An Uprooted Heirloom

Every single piece of furniture we create has a  memorable story, this project is no different.  It has a very special meaning not only to me, but my family as well.   When the milling of the oak log began, I had visions of what it might look like, but I never imagined it would turn out the way it did.  I have had twelve pieces sitting around for a while now and finally couldn’t resist the urge to work on them any longer.  My vision was to create some sort of a unique coffee table that doubled as an art piece, but what came of it has left me speechless with joy.  While in the process of cleaning up a couple of the slabs, a family member stopped by the shop to see what projects we were currently constructing.  He saw the slabs and instantly thought they looked as impressive as I did and was eager to see what they would come to be.  Within an hour of leaving the shop, he called and wanted to purchase the slab as a gift to his parents.  I was ecstatic that I would get to build the first section for a family member!  We planned for the Oak slab to top off the table, but our next step was to research and agree on what we wanted to do for the base.  After some careful thought, we came up with the perfect idea.  The family member, whom the table would soon be gifted to, decided to pull out an old Osage Orange stump, from right next to his house.  This is the point when the build became more than just another project to me.  The very tree he tore out of the ground was planted by my Great-Grandfather, Hamilton White, in the 30’s.  I doubt when “Grandpa Ham” buried that tiny seed, he ever would have ever imagined it would become a piece of art 80+ years later.  A piece built by one of his descendants for another.  I truly hope he can see the creation that he is responsible for and know the love and pride that comes not only from the table, but for him as well.  Also, a special thanks to my insanely talented brother, Matt White, for capturing the beauty of this priceless table for me.

Photos of the building process below.




I had to build a special jig to be able to completely flatten out the slab with a router.  Using a sander or planer would not have removed the twists or bows that the wood had taken on.






We decided to epoxy the large hole that took up the center of the slab.


Next, I bowtied the large cracks to prevent them from crawling any further.  I think they add an extra effect to the already unique top.


The Osage Orange base that was uprooted and cleaned up to create the base of the coffee table.




I used the same jig and router to level out the stump top that I used on the Oak slab.


Dry fitting the slab and stump, pre finish.  There were several hours of scraping, wire brushing, power washing and sanding the base to get it to this point.


I recently discovered Monocoat Natural Oil Finish and used it to finish the entire table.  I could not be happier with the outcome of this coffee table.