GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING

 

"Walnut Engagement"

Single Slab Hall Table

Oregon Black Walnut With American Black Walnut

The discovery of an unusual slab of Oregon walnut presented a challenge: to artistically engage both the lighter and the darker walnuts in such a way as to highlight their distinct character while adding to the overall design of the art piece.

The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent piece of natural-edged Oregon black walnut (American black walnut [Juglans nigra] crossed with Claro walnut [Juglans hindsii]) that has been used for the top and lower shelf of the table. Note that the complex character of the walnut slab is due in part to the fact that the top surface includes numerous knots, excellent chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat's eyes), broadly distributed borer damage and an intriguing natural edge that retain much of the rustic features of the tree of origin.

The book-matched table legs have been fabricated from a single plank of American black walnut (Juglans nigra) that has been selected for grain, color and character to complement the tabletop.

To add strength and stability to the table precise hand-chiseled double-wedged (two wedges per joint) blind mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) have been used for attachment of the rear legs to the upper slab. Blind mortise-and-tenon joints have been utilized to permanently attach the spreaders and front legs.

The table has been hand finished with a durable oil-varnish to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the black walnut timbers while giving the table a warm feeling to the touch. As with all of his wood art pieces the title of the piece, creation date and artist information has been permanently stamped on the underside of the piece.

Dimensions: 6-7/8 to 10-3/8 inches wide (top), 11-3/4 inches wide (overall), 52 inches in length, 30 inches in height