys, I'll try to figure it out.
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post #14 of 59 Old 11-15-2006, 06:58 PM
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I love birch,,,That should be an awesome top.

Don't worry...you'll get the picture thing..

We will harvest no burl before it's time.....
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post #15 of 59 Old 11-15-2006, 09:19 PM
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I haven't worked with really big slabs yet but one thing I hear is that what you do to the topside you should do the same to the bottom or it will have defects over the years.
i.e. if you top it with 5 coats of clear you should not only coat the bottom, but coat it with 5 coats. I don't know the accuracy of this, but it seems to make sense. If you pour a gallon of PU on the top but leave the bottom bare, then the moisture is going to enter/exit out of the bottom at a much faster rate.
This is just book knowledge on my part though no experience.
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post #16 of 59 Old 11-15-2006, 09:25 PM
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I haven't had any trouble yet but my stuff isn't 5 or 20 years old yet either. I have a coffee table that I built and only poly'd the top and not the bottom so I will watch and see. If the furniture peice is placed in a house then it should be ok as long as the relative humidity is kept constant. One thing that I stress to homeowners when I install a wood floor is to keep the relative humidity between 35% and 45%. my wood floors along with most other wood floors are only finished on the top side with no adverse affect. I'm not saying I'm right but these are my little tid-bits of knowledge.

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post #17 of 59 Old 11-16-2006, 12:56 PM
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Ok, I clearly can't do this right.

The pic is on the gallery photos. I seem to be able to upload ok right from the CD but I think the image is just too big for this.

Last edited by JP Sinclair; 11-16-2006 at 01:13 PM. Reason: photo
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post #18 of 59 Old 11-16-2006, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
. . .my wood floors along with most other wood floors are only finished on the top side with no adverse affect . . . .
That is a good point. I thought about it though and I think the difference is that the bottomside of floors are not exposed like the bottomside of a top. And like I said, I have zero empirical data to support what I have read.
I remember eeadin a really good thread about htis on Woodweb. Maybe I'll go digging later.
What is the oldest thick top you have kept track of and how did you finish it. Open question to all.
I have to take back what I said. I said I had no experience with thixk tops, nut the lawbook shelf I built for a law office many moons ago had 2" thick shelves, with PU on the tops and nothing on the bottom two shelves. The principal lawyer died and the office building has since been condemned but I think I can get access from the city building inspector. Maybe I should go look at the shelves just for the knowledge I could get.
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post #19 of 59 Old 11-16-2006, 04:26 PM
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I have 50 or so slab tables out there that are just finished on the top and sides. I only had one that took to bendin' and warpin' and it's the only honey locust table I ever made. The redwoods, oak, cherry, pine, walnut and buckeye tables are just like the day I finished them. I have used epoxy and poly and oil and they all seem to be fine.....Maybe I'm just lucky....

We will harvest no burl before it's time.....
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post #20 of 59 Old 11-17-2006, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Progress so far

It is good to hear the info about using slabs as I have never before worked with them.
Here are some more pics of the timber, I bought some rosewood to build the frame and have been busy driving my slabs around to get them through a thickner machine.
It was great to see them when they came through the first time from raw timber to finished.

by the way JP sinclair to add a photo you need to resize it first then save it and then add it.
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