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marcros

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This is a slow burning project and is only at the idea stage at the moment. It will be after lockdown ends because I don't have the timber. Documenting it here helps me work thorough it in my mind, probably helped by comments saying "why are you doing that you silly person, of course it won't work"!

We need an outside table to be able to eat from in the summer (both days). I really like live edged tables so my plan is to use a wide board if oak or chestnut if I can get one. I would think it would finish at somewhere between 35mm and 40mm but the slab isn't bought yet. I wouldn't want one with too many features/holes/inclusions etc, but if there was a split or two, I would reinforce these with subtle butterflies/dovetails. No resin.

Legs to be decided, but concept is https://www.thehairpinlegcompany.co.uk/ ... on-v-frame to avoid wood/ground contact. They would be fixed to allow movement. I haven't looked at the prices elsewhere but this was an easy site to link to.

Finish would probably be tung oil. I know it isn't UV resistant. Worst case it needs sanding once a year and reapplying, but it is a 1800*650mm flat surface so it wouldn't be a long task. I don't mind it silvering, I am aiming more for some stain resistance and a finish that would give a wipeable surface. It would probably be covered when not in use.

Seating would be a couple of benches, using similar principles.

So for some questions.

Any reason why this wouldn't work? I am nervous that I haven't seen many live edge outdoor tables?

Any other durable timbers that would be suitable, preferably native but happy to include some of the estate grown specimen trees, sequoia, wellingtonia etc? Are those two even suitable?

Cheers
Mark
 

Sheffield Tony

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marcros":29s0zi4e said:
Any reason why this wouldn't work? I am nervous that I haven't seen many live edge outdoor tables?

Any other durable timbers that would be suitable, preferably native but happy to include some of the estate grown specimen trees, sequoia, wellingtonia etc? Are those two even suitable?
I think live edge and durable are not often found in combination. Not only is sapwood less durable itself, but at least some of the woodboring insects need the bark on to be able to deposit eggs, so the live edge is more likely to suffer. I don't know about the sapwood of sweet chestnut (anyone ?) but I know both oak and sequoia/wellingtonia (same thing) only have durable heartwood. If you used Wellingtonia, you at least can easily tell where the sapwood is, and axe back to durable heartwood leaving a waney edge ?
 

Woody2Shoes

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Sheffield Tony":1co7r8uh said:
marcros":1co7r8uh said:
Any reason why this wouldn't work? I am nervous that I haven't seen many live edge outdoor tables?

Any other durable timbers that would be suitable, preferably native but happy to include some of the estate grown specimen trees, sequoia, wellingtonia etc? Are those two even suitable?
I think live edge and durable are not often found in combination. Not only is sapwood less durable itself, but at least some of the woodboring insects need the bark on to be able to deposit eggs, so the live edge is more likely to suffer. I don't know about the sapwood of sweet chestnut (anyone ?) but I know both oak and sequoia/wellingtonia (same thing) only have durable heartwood. If you used Wellingtonia, you at least can easily tell where the sapwood is, and axe back to durable heartwood leaving a waney edge ?
Sweet chestnut has very little sapwood at all ime.
 

marcros

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I would certainly take the bark off. I am open to removing sapwood and creating a false live edge if advantageous. Good point about insects though, I hadn't thought of that.
 

AndyT

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This photo, from the projects section, shows me sawing off the sapwood and bark from a narrow board of sweet chestnut.

The bit I cut off had no strength to it at all. It may have had beetle tracks in it, but I didn't look very closely as I broke it into pieces and put it in the garden bin.



Other than that, sweet chestnut would be a suitable wood as far as I know. It works very nicely.
 

Fitzroy

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I made an outdoor table a few years back out of oak. Not a single piece but a good thickness at 70mm deep. A few years later it’s silver and the top is no longer near level with some boards now c. 10mm higher in places than others. My concern over your design would be the level of movement in a single slab due to both seasonal moisture variations and sunny days beating on the top surface, and how to design for this. My table creaks like crazy on hot sunny days.

DCCF59C5-FEC0-4F60-B6B0-CFA63D18856B.jpeg


Other observations. The butterfly joint has weathered well. Cracks and imperfections have all opened up and get full of rubbish and beasties. The large overhangs have protected the frame, 4.5yrs on and the finish move than 25cm above ground is perfect. The bottom 25cm of the legs has suffered and the legs were stood in preservative after a year as they were looking a little sad and blackened.

On my list is to deconstruct my table and refinish the boards so provide drainage between them.

Just my 2p worth.

Fitz
 

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marcros

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Thanks Fitz.

Where has movement occurred?
 

Fitzroy

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The boards have bowed along the length, some up, some down. They were not joined together. My reflection is that heavy section wood outdoors moves lots and trying to restrain it would likely be a loosing battle.

Fitz.
 

marcros

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That is some force in 70mm timber. I can't quite work out how it would be if the boards were joined or it was a single board, whether it would move more or less.
 
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