DON WESENBERG

Coffee Table
by Don Wesenberg

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The overall design of the coffee table was inspired by my daughter who was recently married and wanted to upgrade some of her furniture. The overall dimensions are: 55.5 inches long by 18 inches high by 25.5 inches deep. I chose ziricote for the top because of its beautiful grain patterns and because of its hardness and durability. I chose black limba for the undercarriage for its intricate grain pattern and workability. One of the things I’ve recently learned is that if you really want people to sit up and take notice of your work is to add some complementary inlay. After studying the ziricote boards that I purchased for the project, I observed that, if I not only matched the grain prior to glue-up, I could also create a natural area of blond sapwood to insert an inlay. I also wanted to make the inlay a natural complement to the fact that I was using wood, hence the choice of the leaf/stem/flower design. I also researched the leaf and flower shape for a ziricote tree and tried to match those shapes in the inlay. Since ziricote blossoms are orange, I selected African padauk. The inlay stem is ziricote and the leaves are sand-shaded zebrawood.

The drawer pulls are ziricote that I carefully milled out of some leftovers and then rounded the perimeters as well as the undersides to make drawer extraction very easy.

I finished the project with two coats of tung oil cut 50% with mineral oil and then several coats of oil-based satin polyurethane cut 50% with mineral oil. I also found that a full coat of tung oil left the ziricote a bit dark. Since the last thing I wanted was to hide the beautiful ziricote grain, I sanded some of the tung oil off to fully expose the ziricote grain patterns. I think you’ll agree that the ziricote looks stunning.

The entire project took about six months to complete, although I was rarely able to truly work full time on it. If anyone needs to contact me with questions of comments on this piece, I can be reached at dlwesen@gmail.com.

EndTable
by Don Wesenberg

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The overall design of the end table was to compliment the coffee table which is also a part of the Savage Woods gallery. In this case I used a matched set of ziricote boards for the top and Black/White Limba for the undercarriage. The inlay is comprised of two parts. The first is a leaf/stem/flower design, similar to that found on the coffee table. A more detailed description of the materials can be found in the coffee table write-up. The hummingbird is made from a combination of various kinds of abalone shell and mother of pearl shell, which I also engraved. The beak and wing tips are Gabon ebony.

The drawer pulls are ziricote that I carefully milled out of some leftovers.

Unlike the coffee table, I finished the project with a set of Arm-R-Seal products from General Finishes (Woodcraft sells them and David Marks recommends them). I first used a sealer, then built up several coats of gloss and finished with two coats of semi-gloss to remove some of the glossy shine. These products fully expose the ziricote grain patterns, and I think you’ll agree that the ziricote looks stunning.

The entire project took about six months to complete, although I was rarely able to truly work full time on it. If anyone needs to contact me, I can be reached at dlwesen@gmail.com.