This is a simple table with a flame birch top and walnut base. Flame birch is one of our most beautiful domestic woods. Under the right light it has a three dimensional depth that makes it shimmer as you move around it. The price for this is that it is very difficult to work with handtools as the grain shifts direction every which way.
I used a mix of handtool and powertool techniques to build this table. The walnut base is morticed and tenoned together. I used a router to make the mortices and cut the tenons on my tablesaw. There were quite a few M&T joints to make and the power tools gave me better results in far less time than I could have done them by hand. (I told you I wasn't a purist). The curves on the legs were roughed out on a bandsaw and finished up with a spokeshave, rasps, and scrapers. The edges of the top are relieved with curves that match the legs and rails of the base. I used a spokeshave to create the curves and left the toolmarks on the edges. I tried smoothing and leveling the top with handplanes, but the wood woodn't ( :-) ) have it. So I reluctantly broke out my electric sander and several noisy, dusty hours later had the top flat and smooth.
The finish is umpteen coats of a tung oil and varnish mixture, hand rubbed with pumice and rottenstone, and then waxed. It was designed as a stand for a lapdesk and measures about 36" high by 22" wide and 18" deep.
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