In each bi-monthly episode of DiResta (every other Wednesday at 2pm PT), artist and master builder Jimmy DiResta (Dirty Money, Hammered, Against the Grain, Trash for Cash) lets us into his workshop, to look over his shoulder while he builds whatever strikes his fancy. On this episode of DiResta, Jimmy turns some birch branch slices into a table. – Gareth Branwyn
- Birch tree branch
- West Systems Epoxy
- Jax metal blackener
- Briwax (solvent-based blend of beeswax and carnauba wax)
- Hand saw
- Belt sander
- Palm sander
- Table saw
I had a few birch branches about 7″ in dia. I wanted to make a table. My first thought was to make a group of slices to create a freeform shape, like a bunch of grapes in silhouette. As I began to lay the slices out, I preferred the rectangular shape. I also like the idea of the pattern looking like a small sample of a larger never-ending pattern, with half slices at the edge.
I used a handsaw for the workout and because it can also be dangerous to cut organic shapes on a band saw. I found the epoxy stained the face of the slices, so I had to remove about 1/4″ of each face with a router and 1″ dia. bit. One important thing I learned: the slices need to be dry. I had to wait a few days after I cut up the branch. The final finish is epoxy and Briwax.
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