Bloodwood Butterfly table

By , 11 October, 2010, 2 Comments

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Project:  Small  conference table

Client:  New Horizons Hardwoods

Material:  Bloodwood (Brosimum Rubescens)

Date completed:  October 11, 2010

Finish:  Three coats of brushed-on Polyurethane, followed by two coats of wipe-on Polyurethane, with a final wax coat buffed on.

Project parameters:  The table will be in a small showroom surrounded by samples of exotic hardwoods.  The client requested a design that would soften the feel of the room by contrasting with the square room and straight lines.  The approximate dimensions of the table needed to be 30″ in height by 36″ wide and 48″ long.

Design elements:  When we selected the Bloodwood material for this project, one board with an unusual pattern on it stood out – a pattern that resembled half a butterfly.  That was selected as the focal point of the piece and the rest of the table designed around that theme.  The curved shape of the legs and the curves in the one shelf play into that butterfly shape and also lend themselves to the nature of the material.  The shelf was beveled on the bottom side to give it a thin appearance without compromising its strength, since it also serves as a brace for the legs.  Oddly enough, there are 26 individual boards in this table, but there is only one that does not have a curve of some sort cut into it.

Notes:  Bloodwood is hard!  Hardness in wood is measured in pounds per square inch (psi) needed to press a nearly 1/2″ steel ball halfway into the wood.  When compared to Oak at 1,300 psi, and Hickory at 1,600, Bloodwood registers all the way up to 2,900 psi.   Extremely durable stuff!  As with alot of durable hardwoods, the weight goes up with the durability, and Bloodwood tips the scale at 50-60 lbs/sq ft.  Oak, by comparison is in the 40 lbs/sq foot range.  The challenges of working with Bloodwood are outweighed by the end result… an amazingly beautiful material.

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