It's really nice making a table that you know is going to be used by children who are learning and engaging with nature. This ten foot red oak slab table is going to be home to art projects, gardening lessons, and even math and english lessons when the teacher just want to get out of the classroom. This local charter elementary school in Dorchester was given a grant for the greenhouse and then a subsequent grant for the table. Zack, the founder of Cannon Hill Woodworking, spent 2 years as an elementary school teacher before becoming a carpenter, so this project was near and dear to him.
As you can see there was a pretty big split in the end of the slab. This is common, and a split like that can also lower the cost of a slab by quite a lot. If you look at the underside of the slab, you can see that we installed 7 or 8 large bowties. These bowties are made and installed to prevent the "check" in the slab from growing. In addition we filled the crack with a clear epoxy.
Oak is a super durable wood- the most durable of the common domestic hardwoods. This table is going to take a bit of a beating being used by 100 different kids some days. As such we decided to do a "soft" finish- a single coat exterior oil. The idea being, that though there will be less up front stain resistance, whenever the teachers want to refinish the table (let's say at the start of every school year or very 3 years all they have to do is lightly sand it with a high grit sandpaper and re-apply the oil which is very easy to do. It's a simple wipe on wipe off.
The base has a zinc powder coat for added protection from the high level of moisture in the air.
Here's another table we did outside, but this one has a spray finish on it. A 2k Urethane spray that has the stain resistance of lacquer, but the flexibility to break with the temperature fluctuations outside.
At Cannon Hill Woodworking we know our stuff. We're able to help you select a slab, pick a finish, and a base. Give us a call to start your project today! Our number is 857-576-2089 and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org