This custom dining table project turned out fantastic. The opportunity to build an indoor dining table using hand split cedar is not common, but fits the westcoast look of many homes here. The table top pieces are from a reclaimed tree on Salt Spring Island which has amazing live edge and insect lines. I bought this wood from Stefan at lostandfoundlumber on Salt Spring Island. I glued the table top pieces together first leaving the live edge along each side. Then I flipped the top over and started building the base of the table using all hand split red cedar I had salvaged from local beaches.
The framework attaches the base to the table top with ‘L’ shaped blocks of maple (a harder wood) mortised into the frame and screwed to the underside of the table top. The mortises are a little wider than the blocks on the sides allowing the table top to expand and contract without cracking or stressing the table. The legs straddle the framework near the corners with a lap joint which is glued and pinned. I designed the framework with more strength by adding lower rails called an ‘H’ stretcher, which is basically a rail between each end posts, attached to each other with a third rail that runs the length of the table between the end rails. This helps hold the posts true and steady over time.
All the joints are glued mortise and tenon. You might notice the leg posts flare out from the table top to the floor, both with curve and in size. The table is sanded and finished with OSMO top oil, which is a clear oil and wax mixture that retains its natural matte finish and becomes resistant to common household substances such as wine, beer, juice, and water while creating a hard easy to clean surface (which is perfect for a cedar table which is fairly soft). The client has also ordered some chairs to go with table that I will making this winter, so look for those in future blogs.