My wife and I love the look of reclaimed wood slab tables. But after researching, the price for a 6-foot slab of Redwood was pretty steep.
So, we decided to find a more affordable option. I thought it would be interesting to cut a piece of plywood to look like a tree. The cheapest piece of wood you can find made to look like the most expensive. A material milled to be void of natural imperfection, remade to resemble its source.
And that’s how this table came to be. Plywood sandwiched together to provide depth, then cut to the organic shape of an old growth tree. Of course, what started as irony quickly turned in to an obsessive quest to make the perfect table.
Since I was making the table from scratch, not only could I choose the exact dimensions, I could also determine the exact shape. That’s where the fun begins.
I knew I wanted the shape to be something personal. After digging through wedding and honeymoon photos and experimenting with several possible shapes for the edge of the table, we landed on this picture of the two of us in our wedding clothes in the middle of the desert in Big Bend. The profiles of our backs worked perfectly to create an organic looking edge.
One of the most interesting things about natural wood slab tables is the cracks and knot holes present in the wood. This was another opportunity to add more meaning. Since we just moved to San Francisco, The shape of the bay and California coastline made the perfect hole and crack.
Here are a bunch of process pics. (1) The bottom of the table with edge pieces sandwiched and glued before being cut. (2) The cut edge of the table before shaping and sanding. (3) Progress on the “bay” knot hole. (4) The recess for the butterfly joint to stabilize the coastline crack. (5) A look at the bottom of the bench and the top of the table. (6) The table sanded smooth, ready to be stained. (7) The table stained before being sealed. (8) Attaching the legs to the bottom of the table. (9) Safety first!