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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad brought these old slabs down from my grandpas farm from off the barn. I believe they are cedar. I really want to make a table out of these. I have two more slabs about the same size. They are about 90 inches long. I am a new woodworker and don't know the best way to make these into a dining room table. I have thought about epoxy but don't k ow if I want this to be my first epoxy project knowing how difficult that can be. I can see it being a cool and fun project. Any advice of how these could be made into a solid table thay can last year's would be appreciated
Sleeve Wood Trunk Twig Road surface
 

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welcome to the forum.
please enlighten us as to the tools you have and your workspace, etc.
I strongly suggest you seek out a woodworker in your area to help you dress the wood into useable lumber.
 

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A cat made me do it.
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My dad brought these old slabs down from my grandpas farm from off the barn.
How close to what is in the photo do you want to keep the look?

In general if the project uses valuable or rare material and it's something you haven't done before practice on something smaller or that you don't have as much $ and commitment in. For some projects I spend more time on practice, making jigs and tests etc than I do directly on what will be the finished piece.

I haven't made a table, so won't comment on how.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
welcome to the forum.
please enlighten us as to the tools you have and your workspace, etc.
I strongly suggest you seek out a woodworker in your area to help you dress the wood into useable lumber.
I have a small space in the garage. I don't have too many tools, but am willing to get more when the budget allows. Right now I have a table saw, router and table, jig saw, orbiting sander, a drill and some clamps, and a set of chisels. I realize it might not be all you need for a big job like this.

Thanks for the advice. I will look around and see if I can get someone to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How close to what is in the photo do you want to keep the look?

In general if the project uses valuable or rare material and it's something you haven't done before practice on something smaller or that you don't have as much $ and commitment in. For some projects I spend more time on practice, making jigs and tests etc than I do directly on what will be the finished piece.

I haven't made a table, so won't comment on how.
Thank you, that seems like sound practice when trying to keep some value. I have some boards I can practice with. As far as what I want to keep, I would like to keep as much of the look as I can while still making it usable.
 

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I think you need to give us a better idea of what you have in mind, other than what you've already said. The face of the boards you're showing us have curved surfaces, which means they were cut from the sides of the log, which means these boards have sap wood. This may not be of so importance a concern, but something to keep in mind. I suppose the other/opposite faces are flat, no curved areas on the surface. Which sides of the boards are to be the table's top? If the table top is to be of the flatter surfaces, then you wouldn't need the bark on the boards, since it would be unseen, i.e., the option of removing the unnecessary bark.

The boards appear to be nice and solid, however some sapwood may have decayed or is much softer in some (small?) areas, than other areas. Using a wooden mallet or scrap wood, tap on the boards in all areas, listening for a or the different sounds. A dull sound may indicate a weak, soft or potentially rotten area. You may not want a soft area.... you may want to do something about a soft area, if you find one/some. Inspect and study your boards carefully, give them a good evaluation.... if you haven't already.

No matter what finish or epoxy you apply, I don't think you will be able to maintain that weathered gray look, as seen in the pic, of the boards. If you wet the boards with water, the "color" will darken. You will need to clean the boards, so some of the weathered appearance will be removed. With some of the prepping of boards that I have done, there were times when light power washing was a reasonable option. Your boards appear to be in pretty good shape, so I'd suspect just some good stiff brushing may be sufficient, then blow off the dust with an air hose.

With all the cracks and crevices, epoxy coating may very well be your best bet for finish surfacing, especially if you want a smooth flat surface. You will be challenged. Bob is correct, do some practicing. You have some options for prepping and options for finished results. Do some homework and plan well. Don't rush things.

A consideration: However your boards turn out, as per appearance, during the prepping... meaning they are no longer gray/weathered in appearance... all is not lost. There is a simple option for obtaining an old appearance to your boards. For boards as that, you may not need them to have the weathered look for a nice looking table top. The old look may be just as nice. After prepping, if the boards look like normal raw wood, then you can faux age them using a vinegar solution - dissolve steel wool in vinegar and paint it onto the wood. The wood will turn darker, old looking. The degree of darkness achieved will depend on how concentrated the solution is.... Or painting 2 - 3 coats of a mild concentration will darken the wood more with each coat. Practice this technique on some scrap. Samples can darken within 10 minutes of application on hot sunny days.

Sonny

Power washed and planed cypress boards, the raw wood appearance.
https://flic.kr/p/EeRGXJ https://flic.kr/p/DYbxwL
Faux aged cypress boards, giving the rocker an old appearance.
https://flic.kr/p/2jiJ1E4
 

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Not wanting to discourage you but cedar is a very soft wood so will be easily damaged, not always the best choice for a dining room table. I realize there may be sentimental value in the wood so perhaps consider a less stressful use for the lumber.
 
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