This (hopefully) is the first of a 5-8 post series covering 8+ or so days. The topic is a coffee table.

This post includes a Prologue and 2 Days/Episodes . . . so binge away.


I’ve created two tables for the Darcy family. Both were made from wood salvaged from Edress Darcy’s family ranch/farm before it was sold after her father’s death. The farm was Edress’ home growing up.

The wood is special. Very much so.

I’m sure it sounds a bit bonkers but the first table was a little stressing. And more so given that I was afforded the freedom to design it.

Design is tough for me in ways I’ll explain along the way but it is truly why I do what I do. I can only make so many things while I’m here . Honestly, it pretty much sucks if what I’m making isn’t “mine” . . . I want to create, not just make. This was creating.

Design aside, the Darcy’s also provided me the opportunity to create something that was truly special . . . it would have a story to tell . . . and it would always have connections to people . . . . . . past, present and future.

The first and second tables were created several years ago.

The Darcys and I kept touch and discussed on/off again what they would like me to create with the remaining wood . . most of which is kinda sketchy even for reclaimed wood except for some very special pieces.

This is the story about the next piece. A coffee table.

Day 1

Looking through the remaining wood, I know what’s special and what’s not so special. What is truly special should make up the table top. Maybe if necessary I can fill in with some “cheaper cuts” but the top has to speak the best and most interesting of the trees indigenous to the farm/ranch geography.

Mix of various N. Florida wood

The Live Oak ( second board inside right) is the obvious first choice with the pecky Cypress (short wide board in the middle) next. There’s not enough Live Oak so I think about combing both. Looking at the pic below, you are probably thinking WT. . . . but they’re pretty kick ass with a little work.

Visually, the Pecky will be obvious from distance. The Live Oak, from up closer. Live Oak in furniture is pretty rare. Good luck with trim, flooring etc. All wood/tree species have a story. Live Oak’s story is super cool. Plus its properties and appearance are unique . . . of which the properties drive it’s story.

I’m designing to use the Live Oak with the Pecky. Chalk lines are to check feasibility of my initial ideas.

Live Oak on the left. Pecky Cypress on the right.

Day one ends with some degree of confidence that I’ve got a decent idea for the design and material application.

Day 2

I box the dimension range requirements in 3D and work in the box. The Darcy’s trust me to a decent degree so I don’t have to be literal. There’s a requirement for a shelf that complicates things but ok to accommodate.

Not the final design nor a fine sketch but hopefully enough to get going

Communicating the idea for the top is most important as it will require the most valuable wood. BTW, the Live Oak is from a tree that fell just before the farm was sold. New wood but certainly old tree.

I could spend hours tweaking the design but all I need to do is confirm that the idea for the top is cool and that the rest of the sketch is pretty much placeholder. The top will be made before the dims. and shapes of the legs and shelf are finalized.

I send the Darcys images of the concept. The day ends.

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