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UPDATE - Saga of the 200-Year-Old Oak Tree to Dining Room Table

4 months ago
last modified: 14 days ago

UPDATE - Finally have the table!!!

The dining room floor is mixed color slate with gray blue being the most prominent color.

Here's what I ordered for chairs . Now I need a new rug, and new chandeliers and ceiling fans. I hate the 1980's shiny brass fixtures. Yes I need to hoe out the dining room and office behind. LOL

Original post below:

This long but I wanted to share my story...

Almost 3 years ago, a microburst took down the 200-year-old white oak tree on my front lawn. I was devastated. I grew up on this property, so the tree was sentimental to me. I still tear up thinking about the loss. The trunk was 5’ in diameter. It fell on the septic system, so we needed to wait until the ground was frozen to remove the tree. We signed a contract with a well-known tree service and guess what…they were a no show. DH, the family and I decided to DIY the project. We removed the limbs from the tree and cut them up for firewood and rented a chipper to handle the brush. DH cut the stump from the trunk, and we were left with a 70’ long tree trunk. We also had to repair the septic system.

It was at this point I got the brilliant idea to have the trunk cut into lumber to make a dining room table among other things. It took over a year to find a sawmill that could handle a 5’ in diameter trunk but I finally found one. The trunk was cut into numerous slabs, 2 round slices for high top tables and some 4”x 4” lumber. Next step was to find a kiln to dry the wood. Once we found a kiln, we had to reserve a slot for the drying and arrange trucking to the kiln. There was a 5 month wait for a slot, but the wood finally made it to the kiln for its weeks of drying. In the meantime, I had an artisan welder custom build the table legs and had them powder coated.

The lumber came out of the kiln last December and the slabs for the dining room table were delivered to the furniture maker. The legs were delivered to the furniture maker at the end of January. The slabs were planed and sanded, walnut butterflies were added to the areas where there were cracks, and the two slabs were joined to make a 44” x 96” tabletop with two 24” bread board style end leaves. The tabletop is thick, and the leaves are extremely heavy requiring custom made hardware which resulted in a delay. For the past 6 weeks, the furniture maker has been struggling with tabletop cupping issues. We have had nothing but rain for months, so the humidity is very high. They inset steel bars into the underside of the top which helped considerably but did not completely rectify the issue. To further help with the cupping, they determined that the top bracket of the leg stanchions needs to be wider to cover almost the full width of the table. So now I am off to the welding shop to have the legs stanchions modified. The welding shop has a 5 week wait time for this project.

To be fair, I was warned up front about these potential issues. I am willing to settle for a little cupping if modified leg stanchions do not remedy the issue. The issue is only apparent when the leaves are used. I am hoping I will have the table by October which will be the three-year anniversary of the tree coming down.

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