Black Locust Wall Table, Part I: Visualizing in Wood

This table was inspired by a coffee table design of Brian VanVreede with a daring cantilevered top.  I worked out my design in my head over the next five months until I built the first wall-mounted version.

How I Chose My Materials

The entire table was made of black locust because it was hard and strong enough, and I had the right shapes available in the shop.

The Upright

This crotch piece has the appropriate curves to become two uprights, for two tables.  The curves minimized runout in the grain pattern that maximized the part’s strength.

First, I cut away the bark on the outsides.

Then I cut away the bark in the middle and separated the two uprights.

I used a framing square to eyeball the angle at which I wanted the upright and marked the vertical line with a pencil.  I cut to the line with my bandsaw.

The Table Top

Although it didn’t look like anything special, I knew that this slab of black locust would make a fine table top.

A bit of work with my hand plane and my random orbit sander cleaned up the table top slab.

I crosscut the ends of the table top to make it easier to handle.

To taper the table top, I first made a series of blind cuts at the table saw.

Then I removed the waste and roughed out the taper with a chisel and mallet.  The kerfs allowed me to break away the waste in large chunks without much effort.

I used this sled to finish the taper with my thickness planer.

With the preliminary steps completed, I was ready to cut the joinery and begin sculpting.

The table reaches completion in Part II.

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