This unique table highlights the solid red elm color and grain patterns used in the tabletop (bookmatched), aprons, and hand-shaped slat shelf. Diamond-shaped tanoak legs are joined to the elm aprons and lower tanoak stretchers using hand-fitted 3/8″ mortise and tenon joinery glued with West System “G Flex” epoxy providing strong and durable joints. Smaller than the other Trillium tables in my unique line, this “mini” measures about 15″ wide and deep by 24″ tall; the slat shelf is approximately 5″ above the floor level. I attempt to use primarily wood species native or naturalized to the Pacific Northwest. The tanoak used for legs and lower stretchers is a native, though I dyed it to provide contrast to the lighter colored elm. I chose tanoak because the slab lumber I bought had very tight/straight grain (meaning it is strong) making it a good choice for the structual pieces of the table (legs and stretchers). The tanoak legs project through and are level with the tabletop adding a bit of design complexity and interest for both the viewer and me, the maker. The red elm was imported to Eugene Oregon during early development of the city and used in curbside and roadway median plantings. The elm plantings succumbed to Dutch elm disease, so one of my lumber suppliers salvaged and processed a number of those trees. The tabletop is affixed to the aprons using slotted steel clips and screws (the only metal used in this piece); the slotted clips allow for seasonal wood movement experienced by all pieces made from solid wood.
Elm shelf slats are about a half-inch thick and are bandsawn to my hand-drawn pattern, not perfect like a computer might shape them, but they are mine. After roughing-out each slat on the bandsaw, I hand shape the final curves using a very fine spokeshave and “hand stitched” french rasps until satisfied with the end result. Each slat is individually affixed to the lower stretchers using specially shaped “Miller Mini-X” dowels that are glued in through the slat into the lower stretchers. I used walnut dowels in this instance to complement and enhance the appearance of the elm shelf slats. Each dowel is flush-cut using a fine, kerf-free Japanese saw blade and then flush pared with a very sharp chisel.
The piece is finished with four hand-rubbed coats of Maloof oil/poly mix then topped with 2-6 coats of Minwax quick dry polyurethane for protection. Though the surfaces are quite durable, placing a hot object directly on the tabletop or shelf will cause a “ring” because of the oil finish used in the initial coats. The polyurethane will provide protection from the occasional spill of water, wine, soda, etc. allowing for simple cleanup with a damp cloth or sponge.
This particular piece has been exhibited at several shows, so I also polished it with Clapham’s beeswax polish; any commonly available furniture polish will keep it looking like new for years. Treating this finely crafted piece with care and respect deserved by fine furniture, I anticipate that more than one generation will enjoy displaying it in their home or office.
Retail price listed includes Domestic US shipping; for other locations, please inquire before placing an order.