Editor’s Note: Many thanks to our friend Tom “The Sawyer” Hogard for putting us in contact with one of his clients – John Stefanchik. John and his wife Jen, both formerly of Chicago, operate Custom Furniture KC in Gardner, KS.
According to the Custom Furniture KC website, the couple “left our jobs in the busy corporate world looking for something that allowed us to slow down, work together and create environmentally conscious yet stylish products that bring warm to people’s lives.” To wit, working with urban wood, the Stefanchiks have found it “incredibly fulfilling … to give new life to a tree that would otherwise have been destroyed and see it used every day in a way that enhances the owner’s life.”
The Custom Furniture KC website includes a projects channel. John Stefanchik was kind enough to allow us to re-post one of them concerning a live edge walnut table gracing the home of friends in Chicago. John and Jen also previously lived for 20 years in Chicago. “I still consider myself a Chicagoan despite having lived in Kansas for the last seven years,” John says.
Here is a stripped down version of the step-by-step post that features 17 photos illustrating the project from milling through fabrication and final product. You can read the real deal by clicking here.
Some friends of ours from Chicago wanted a walnut dining table and bench for their city home. We sourced the wood for this project from two different locations. The wood for the table came from the University of Kansas; taken down as part of a construction project a few years ago. The wood for the bench came from a tree that was standing dead on a farm south of Kansas City in December of 2015,
The wood for the table was originally milled with two live edges on each board so the first step was the remove one of the edges and then plane each board to uniform thickness. The top will consist of three separate pieces.
From there the table pieces needed to be joined together and we chose to use some floating tenon joints to add stability to the glue-up. The table was smoothed and all of the cracks and knots were epoxied to provide stability and enhance their character.
The bench came from a single board, but in order to enhance eye-appeal and ensure long-term durability the board was cut into 4 individual pieces, planed to uniform thickness and glued together.
Once the tops were assembled, we sanded, finished and installed the legs. The end product is a striking live-edge table with a modern flare, custom built to fit their unique space.