For my main project I wanted to accomplish a few things. I wanted to make something useful, I wanted a woodworking project, and I wanted to make something professional. Ultimately I decided on a reading table to accompany the bookshelf I made for the upcycle project.
My inspiration for this project came from two places: The works of George Nakashima and the industrial chic aesthetic. George Nakashima is an american woodworker with the mentality of adding as few alterations to what nature has created as possible when making a piece of furniture. This is most apparent in the use of live edge wood slabs in his furniture.
table by George Nakashima
In addition to taking inspriation from Nakashima’s work I wanted the piece to meet the industrial chic aesthetic. I am particularly fond of this aesthetic because it is a good combination of rugged and minimalist while still remaining versatile. This aesthetic is best known for taking interior design ideas such as exposed ducting, wrought iron, dark woods, and vintage elements to create a space that feels industrial but welcoming. Often this aesthetic is used in breweries as it complements the exposed machinery, and appeals greatly to the DIY community as much of it can be produced for relatively cheap.
My plan was to originally get a circular cross section of a tree, stain and preserve it and use it as a tabletop. I originally planned on using piping for the legs as to fit the aesthetic, and incorporate a swinging reading light.
Once I actually contacted the mill from which I was planning on getting my wood I learned that circular cross sections generally don’t hold up well in areas such as Colorado and thus I pivoted to a square slab with live edges. I also pivoted to off the shelf hairpin legs as they were not only cheaper, but I liked the look of them more as the pipe legs has been kind of overdone in my opinion. Finally I decided to move the lighting element to the side to maximize table space.
I made the table without a hitch, however, the lighting element had to be put on hold due to unforseen consequences of coronavirus forcing me to leave the state temporarily. Once I do return though, I plan on finishing this project in it’s entirety.