It has been a while since I have done a process blog on a build, so I thought this would be a good time to throw one in. This past year I've had the opportunity to be creative and just build a few portfolio pieces...very enjoyable. I designed and built a coffee table you might be familiar with this past summer with a western maple top and Burmese teak base. My initial intention was to not reproduce it, but recently I was asked by a client to do so and agreed. Mainly, because I knew I had the remaining slab of maple, which would allow an almost identical match in color and grain pattern. This process blog will probably only include a few post along the way, being that it is not a terribly in depth project, but nonetheless, equally as enjoyable and important.

For myself, the material and tools are a huge part of why I love to create. I always try selecting the best wood I can, paying close attention to color and grain patterns to best compliment the piece. For this build the western maple for the top was sourced from our local urban forestry mill at the community college. More than likely from a tree that was fallen due to disease, storm damage, etc. Teak on the other hand is harder to come by, but I did take my time to source FSC wood and hand select the best I could find.

On to the build


Really happy with my finds, the build began with milling up the parts for the base. Cutting for the grain, to some this is a waste of wood, but like I was taught, it is better to get one perfect leg than four "ok' legs. This being said, I was able to get all the rift-sawn parts for the base and manage to not "waste" that much material. "Rift" meaning the end grain pattern is diagonal, producing straight grain on all for sides of the leg.

Rough sawn and stickered...breathing on all four sides.

I had to wait a few more days to get these guys down to final size; we had three of our seven rainy days a year here in San Diego in a row, sending all my wood into a bending frenzy in the shop!

From here it's on to joinery...until next time.