H-Column Coffee Table:
This Coffee Table has a 203mm square structural steel H-Column sticking right through the middle begging the question ‘how did that get there’?
Looks are decieving with this design. The work involved in getting the i-beam to sit tightly in the wood is a painstaking process. Due to the slight variances in beam dimensions, a template is not possible to speed up the process. Each one has to be accurately marked and cut ou with a router. As oak is such a hard wood, multiple passes with the router are necessary as the bit will simply burn out.
This creates the approximate shape, it's then back to basics with a chisel and mallet to ensure the final fit is nice and tight. Welded supports underneath ensure the top is attached firmly to the beam, especially important when the piece is moved around as the beam weights around 25 kilo's so would easily separate without adequate fastening.
The top profile of the beam is them ground back more or less flush with the oak sufrace. Then onto the sandpaper, working throught the grits up to 800. I was reluctant to start using polishing paste as otherwise the top would have taken on a chromed appearence. I wanted it to appear bright but not a mirror finish.
Hard wax oil is used to enhance the oak grain and offer hard-wearing protection.
This design forms part of my registered designs portfolio (number 4030625). http://www.ipo.gov.uk