In late October one of our valued customers approached us to commission a handcrafted coffee table along with two matching bed night stands. They already had the wood that they wanted us to shape and they began to tell us a story regarding the nature of the wood and the sentimental value behind it. The first thing the customer had said was that he has some live edge pine planks. At first this was not the most exciting news to my ears, however, the rest of the story made me want to take the project on in full force. Long story short, the wood planks were from our customer, John’s  father-in-law’s property. John had seen these planks on his property for some time and he knew 30 years ago that he wanted to create something with them.
By not having the technical know-how or the time to learn some woodworking skills and the time that it takes to create a project from start to finish the wood sat year after year, that is until he found Earth Wood & Fiber.

John and his wife dropped off about five planks of wood, some live edge; they gave us a simple set of rules. They told us that they would supply the bases for the bed night stands and wanted us to construct the top, they wanted a coffee table to a specific dimension and they wanted a bottom shelf, no sharp corners, and natural figure with as much live edge as possible, a dark walnut stain and the most important rule was to be finished by Christmas Eve, so that his father-in-law could literally be mind-blown! With those set of rules in mind we took on the project!Rough Pine Planks

We got to work right away, we started by first planning each board; this was not an easy task. However, our power planer and our Lie-Nielsen Planes got the job done for us and painless as possible.  Each plank was wildly out of plane and the boards ha

The Glue Up

d a tremendous amount of twist and if this wasn’t enough, the boards contained a large amount of sap that made planning and surfacing more difficult than was expected. After planning was finished we worked on the glue up process so that we could get our table tops to the correct dimensions. The next step was to add some natural curves to the piece in order to detract from the super boxy look and to give it a more natural flowing body. This is when the tables really started to come alive! Next was to get to the finishing, this step is the most time consuming and lots of sanding! We started by getting a few different types of files to clean up the edges of the table so that we could create a smooth finish without any sharp angles, next it was to bring out our favorite tool; the orbital sander! We began this process by attaching a 60 grit sandpaper and sanded all the way up to 220 grit until we were able to obtain a glass smooth finish. The Bed Night Stand The table was coming along amazingly, it was just a little too pine looking haha, we fixed that right up!! We started rubbing in a walnut stain that looked absolutely awesome once it was finished drying . The next day we started to apply several coats of shellac, we really love shellac. Shellac is a naturally occurring resin made from the Lac Bug. Sheelac is a great product as it is food safe and natural and it produces a hard finish that really helps to seal the wood from sap. We gave the shellac about 24 hours to dry and cure. Over the next week we worked on applying a polyurethane top coat that produces a matte finish and creates a hard surface to protect the wood.

Finally, we start to attach the beautiful live edge planks of wood to their respective bases. Our customers supplied the bed night stand bases for us, which were upcycled from another piece of furniture. The only thing we had to do to these bases were to apply a few coats of hammered style paint. As for the coffee table we got our coffee table legs from ECON Welding & Fabrication in Lakemoor, Illinois. They do a great job and do plenty of custom work and the best part is that they are homegrown, hard-working Americans! Anyhow, the table turned out great and our customers were
The Finished Coffee Tableextremely happy. The look on their faces when they took their first look makes all of this worth it, it was awesome! Let us know your thoughts on this project and we look forward to our next one! As always thanks for reading and cheers to 2016!