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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up this slab and a dozen 3' long Ash 4X4's (for trestle table legs) from one of my sawyers on Sunday. Started the sanding to remove saw marks and took a look at the grain pattern...pretty! What should I make with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Coffee table . Put epoxy in the hole. Have an LED mounted under the epoxy to highlight it
You guessed it! Pretty much. Really like the hole though and wanted to keep it as-is so the kids can play games with it. Somebody’s kids, anyway.

Sanded it down to 120 and put some Mineral Spirits on to peek at the grain. Am thinking of using some of the Ash to make ‘outside’ legs that intersect the slab edges. Maybe with a slight taper for a modern look but leaving some ‘leg’ above the slab with a simple, rustic finish detail. And maybe try an ebonizing finish. Or, go with a floating table design.
 

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You guessed it! Pretty much. Really like the hole though and wanted to keep it as-is so the kids can play games with it. Somebody’s kids, anyway.

Sanded it down to 120 and put some Mineral Spirits on to peek at the grain. Am thinking of using some of the Ash to make ‘outside’ legs that intersect the slab edges. Maybe with a slight taper for a modern look but leaving some ‘leg’ above the slab with a simple, rustic finish detail. And maybe try an ebonizing finish. Or, go with a floating table design.
It’s certainly a beautiful piece of wood. I’d hate to see what it would cost here
 

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That's one of the problems with "special" wood. I have some walnut from Monticello, yeah Tom's old home, that was cut down after some idiot decided that TJ stood at this spot to look down the mountain to look at the the university (UVA) so he had the walnut and an oak cut down so it wouldn't block the view. What an idiot. Any way my FIL was the recipient of most of the good walnut as he was good friends and a neighbor of the man who was contracted to cut the tress down.

Now the real problem is what to do with that wood. Has to be special........
 

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That's one of the problems with "special" wood. I have some walnut from Monticello, yeah Tom's old home, that was cut down after some idiot decided that TJ stood at this spot to look down the mountain to look at the the university (UVA) so he had the walnut and an oak cut down so it wouldn't block the view. What an idiot. Any way my FIL was the recipient of most of the good walnut as he was good friends and a neighbor of the man who was contracted to cut the tress down.

Now the real problem is what to do with that wood. Has to be special........
Steve that statement about being special has been a real problem for me. Back in 1980 a friend of mine was building a house and there was a huge Big Leaf Maple sitting right where the house was to go. It was a city lot and there was no option but to cut it down. It was also on it's way out anyway (dying). He milled a bunch of it with a chainsaw mill and gave me 5 book matched slabs, each one 60" long, 24" to 30" wide. This stuff is highly figured fiddle-back the whole length of each slab as well as some nice spalting. Twenty years later he gave me another piece ten feet long. I still have it all as I am still trying to come up with that special project. At this rate and my age it may be my coffin.
 

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Steve,

I highly recommend making a Rocking Chair or two, like Hal Taylor did (Hal Taylor.com). He made two (using his plans he sells) and sold one of them for $20k! The walnut was from a tree that had to be taken down at Mt. Vernon. It was a good size tree, even when GW lived there. I certainly enjoy the one I made from American Walnut utilizing Hal's plans. I would post a picture of mine but don't know how.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It’s certainly a beautiful piece of wood. I’d hate to see what it would cost here
The advantage of buying from a local sawyer is price - with caveats. I paid $50 for that 12”x2”x59” slab - that’s a maximum I’ll pay since it has a bunch of bug holes in the sapwood edges I didn’t notice at first. But the figure is very pretty and the hole adds another bit of interest so I’ll have maybe $70 into this all told, not counting any labor, of course. It will be a gift to someone for some notable reason, someday.

I’ll be getting an 8’ long by 18” Cherry slab later for about $120 that will make a great waterfall table or small desktop or something. That makes for a typical half-the-cost of a retailer or reseller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thats a pile of lumber to drool over.
Herb
And if that’s not enough to lust for, here’s his Maple tree slab piles - again, all from one tree! The prettiest slabs I’ve seen...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Give me another handkerchief to drool in........... Maple is my favorite wood.
Herb
I know it’s tough on you, Herb. Me too. But this guy is located in Townsend, TN - just the other side of the Smokies. I’m alerting our local woodworkers guild as this lumber may find a volume buyer and be gone sooner than later. Holler if anyone wants his address, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Getting back on the use this slab was put to. Nothing to brag about - just another fairly quick little piece that comes from the benefit of doing multiple versions. A simple Black Walnut coffee table or bench, whatever you would wish to use it for.

Simple trestle construction with just a stretcher between the legs - no intermediate supports - the slab is lagged underneath through the stretcher. Base is solid Ash I bought that required squaring up, but was so full of ash borer holes that I chose to paint it after filling defects with Rock Hard. Loved the hole in the slab too much to plug it up - looks like a little canyon of sorts.

The finish is Waterlox on the Walnut - two brushed coats, sanded well with 320 and followed with two wipe-on coats including one put on with a 320 sheet to keep the surface clean and smooth. I’ve adopted this method as my default no-stain procedure. Will apply a generous Application of homemade Mineral Oil/Beeswax At the very end.

A topcoat of water based polyurethane will provide a longer wear protection and even out the paint appearance. I did this on an early piece and really like the practicality it brings.

All in all, I’m happy with it for the relatively short number of hours.
 

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