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Insane Grain Walnut Coffee Table

We give you the ‘insane grain’ walnut coffee table! We purchased a stash of “rustic” walnut from a regional lumber yard some time ago and have been trying to decide what to do with it. We finally figured it out. The grain on these boards was so spectacular upon initial planing that we couldn’t bear to cut it up, so we selected the three wildest boards and joined them to form the top of this super cool looking table. To hell with bookmatching, or any other sensible method of aligning grain across boards. This grain is all over the place! Just like our workshop. We biscuit joined these three boards and kept all the length on the pieces we possibly could, to the point of having one end have “wings” because one of the boards was a little shorter than the other two. For us, it just added a little more geometric/angular modern style to complement the rusticity of the grain. We wanted to further enhance this opposition between modern and rustic, so we gave one end of the table live edge rustic walnut legs joined via mortise and tenon to a white oak U-channel, while the other end of the table got a modern cantilevered leg with metal braces for the joints. To finish the look, we added a small white oak shelf suspended via threaded metal rods, those being hidden inside decorative square steel poles spray painted with “hammered” spray paint.

The cantilevered leg was made “waterfall” style, creating a right angle from a solid board to match the grain. This joint was then biscuit joined, and spray painted metal brackets were added for extra support. The cantilevered leg is held to the underside of the table top via four additional brackets. The live edge legs were fashioned from a thick walnut board cut in half lengthwise. We mortised holes in the legs to align with those in the solid white oak U-channels, then made walnut pegs to pin the legs in place.

The entire table was finished in multiple coats of armor seal semi gloss wipe on oil finish, with quadruple zero steel wool buffing between coats.

This table measures 21” wide x 19” tall and nearly 5 feet long. Technically, all of the legs and the shelf could be removed from the table top, but it would take a lot of effort to get it back together again, especially the mortise and tenon legs as those pins are in there pretty tight. Thus, because of the size of this item, it is local pickup only to the Washington DC region.

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