Monday, March 22, 2010


A table.

I haven't always been this way. I have been used in many different ways over the years.
Once, way back when, it has to be over 200 years ago, parts of me were a tree. Well, the top of me is over 200 years old. The other pieces of lumber I am made from are not that old. My legs are really old, maybe not two hundred years old, but old. Now my apron is my youngest feature.

After my tabletops life as a tree it was milled into lumber of various sizes . The four pieces that make up my top were milled to 3" thick and 12" wide. Also these 4 boards were cut into 16' lengths. These 4 boards must have been used for the floor joists of a warehouse building or a really large house in Mobile, Alabama. I know it was Mobile, Alabama. because the carpenter who built me salvaged those 4 pieces of lumber from Mobile. I know floor joists because there are tons of nails on one edge of the board, left over from the floor being nailed down and no nails on the other edge.

The carpenter salvaged this lumber from a Mardi Gras float which was being rebuilt. Someone had salvaged that lumber before to be used for the Mardi Gras float. The carpenter was given the flooring from the Mardi Gras float that was being rebuilt, when he saw what that flooring was nailed down to. It was nailed to those floor joists. It was love at first sight. My god! 16' long, 12" wide, 200 years old. How often does a wood salvager come across finds like that? The carpenter got the wood back to his shop in Atlanta, Georgia. Where it sat for over a year before the perfect application came along for these beautiful boards.

How ya like my legs? Nice aren't they? This lumber came from a building on Luckie Street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. This building sits near the corner of Cone Street. It is as old as the other buildings in the area which would make it over 100 years old. The buildings owner replaced some of the the support system from the basement of his building and the carpenter purchased a truck load of beams from him. These beams were various sizes, anywhere from 6" square to 14" square. They were all about 10' long. The carpenter used the 6" beams for my legs.
The carpenter salvaged the wood for my apron from his own house. The carpenters house was a Sears and Roebuck catalog house built in 1917. The wood had been the door trim in the master suite until the carpenters wife decided she wanted to renovate. The trim around the doors and windows in the carpenters house were larger than the wood used in a house today. These boards were less then 100 years old, new lumber compared to my other parts.

So, like I said, some of me is really old, some not so old. Some of me is a lot harder then other parts of me. The older, the harder. I overheard the carpenter tell the guy he was building me for, that my top might not be heart pine, but it was not far from it. He said heart pine is from trees growing at least 300 years ago. He said there are two sources for heart pine today. Salvaged from old buildings or "sinkers". Sinkers are logs at the bottom of the waterways that were used to float trees to a mill long ago. There are four primary differences between antique heart pine and new pine. Those are color, hardness/durability, cost, and environmental impact. And although heart pine starts out a yellow color when it is first milled, it turns red after exposure to natural light. The high resin content enables the wood to change to this red color without using chemicals. The abundance resin also provides the ability to repel water and insects

So here I am today. After being cut and sanded, rubbed and caressed. Hammered, nailed, screwed and stained, this is how I turned out. A big, fat, farmhouse table. I live in a quaint little house in East Atlanta. I live with a chef and his wife so I expect to be used often.

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