It Is Alive

3 06 2008

This is a slab of maple about 2″ thick and 5′ long. It was once a beautiful shade tree, but I will soon rest my elbows on it as I work on my laptop. Rick Stein has designed and is building the desk for me and we had a wonderful time “wood shopping” for the perfect hunk of tree.

As you see it above, he had used a hand planer to remove just enough of the dirty, weathered top layer for us to get an idea of what I had bought. Really, we couldn’t see much, but it was very exciting anyway. So this is the starting point, since I don’t have a photo of it when it was leafed out and providing shelter for the birds and squirrels.

Yesterday Rick was kind enough to let me help router off about 1/4″ of the thickness so we could run it through the sander. We were like little kids at Christmas and I don’t think either of us was disappointed. I can tell you that if this is my reward for a few ten hour days in a cubicle, then I don’t feel so bad. Each pass through the sander revealed more of the wood and it seemed to glow a little by the time we moved it back to the sawhorses to adjust to the humidity and its new body. It’s definitely beginning to look alive.

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