It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year since the Tinder Fire that stormed up our hill and almost took our home. But we are still here, stronger than ever…. and found a great way to memorialize our tenacity, good fortune, and strength.
Several years back we cut a burl off a tree (making sure to keep the tree alive). It has been drying in our shop for the past 3 – 4 years. We figured it would make a great table top when it was good and dry. So we used a chainsaw to slab it, then set up a router on boards across the top to slowly and meticulously router it down to a flat even surface… then sand, sand, sand.
With the top ready, we needed legs. So we decided to make the legs from the Tinder Fire. We cut all the wood from our forest, using dead burned trees or fallen logs.
We decided to use a combination of oak and cedar for an ‘architectural’ highlight. The wood was super dry, almost kiln dried. Using the jointer we cut a flat through the 6″ – 8″ logs to clear the bark and provide a flat datum. The jointer allowed us to make parellel sides.
For the cedar we needed to work through the exterior white to get to the ‘red heart’ of the wood. We used the planer to make numerous passes to reduce the wood to 2-3/4″ squares for the legs.
Once both the oak and cedar logs were reduced to ‘legs’, we had lumber ready to process.
We used a black resin goop to fill the cracks…. a long tedious task, which took multiple applications until the cracks were filled.
Finally, we were ready to assemble the legs and stretchers for the base.
With base and top ready to go, final sanding complete…. it’s time to stain.
… and finish, ironically, as it started to snow.
I think the finished product came out great. The red heart of the cedar shows through, as does the tenacity and strength of the sturdy oak. They made it through the fire to become something lasting and symbolic, and will forever be a reminder of the Tinder Fire, moving on, and persevering.