Home Tomagrams Travel Log: Big Board, Small Question

Travel Log: Big Board, Small Question

Travel Log: Big Board, Small Question

large rough cut fir board in truckOne Gigantic Fir Board to Go, Please…

While searching for fir floor boards at Forest Stewards mill yard, I came across the most amazing rough-cut board, a fir behemoth about four inches thick, 18 feet long, and heavier than a middle-age man’s back should endure. board with raw edge left on, fir treeCole, the mill manager, said he’d give me a deal on it as the board thickness was inconsistent. Alright Cole, consider it sold!

 beautiful Pacific Northwest Fir lumber, board with raw edgeAs we wrangled the trunk into my truck, Cole, asked me the million-dollar question, “So what are you going to do with it?” I assured him, I’d come up with something worthy of Mother Nature’s handiwork. He smiled, and said,  “I’m sure you will.”

Here are few of my ideas (caveats included):

  1. Harvest table (just add legs and lots of friends)
  2. Seesaw (sand before first use)
  3. World’s longest coffee table (my shins would suffer bruising)
  4. Home-built trebuchet (though not sure I’m zoned for medieval weaponry)
  5. Foot bridge (may just invite trouble with local trolls)
  6. …now it’s your turn

What do you think I should do with this big beautiful board?


  1. Oooh! I say harvest table … saw in half and bring edges together. Lots of sanding (you said you’ld add friends), and some oil and you’re good to go. Gorgeous!

  2. I immediately thought a bench of some sort. Is there a place in your home/workshop/front porch that would hold such massive seating?

    Whatever you decide – it is a gorgeous piece of wood and I hope you share what you come up with!

  3. If you have a nice, long hallway, sand it down and make it into a bench. You can saw it in half and have your table and a bench.
    Throw a long skinny mat/ pillow and make it a chaise. Put a curtain around it and you’ve got a little bunk.
    Your idea for a foot bridge is awesome. You could use it instead of a carpet runner. It might not be very practical, but you lean more toward whimsical anyway.

  4. Definitely a harvest table. It looks wide enough. I would help come baptize the groaning board!! Beautiful. No one in their right mind would have turned it down.

  5. You know, I’ve been obsessing about redoing my kitchen counters as a large slab of butcher’s block for a more natural look.
    Boom. There goes my vote for the Harvest Table/and/or/Prep Station of some sort.
    Although… a trebuchet would be kind of fun. Great way to get items shipped across the island? hee hee hee!

  6. My hubby, who is a planerman for a sawmill and has worked with wood nearly all his life, says it has too many knots to be cut down into proper boards. I think it would be lovely once cut in two, sanded and varnished and made into a head and footboard for a rustic bed!

  7. I say giant portal into your garden or driveway, just set on GIANT notched posts. I hate to think of cutting it since it is so very grand as is. The extra long bench is my second best vote. Truly wonderful find. (I have a 16′ – 2 x4 in my basement that was never used, you can have to go with it!)

  8. I want some of your wood tommy. Let me know if you want to sell any 5′ to 6′ scraps. I am working on a bench and table for our entry.

  9. A lovely piece of wood! cut the butt end to 10′, leaving the outer edges ‘as is’, add iron or wood trestle legs. Cut the 8′ piece in half longways (sawn edges would be toward table and the back edges would match the table edge) and add matching trestle legs at chair height.
    A wonderful table with matching benches that slide underneath when not in use. Add unique armchairs for the head and foot of the table…
    But then the trolls would miss out…

  10. Gorgeous piece of wood…my friend had one like that but not as long. She sanded and stained the wood, then added it to her kitchen island as an extended table with chairs underneath – beautiful. Since this is long – I would say a harvest table.

  11. Gosh Tom – I’m afraid I’d never be able to decide what to do with it and just spend my days gazing at it…yup that’s it. A gazing board instead of a gazing ball. It is beautiful.

  12. It is such a beautiful piece of a magnificent tree.
    I would hope that you would keep it’s natural shape and maybe just add legs for a table but I’m with June I would just enjoy gazing at it and wondering about all the years it took to get to its size and it’s history. I will love to know what you
    finally decide.

  13. Hmmm, I’d say sofa table (you know the long skinny tables that sit behind a sofa for presentation of all manner of items), but I don’t think anyone has a sofa that long. LOL So I think I’d make independent framework supports so it could be used as a harvest table, but would still maintain its integrity and could be used in other ways if needed. It’s beautiful, Tom!


  14. Harvest table sound great or turn it into a bench honoring a great view 🙂

    You’ll come up with something fantastic. No doubt there Tom 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandlfavors

  15. I think you should cut it in half so you would have two 9′ tables – one for inside (as you said, seating lots of friends who are eating good food and having a great time) and a second table to have outside in the summertime. You could put wheels on the legs of the outside table so you could roll it into the barn during the winter!

  16. Hey Tom,
    Tis the season and all that. I’ll be going to a cookie party or two. What is your all-time favorite holiday cookie?

    I see that my swing suggestion is not getting a lot of support. I’m hoping you can see the genius and make it happen.

  17. Rock says cut it, butt the opposite sides, scribe it, mortice it, glue it. You’ve got a beautiful and wide enough 9′ table.
    Not sure I got it all straight or in order. You’ll
    have to talk to him…………………
    Where are you going to fit a 9′ table???????

    • First of all, let me thank you all for your most creative and ingenious ideas.

      • Joan — I know it’s been ages since you’ve been over here, considering the exhausting 20-minute ferry ride and all, but remember I have a 12 x 12 dining room and a couple acres to place the table in and around. 😉
      • Stephanie — Cookies did you say cookies? Oh yeah, I love Christmas cookies and will post some recipes once I get my current house project and sawdust cleaned up. As for the swing, I love the idea, and have a perfect place for it. I’m sure I’ll have a trim piece a foot or two from board at some point.
      • James — great idea, but Boz and Gracie prefer loofah sponge rubs and cucumber masks.
      • Margaret — Your wheel idea really has traction (ar ar ar), seriously, to make a mobile table, one that I could wheel around and place in the sun, as we tend to follow it here in the summer.
      • Devaki and Shirley — great ideas!
      • Michael — You’ll bring the wine, eh? I better get started then, considering the quality of libation you’re known for. Best to you, D and the kids!
      • Bridget, Dana, Ina, Roberta, Scott, Tamara, Sophie, Grace, Doug, Susan, and Karen (like the mantel idea, too) — harvest table is looking to be one of the favored uses; I tend to agree.
      • Chris — We’ll talk, the NW is land of lumber
      • June — I would like to see platters of your amazing food lining the table!
      • Jan — I love that sign, do you know who carved it?
      • Raeann — Headboard, footboard, nice; guaranteed sweet dreams I bet!
      • Renae — You are one smart and witty woman, miss you.
      • Ginny — A portal would be great, I’d just have to measure for the UPS truck, or the first delivery I could be collecting kindling.
      • Cassandra — bench, eh. That could work on my porch on the North side. Not sure if the board would be wide enough for my rear. 😉
      • Diane — beautiful idea, I’d just have to learn not to clutter it up in two days’ time.
      • Rosanne — I fear if I made it into a bar, I may just get a sign, a liquor license and streak of laziness. 😉
      • Brooks — totem pole, hmmm, clever idea, but my carving skills are better used on a turkey. Thanks!
      • Hope I didn’t miss anybody. Thanks again for your fine ideas. The board is tucked away in the barn for winter. You’ve planted the seed, now I’ll let it sit for awhile, but be assured I’ll let you know what I do with the board when the idea springs to life.

  18. Oh Wow!! I would suggest a buffet table/sideboard for “dinner on the grounds”!! That is an amazing find!! I LOVE your blogsite! I’ve been crawling and snooping around it for weeks!!! I’ve failed at making apple jelly twice now….I’m trying your recipe next and maybe I won’t get syrup this time!!! Blessings abound!!!

  19. Oh my, another person named Tamara commented above-I guess I’ll call myself Annie Oakley from now on. I can’t think of anything better than all the ideas already mentioned-my vote goes to an outdoors picnic type table like the other Tamara said or a harvest table.

  20. I’m a bit late, I think, in the decision-making process, but before I read any of your text, I was thinking table. It would make a beautiful piece. My ideal dining room — a long harvest table next to a stacked stone fireplace, bare windows along with good food, good wine, and good friends!

  21. I have given this “board” so much thought and decided you should masterpiece a “mother board” of sorts…a bench specifically designed and decorated with your Mom in mind so that she may sit, relax and enjoy all things “Tom” when visiting! Her greatest masterpiece! Thanks Mrs. C!

    • Hi Sheri, I’ve been using as an outdoor table this summer, though some fine dinner guests like to recline on it to look at the stars after dessert, should the clouds cooperate and we decide to clear the table. I’ll take some photos and post. Thanks for asking and thank you for the kind words of support.

    • Janine it is sitting in my front yard on two saw horses as makeshift legs. I think I’ll move to the back of the house for afternoon sun. Dinner guest often mention how cold they are in the shade. I may have to stock my dinner parties with thrift-store sweaters in various sizes or afghans.

      • Ok, then I am able to put my 2cents worth in. I’m thinking a mantle, fireplace or not. Also thinking mantle or table [or both, it’s long enough]. get whatever you collect, mine is rocks, yours might be shells…yes yes, I know this is gonna be work…LOL…make indentations in the wood, put the shells in, cover with epoxy or whatever that clear stuff is. one day I want to have a countertop that has slices of my semi precious rocks in it. If you want to do this and want some rock, I can send you some stuff that I guarantee none of your friends will have.
        Could put dried pressed flowers on it. or what’s the opposite of wood? Glass, glass pcs you;ve picked up off the beach. [I like opposites].

        mantle, sand it down to where you can see the bark underneath, varnish/polyurethane clear.

        Shelf up along ceiling. that way the underside can be seen. maybe stick some of those air ferns on it. that would look cool.

        gardening bench.

        let friends burn their names in it, or a quote they like, epoxy, use as bench.
        cut holes in it and use as flower pot holder. lol back to work for me.


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