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Oak log coffee table W.I.P.

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  • Oak log coffee table W.I.P.

    Helped a friend take down a dead oak tree a few years back, and ended up with a log about 4 feet long. Figured it'd make a good coffee table. I attacked it with the angle grinder and other implements of destruction, and now the top is approximately flat.
    oakTable1.jpg

    It's 51 inches long, 13 inches across the top in the center, and 15 inches tall sitting on the 4x4 blocks. I'll probably put it on a 6-inch base.

    Oh, and since it's hollow I get to create a scene inside. Probably add some LED lighting. When all finished I'll cover it with a 5' x 2' piece of glass.

    It's still a little wet, though, and there are termites. How to get rid of termites? I've built a cheap kiln (a box covered in 20 mil plastic), hoping that'll dry the thing and maybe kill the lil buggers.

    Any ideas how to stabilize the crack in the last picture? I don't think a traditional bowtie or butterfly will work here. I was thinking about drilling holes on either side of the crack and then stitching it together with leather or perhaps copper wire.

    Jim
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Looks like a big challenge. Re: termites - Don't pest control guys have some kind of microwave devices? Re: the crack near the right end - Could you split that off, back to the void? It doesn't support the top or serve a structural purpose.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pallin View Post
      Looks like a big challenge. Re: termites - Don't pest control guys have some kind of microwave devices? Re: the crack near the right end - Could you split that off, back to the void? It doesn't support the top or serve a structural purpose.
      No, the cracked piece doesn't support anything. I just think the table wouldn't look as good with that piece gone.

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      • #4
        Saw the finished piece on FB, good job
        . . .JoeB

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        • #5
          A lot of wood turners use copper "staples" to hold wood together. Another possibility might be to drill a couple of holes and glue in some dowels to hold it together... It will make a nice coffee table when you're done...

          Claude
          My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

          My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

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          • #6
            Jim, I like Claude's Idea, on one hand if you went to a hardware store, and found some 1/4" brass rod. And the dowels..

            I don't think you would have to try to draw the crack up tight, it looks solid. Just drill some 3/16" holes measure tight about 1" away from the crack for looks. Bend the rod to fit has a "staple" . That may work. IMHO I would leave it just like that unless it is in the way of making a furniture piece, then remove it. If you remove it ? will it leave a fresh cut look?
            But hey, It is your piece of art.. Show us what you came up with. I built a coffee table out of pallets and a fractured side window out of an F-102 in 1961 .. and it was great.
            Chuck
            Chuck
            Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

            https://woodensmallthings.blogspot.com/2021/01/

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            • #7
              Claude and Chuck

              I'll look into the staples idea. Thanks. I'm still considering doweling from the bottom, but it's kind of tricky.

              The piece below the crack is not solid at all. It moves if I grab hold of it, and it wouldn't be hard to break it off. I'm not really worried about the "fresh cut" look if I cut it off. I could easily smooth the cut area and it would look just fine. But I'd have to take it off pretty close to where the crack starts, and I like the way it looks with that hole in the middle.

              I'm going to let it dry for a while. I want to make sure that the termites are gone, and there's still some wet punky wood in some tight areas. Drying should make it easier to remove that. Silly termites don't eat from the outside.

              Speaking of termites, I learned that these are ground dwelling termites, and they'll die in a few days when their access to the ground is broken. So sitting up on that table should take care of 'em.

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              • #8
                Jim, I don't know what you are planning on doing for the inside scene, but maybe you could support the cracked area with some of the scene, I'm thinking like vines or plants or even a large fish.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sappy View Post
                  Jim, I don't know what you are planning on doing for the inside scene, but maybe you could support the cracked area with some of the scene, I'm thinking like vines or plants or even a large fish.
                  Interesting idea, Sappy. Unfortunately that's not possible. Behind the crack is a void, then heartwood, then the hollow part. The void is where the termites were eating.

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