A client came to me for a coffee table and told be they could not find what they were looking for and wanted to have it made. They wanted it to be 20 x 30 inches with bronze colored metal banding around the perimeter. They also wanted the wood to be on the darker side but still have a natural look to it. Per my request they sent me a couple pictures of what they had in mind.
After some discussion I took their example and came up with a design in an elliptical form. For their approval I made a prototype out of mdf and plywood in the proportions they wanted.
After the client approved the prototype I began my search to acquire the wood and steel. The walnut came from GPS Hardwoods in Kernersville, NC.
Glenn from GPS Hardwoods explained that this batch of walnut came from western NC near the Asheville area. Glenn has his own kiln and acquires his own logs to mill and kiln dry. Glenn allowed me to pick through and select the wood I needed.
To acquire steel for this project I searched through area metal recycle yards before I found the 3/8s steel needed for the legs and later the 14 ga sheet for the banding.
I cut out each leg individually with a grinder and cut off wheels. I then performed further shaping, with grinding wheels, sanders and files. Next I had to shape the outside banding by making and using templates of various radiuses to accommodate for the metal spring back.
Once all the pieces where formed it was time to put it together in a dry fit before applying the patina and chemical bronzing agent to the steel. Then after welding everything in place a final sanding of the tops was needed before applying the initial lacquer coats to the walnut.
Getting the metal patina to the desired color took several coats of Japanese brown by applying a sprayed chemical to each piece. This was done with the metal cold and then later applied with the metal heated to around 200 degrees. In between these stages I did some light sanding and blow torching additional spray.
In the home stretch, time to finish tack welds, weld over the screws and grind to appropriate look.