It’s a good thing I wasn’t in the shop the day a neighbor brought in some live oak slabs to have made into a dining table.
The wood was from a tree on their place lost in the flood of 2015. The slabs had been sawn, air dried, placed in a kiln for further drying, and planed. It had suffered severe cracking and was not yet dry enough to use. It looked like firewood to me.
But Austin was in the shop. He designed a table and persisted until it was realized.
He first rough cut the parts: trestle ends, connecting rail, and the top. Let them acclimate a few weeks and then put them in our kiln. Getting all the water out revealed all the demons: more cracks, warp, cup, twist, and collapse.
The crotch cuts did suggest trestle ends. Epoxy, lots of epoxy and time, did fill the cracks. Finesse, ripping, and re-gluing got the top flat.
Live oak is heavy. This made the process laborious and made a table that took four, with full effort, to load and deliver.
“We are extremely pleased with the table. It is so much more than we ever imagined.”
"Better than I imagined." Gary Weeks