This table was a commission from a gentleman who had hung on to a special piece of wood for a long time. The task, it seemed, was two-fold: 1)make the piece (an unbelievable slab of redwood burl harvested 40-odd years ago) look as good as it could, and 2) get out of the way of the wood.
The top is French-polished with shellac. The base is oiled and waxed. Tenons are wedged with fumed white oak.
As it turns out, bugs love redwood sapwood (the whitish band running through the middle of the picture), and had spent the last few decades turning it into little more than a sponge. All of this had to be strengthened and sealed before the top could be finished.
Using wither flat-sawn ("wavy-grain") or quartersawn stock for the base would have been distracting, so all the parts were resawn to "correct" the grain into something that would complement, rather than than detract from, the overall feel of the table.
I had lots of good memories to keep me company while I was working on the slab top - the dust from the redwood smelled like driving to Fort Bragg (where I spent a year studying woodworking), in Northern California, and the live edge of the burl reminded me of the rocky Mendocino coastline. (I kept thinking about the time we woke up at 5 to go abalone hunting, then had to race back after a morning amongst the rocks and spray because we were late to meet Mr. Krenov himself. But that's another story...)