A few little sticks

About a year ago,  back when the winters were cold, a friend of ours gutted an old guitar factory wherein to build himself a humble home.  Being very environmentally minded, he saved us a few little sticks from the old building and asked us to make him a small table on which to eat his meat stuffs.   Nick returned from the construction site with this modest cargo.


With a little help from the ancient Egyptians,  the Ford S250, and Josh’s huge guns, we were able to unload and stack the new sticks in our shop…


…where they would then marinate in the juices of creative potential and neglect for many months to come.

One Year Later:
Now the winter is balmy, the dainty design is agreed upon, the new house is being warmed, and our muscles are properly developed after a year of rigorous training. Now we are finally ready to make our first cuts.


As a nod to their original purpose (and because we are a little insane), we have decided to keep all of the timbers at their full thickness (a whopping 6 3/4″). Which means  our options for cutting, shaping, and joining said timbers are limited to this crude & powerful farm tool,

the 24″ Laguna bandsaw,


the human flattener,


and the framing chisel/bicep combo.


We are making a 80″ diameter circle table top comprised of twelve 30 degree triangles.  Getting really nice flat and square edges on these triangles is crucial for our glue up, but due to the thickness of the material and the limitations of our machinery, achieving this precision has proven challenging.  So we initially spent a good amount of time trying, making, failing, correcting, and moving these beefy wedges all around the shop while Nick serenaded us with uplifting songs about drinking.


AND THEN, with a little help from the invaluable network of fellow woodworkers, we discovered a neighboring shop with this badass rig–a 13″ blade on a table saw with a sliding angled fence and bed.   With this set-up we could finally achieve the accuracy we require.


Thank God for our new friend Eric Lammers and his shop full of enormous machines!


Behold, twelve equal triangles perfectly arrayed around a center point.


Now, what kind of base supports such a beast of a table top?


Why, a beefy beast of a trestle! (and some Johnny Cash covers)


Notice we work in twos on most aspects of this production. This is only to increase our accuracy, not because we are at all “un-beefy”.

(Matt–come back. Please?)


Once the basic shapes are cut (yes, that’s a 10″ jigsaw blade–what?), we will now begin to mill the three connecting stretchers (Douglas Fir 4×10 timbers from the same demolition).  We’ll also attempt to glue up this massive circle, using splines to align the wedges and support the seams.  Here we cut the dados for the spline joints.


Which leaves us at the current stage of creative chaos.  Stay tuned! And grab a broom while you’re at it.


See the next steps of this project here