As I begin to write this post I fear that I just won’t do The Carpenter justice. He has been working on his latest farm table for a total of 2 years. Okay so he hasn’t actually been building it for 2 years but that is when he first claimed the wood that he used to build this masterpiece. I’m calling it The Jack because it was for our friend Jack, I know so original right? I have been relentless in trying to come up with the perfect name for this table; one that conveys strong, sturdy, everlasting. I started with Big Bertha because it is BIG. Then I moved to The Centenarian because it will last FOREVER. I settled with Jack because Jack is a strong name and it was made for JACK.
Rewind to 2 years ago when the Carpenter claimed this wood. The table is made from a combination of hickory and oak. The hickory came from a tree on the golf course near our home after it had been blown over during a large storm. The oak is sourced from 2 places; a friend’s farm where the tree had gotten a disease and was about to fall down and from a nearby plot of land in which a tree had been blown over in a storm. There are many steps in the construction of a reclaimed table.
Step #1 The Carpenter claimed the wood from all 3 locations with his HUGE and SCARY chainsaw.
Step #2 The Carpenter milled the wood into stock dimensions.
Step #3 The Carpenter dried the wood for almost 2 years.
Step #4 Settled on the design of The Jack.
Step #5 Planed the wood.
Step #6 Built the table.
…and that brings us to The Jack.
The dimensions of The Jack are 7 feet x 7 feet x 29.5 inches tall. The Jack will seat 12 people. It had to be installed on-site because how does one load a table for 12 on the back of a truck completely assembled and forget fitting a table for 12 through a doorway?
There is no stain on the table, it is all natural. The Carpenter used tung oil which waterproofs wood and gives it a natural finish and brings out the coloring. Tung oil penetrates into wood whereas varnish sits on top of the wood. Tung oil is typically 2-3x the cost of varnish but there are no *VOCs in tung oil and it’s food safe.
*Volatile organic compounds- variety of chemicals emitted as gases which may have short and long-term adverse health effects.
This was the most extensive amount of mortising the Carpenter has ever done. A mortise is a hole that is cut in a piece of wood or other material so that another piece (called a tenon) will fit into it to form a connection. See above image of sturdy table leg for an example of a mortise.
Needless to say I’m so proud of the Carpenter for his major accomplishment and I’m ready for him to start working on our very own reclaimed kitchen table. We already have the wood – the same wood from The Chestnut post. Maybe one day soon I will be writing a sequel to that post, the Cook can dream can’t she….