Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Cadillac Table

Late in the spring I got a call from Duncan Hughes, an interior designer in Boston, saying he had clients interested in a table on my website -- the Cadillac Table. I was a little surprised, because though the table itself is pretty cool, the image doesn't really do the piece justice. It was the one photo in which my friend Cook, who shot my work for over twenty years and made everything beautiful, didn't work his usual magic; in fact, you see only about three-quarters of the table in the image, and the beautiful and rare rosewood of the top is lost. But Duncan's clients -- Erin and Nathan Sanders -- could visualize what was special about the table, and we embarked on the commission.

The Sanders liked the contrast of sap (light) and heart (dark) woods in the Brazilian rosewood of the original table, but export bans have made that veneer practically unavailable. We decided on another South American rosewood species that is more plentiful, and still shows the variation of dark stripes and light sapwood. Here it is in the flitch:

And here's the veneer match laid up:
The wings were veneered in wenge. Here's Kevin trimming the excess veneer off one:
And here's the "skeleton" of the base, before being skinned with bending plywoods and rosewood veneer:
Here's the base assembled and in the spray booth:
The original table had a thick and wide wenge edge around the top, which added a lot of stiffness to the structure. Duncan asked that this table have a lighter look, so we dispensed with that, but had to add stiffness without visual weight. With the help of our friends Dan and Sam Mosheim at Dorset Custom Furniture, we experimented with steel on the underside of the top until we achieved a rigid structure. Here's the finished piece, which we delivered last month:


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