Friday, May 8, 2015

Ghost Maple Side Table

For Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law gave me an eight foot long, 11" wide, 6/4 thick piece of highly figured ghost maple (exciting, I know). I struggled for a while on what to do with it, and ultimately I opted for simplicity and mixing media in a way I hadn't before.

I cut the board in half so I had a 48" x 11" x 1 3/8" (I lost 1/8" to cleaning up the surface on the planer) board that I figured would make a great table top for a narrow table that could sit to the side of a doorway, along the side of a hallway, behind a sofa, or against a wall. The question became, what to do about the legs.

I have not historically done much mixing media. I build things out of wood, not metal, However, I found a set of black matte steel hairpin legs that seemed to go well with this top. The legs are 28" high, which makes the table rise to about the height of a standard desk. They have a lightweight airiness that pairs well with the table top. The result is a simple-looking, but still elegant, table.

The finish is a gloss varnish/polyurethane blend. I ended up putting at least six coats on the surface as I tried to get the film finish built up in a way that I liked.

Lastly, but not least, I think this table turned out extremely well. I am impressed by the aesthetic combination of a lighter-figured wood and the dark legs. The leg solution exceeded my expectation. There is some versatility in this design as well. We could widen the table top and make a desk; widen it and lengthen it and we could make a dinner table. Shorter legs exist that would work to make a coffee table (which could be paired with similar design to do matching end tables on the longer legs). The legs also come in chrome instead of black (of course chrome is twice as expensive), so we could do other interesting things with color contrast. I'd be thrilled to put one of these together for you; just let me know.

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