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Trophy Coffee Table Hephzibah GA

Big planks of wood with natural bark edges make my heart race. Most woodworkers share a desire to build something from a single, thick plank of wood. After 20 years of building custom cabinets and furniture, I finally got my chance.

The Home Depot
(706)650-7662
499 Bobby Jones Expy
Augusta, GA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Kmart 4135 / Cross Merch
(706) 733-2292
1647 Gordon Hwy
Augusta, GA
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Lowe's
(706) 771-9919
3214 Peach Orchard Road
Augusta, GA
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Fastenal- Augusta
706-722-3598
1467 Reynolds St Augusta, GA, 30901
Augusta, GA
 
Fastenal- Martinez
706-650-8259
4074 Washington Rd Suite 2 Martinez, GA, 30907
Martinez, GA
 
The Home Depot
(706)854-7832
520 N Belair Road
Evans, GA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

LOWE'S OF S.W. AUGUSTA, GA.
706 771-9919
3214 PEACH ORCHARD ROAD AUGUSTA, GA, 30906
Augusta, GA
 
Augusta Mall
(706) 731-8200
3450B Wrightsboro Rd
Augusta, GA
Store Hours
Sears Stores
Store Type
Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:8-21
Sun:12-18
Store Features
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:8-21
Sun:12-18

ABC Supply Co.,Inc/Augusta
706-724-7040
999 5th St Augusta, GA, 30901
Augusta, GA
 
Lowe's
(706) 651-8600
224 Bobby Jones Exp.
Augusta, GA
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Trophy Coffee Table

Trophy Coffee Table

Stunning Beauty Right from the Tree

by Dave Munkittrick

Big planks of wood with natural bark edges make my heart race. Most woodworkers share a desire to build something from a single, thick plank of wood. After 20 years of building custom cabinets and furniture, I finally got my chance.

The first step was finding that perfect slab of wood—not an easy task. Slicing a tree into planks, bark edge and all, is not a common sawmill practice. I started my hunt in the Yellow Pages under “Sawmills.” I found a number of people with portable mills, but without a log for them to saw, I was out of luck. I tried a few tree-trimming companies to see whether they had a tree trunk or two they needed to dispose of. Two strikes.

Finally, I turned to the Internet (Photo 1). I found the slab of my dreams: a huge (14- to 36-in.-wide x 12-ft.-long) slice of English Burly Wych Elm (pronounced “witch elm”) (see “Sources,” page 64). I knew immediately that this was the one. When the wood arrived at my door (Photo 2), I quickly realized that building with a single rough slab requires a completely different approach than working with individual boards.

Photo 1: I found the perfect plank for my coffee table on the Internet. It was a 12-ft.-long slab of Burly English Wych Elm. It was like no other piece of wood I’d ever seen. I couldn’t wait.

Photo 2: The day the wood arrived, I had to call on a couple of neighbor friends just to get the crate in the shop! 

On one hand, no decisions would be needed about grain pattern or color that individual boards require. With a single slab of wood, your only task is to present the natural beauty of the wood in the best way possible, despite all its inherent defects, such as loose bark pockets, rough edges, dirt, checks and cracks. On the other hand, just handling such an enormous yet delicate piece of wood presents some unique challenges. 

I had a lot of fun building this table and you will, too, if you decide to build one like it. Because every natural-edged board is unique, it’s difficult to give an exact formula on how to design or build a natural-edge table. Even if they come from the same tree, no two boards are alike. What follows is my experience as I built this table in front of the camera.

Arrival Day

After the wood was ordered, I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. With all my thoughts on possessing that piece of wood, I neglected to plan ahead and be ready for its arrival. I discovered the hard way that you can’t handle a large plank the way you can individual boards (Photo 2, above). 

When we got the wood in the shop, I didn’t let practical considerations slow me down. Totally intoxicated by what was inside the crate, I felt a burning desire to see the wood, now! We popped the bands and lifted off the protective cover. My heart sank at what I saw: an enormous slice of tree t...

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