Coffee Table from a Log
Each time I looked at this Camphor Laurel log I tried to imagine what it could be become. Each time a coffee table came to mind. The challenge of turning a log into a piece of furniture was an interesting one.
While putting the project on the ever growing to-do list, I recieved some carving disks to try out in the mail. So the project got pushed up the list and I started carving.
Starting with a chainsaw I trimmed the log to size. Then using the carving discs I made saw cuts every 10mm or so, along the length of the top. Then with a hammer I broke off the ribs of wood left by the saw cuts. This was a fast and effective way to remove material.
After a couple of passes I used the side of the carving disc to even out the rough surface.
When it was close to level I flipped the workpiece over, then began carving away to shape the underneath. This entire process could’ve been achieved with the chainsaw. Although in the wrong hands, including my own, it would be easy to go too far too hastily and ruin the piece. Also I wanted to try these discs out.
If you want to try power carving then I recommend these discs. I found them enjoyable to use, very capable and well priced. You can buy them here.
At this stage I bought the tabletop into my workshop and placed it onto my workbench. With a hand plane I flattened the top. Then I flipped it over and with a belt sander, finished shaping and smoothing the underneath.
Next I turned simple legs on the lathe. With a forstner bit I drilled sockets for the legs to be glued into, on the underside of the tabletop.
As the tabletop was a little green and still had moisture in it, I had to deal with some large cracks. I did this with dovetail keys. They are very effective even though they are not my favourite look. I always think they look a little cheesy. I finished the whole thing with Linseed Oil then Beeswax.