GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING

 

"Walnut Fantasy"

Display Table

Claro Black Walnut With American Black Walnut, Hawaiian Koa and Stained Glass

Imagine two deep lakes cascading through a plane of walnut, the smaller feeding the larger and ultimately spilling into a waterfall that completes the fantasy…

The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent piece of Claro black walnut (Juglans hindsii) that created the top for this work of art. Discovered during English Botanist Richard B. Hinds’ 1836-1842 around-the-world voyage, was a new species of black walnut trees growing in southern Oregon and northern California. Claro black walnut is highly prized due to the wide range of vivid colors exhibited within the timber.

A very unusual piece of natural-edged Claro black walnut was used to create the top and lower shelf of the table. Though warped, twisted, checked and split the timber showed just a teasing hint of the special character that lay underneath the ragged exterior - a unique combination of natural voids reminiscent of undiscovered lakes, wavy teardrop grain, burl grain and evidence of long-dead borers that retain much of the rustic features of the tree of origin. Note that evidence that the unique cut of the large tree stump was accomplished via a chain saw has been retained: a look at the underside of the tabletop reveals hints of the original chain-saw tracks. Hawaiian koa (Acacia koa) has been utilized for the joint wedges (leg and lower shelf) and numerous butterfly keys used to stabilize areas that could otherwise crack or split.

Hand-turned, American black walnut (Juglans nigra) has been used to fashion the tapered legs. The success of the table’s design depends upon precise hand-fit, double-wedged (two wedges per leg), mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for permanent attachment of the legs to the upper slab. Blind half-dovetail wedged joints (modified Japanese sage-kama joinery technique) have been utilized to attach the lower shelf to two legs.

The table has been hand finished to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the dark timbers while giving the piece 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: 30 inches in width, 20-1/2 inches in overall depth, 30 inches in height