Building a river table (version 1)

This is my first attempt to build a river table along the lines made popular by Greg Klassen.

The starting point is a salvaged slab of Elm.

The slab was milled and cut to size. I used epoxy mixed with TreeCell to fill the voids.

A few coats of clear epoxy nicely enhances the wood grain.


The finished project…


Restauring XVIII century shutters

I’m restauring a set of 6 interior window shutters that come from a building constructed around 1750. The shutters are vintage, just like the windows. They are made of oak, frame and panel construction held together with square  pegs.






Stripping the paint took a very long time, I counted 7 different colors, and who knows how many coats. Particularly tough was a lead-based white paint, probably used before WWII.  The hard work paid off when I discovered gold leaf on the metal fixtures. There is a good chance that this gold leaf dates from the construction of the building.




At that point, I switched to a mild paint stripper that would not damage what was left of the gold leaf.






After many hours spent carefully peeling the paint, the fixtures could be seen in their original state. I finally applied a sealant and rust inhibitor to protect this archaeological discovery!




Drying live-edge slabs

Radical tree-trimming last winter has left us with a few logs of ash and walnut, which were sent to a local saw mill.

Sawn in slabs 1.5″ thick, the boards will take a couple of years to dry.




To speed-up drying and control insect damage, I peeled off the bark.

The walnut live-edge looks like a lunar landscape. Unfortunately, the creamy color does not last long.



The pictures below show two sides of the same slab of ash.

On the left, the side exposed to the West,




and on the right, the one exposed to the East… woodworms prefer the good Bretton mist!



Fortunately, ash is tough, and woodworms didn’t get past the bark.


Slabs need to be set to dry on platforms that are flat and level. I used posts sold in Home Centers to build backyard decks. Each post is supposed to stand 2000 lbs.




Slabs are stacked with 1″ stickers between each board.




Finally, the ends are sealed with some leftover paint. This is supposed to help reduce splitting. We shall see in a year or two!