Torched Alder Console Table




Introduction: Torched Alder Console Table

About: My name is Zack, I'm a full time craftsman. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love full time--turning ideas into reality. I specialize in commissioned projects, including furniture, sculpture, …

This was a lot of fun! I experimented a bit with some new finishing techniques, and I'm very happy with the results. But I'm also a little bummed that I didn't get a better picture of the finished project, I'm not much of a photographer, but the lighting made it impossible for me to get a good shot, so you'll have to browse through or watch the video to see the finish. I also encourage you to watch my super amazing mind blowing masterpiece of a 6 minute build video!

Step 1: Constructing the Components

Most of the frame is made from 2"x3" steel tubing. I usually purchase this in 20' lengths as I get a bit of a price break. If you do some research there is probably a steel yard near by.

Step 2: Cutting the Frame

Here I'm using a cold saw to cut the frame pieces to size. These things are awesome, but ridiculously loud--seriously, loudest tool in my shop

Tools pictured: Dewalt DW862 Cold Saw

Step 3: Here's a Picture of the Frame Components Laid Out

Here are the components for the frame cut to size. Standard bar height is 40-42", this will stand 41" tall.

Step 4: Assemble the Top

The next step was to prepare the two pieces of 4/4 alder for glue up. The total width is going to be 14".

Step 5: Planing the Glue Joint

The first step was to plane the glue joint perfectly square.

Tools pictured: Stanly #7 Jointer plane

Step 6: Create a Spline Joint

I used a spline joint to join the two pieces. I've always been fond of this method, it's a bit more work, and a lot old fashioned, but it ensures a very strong and very straight glue-up. And there is something incredibly satisfying about using a plow plane.

Tools pictured: Veritas Plow Plane

Step 7: The Glue Up

The glue up. This is pretty self explanatory, and I couldn't be happier with the spline joint, it also dramatically reduces the amount of time spend flattening the top as the seam is very flush. I usually use Titebond II, and although I'm not usually a harbor freight advocate, their bar clamps are awesome for the money.

Tools Pictured:
Titebond II glue
Harbor freight bar clamps

Step 8: Flatten the Top

Next it was time to flatten the top. I guess it makes me sort of rebel, not only that I own a #6 plane, but more so the fact that it is hands down my favorite bench plane. Most people hate them for some reason. I find that when set up with the slightest blade radius it is the perfect plane for flattening panels.

Tools pictured:
Stanley #6 bench plane - (do a bit of research and check ebay, you can usually get these fairly cheap since nobody else likes them)

Step 9: Cut the Top to Length

Using a home-made saw guide to cut the top to length.

Tools pictured: Dewalt 20V Circular saw

Step 10: Fill the Knots and Voids

On to the finishing process. The first step here was to fill the knots/voids with epoxy. I find that popsicle sticks are awesome for mixing and dripping epoxy, you can get yourself a lifetime supply for cheap.

Items pictured:
Popsicle sticks

Loctite 5 min epoxy

Step 11: Drilling the Aprons

With the top dimensioned, the next step was to drill holes through the mounting aprons to secure the top.

Tools Pictured:

Porter Cable Drill press

Cutting/drilling fluid - I make this myself using about a ~15:1 ratio of mineral spirits and cutting oil

Step 12: Attaching the Apron

I threaded in some brass inserts to accept the bolts,(can be seen in the video) This is how the top will be secured to the frame.

Note: the holes are about 3/16" larger than the botls to allow for seasonal wood movement which will minimize the chance of the top splitting or cracking.

Step 13: Assembling the Frame

Next step was to assemble the frame. I used a MIG welder to weld the frame.

Tools used: Lincoln Electric 140C Mig welder

Step 14: Welding the Cross Brace

After the main frame was welded up, I welded in the cross brace. The cross brace was made of 1"x2" tubing.

Step 15: Flame On!

This was definitely the most fun part, I used a tar/weed burner torch to burn the alder. This gigantic torch makes it a lot easier(and faster) to get a uniform burn on the wood.

Tools pictured: Generic propane torch/weed burner

Step 16: Boiled Linseed Oil

After torching and lightly sanding the top, I applied a mixture of Boiled linseed oil and Mineral Spirits. You can see how much this makes the figuring of the wood jump out. I use a ratio of 2:1 Boiled linseed oil to Mineral Spirits.

Step 17: Finishing

So picture is me spraying the topcoat. I used General Finishes High Performance Top Coat.

Product: General Finishes HP Top Coat

Step 18: Glamor Shot of the Finished Top

The top all finished. It was a pretty involved process, but I am very happy with the finish. There were a few steps I did not include in the pictures, including a walnut stain, the black edge fade, and a shellac seal coat.

Items used:
Boiled Linseed Oil

Black Transtint
Zinsser dewaxed shellac

General Finishes Antique Walnut gel stain

General Finishes HP Top Coat

Step 19: Blackening the Frame

On to the frame, I'm using Black Magic, by Sculpt Nouveau to blacken the metal. This is some nasty nasty stuff, but it works well.

Products used:
"Black Magic" by Sculpt Nouveau

Step 20: Sealing the Patina With Lacquer

Now I'm sealing the blackened patina with 3 coats of Lacquer. I just use generic brushing lacquer, it sprays fine, but It's probably illegal to do so.

Products used:
Brushing lacquer - You can get this at any big box store

Step 21:

Again, I'm a little bummed out that the lighting was poor when I delivered the table, so I couldn't really get any good shots of the finish, but the client and myself were happy with the finished product!

I hope you enjoyed the video and instructable. If you'd like to support me you can do so by subscribing to my youtube channel or clicking on any of the product links!

I'd love to hear from you, thanks again!

Products used:

Tools used:

Lincoln Electric 140C Mig welder

Dewalt 4 1/2 Angle Grinder

Dewalt DW862 Cold Saw

Dewalt XR 20V Drill

Dewalt 20V Circular saw

Dewalt 20V Jigsaw

generic propane torch/weed burner

Finishes used:

Boiled Linseed Oil

Black Transtint

Zinsser dewaxed shellac

General Finishes Antique Walnut gel stain

General Finishes HP Top Coat

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    6 years ago

    Your finishing technique is ridonkulusly beautiful! Great looking piece.


    6 years ago

    I like it! Old school and new school combined. That torching application is very cool. I understand it has been used in Japan for centuries as a wood preservation method. I've been meaning to try it myself.

    ZH Fabrications
    ZH Fabrications

    Reply 6 years ago

    Thanks! Yeah, the Japanese method is commonly referred to as shou sugi ban.