ARTHROPOD - "Recluse"
By Peter Loh
May 29, 2004

Here is the finally complete table that I dreamed up a some months ago.   Some of you may recall my post about steambending a non-rectangular piece of wood a while back.   Well, this is the result.   The steambending went fine, although in retrospect, the curve is so slight that I don't think steambending is really required.   Not too much waste in cutting the curve from a rectangular block.

The idea for the piece started oddly enough from a camping trip where I got stung by a wasp (I think.)   I had a pretty severe allergic reaction to the sting and when my wife talked with a ranger along the trail, he said it might be a bite from a brown recluse spider.   He didn't see my injury because I was back at camp resting.   Anyway, I was lucky that it wasn't a recluse bite.   When we returned home, I got online and looked at some images of brown recluses to see what they looked like for future reference.   To make a long story short(er), I thought that the legs of the spider were pretty neat and given my tendency to make furniture that is inspired from insects, I developed the idea for this table.

It is meant as a hallway/console/sofa table.   It stands around 34" tall, 12" wide, and 5' long.   The top is Zebrawood and the body is Bolivian Rosewood with Curly Maple on the bottom of the legs.   This table required a lot more patience than normal because it is the first piece that I attempted with joints that had curved surfaces coupled with the majority of the piece having curved faces (with the exception of the top.)


Nice design, Ploh.   The maple ends on the legs, doweled on?.   Be glad it wasn't a recluse, I knew a fellow who got bit on leg, and 2 years latter it still looked bad, he though his leg was going to rot off.

You do really nice work Peter.
Do you ever display your work at Seattle Center or Pike St. Market?

Peter, this is a gorgeous table.
Will you keep it or sell it?   I love the Zebrawood, it is beautiful.   Great story too.

Outstanding Peter!!
I suppose that creation belongs to your new 'arachnid' series?
I seem to recall that you were building this piece for entry into that 'curvature' competition... what ever bacame with that idea?

I believe it would be a very strong entry indeed.
Very well done Peter.

Beautiful Table!
After you told us about the spider thing, I got an idea...   You could make another one... slightly smaller... small enough to nest under the other one.

Then, with a long round pillow with a dark end, laid across both of them (separated, un-nested) in the middle, would look very much like a spider!

I'm curious how you joined the legs and supports together and into the top...   M&T into top?

Would it be OK with you if I grabbed pictures and some posts to add them to my site collection?

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful work of art,
Thanks for the kind replies.   I'm glad that people like the top.   In the design phase I seriously questioned the use of Zebrawood because I thought it might be too overpowering.   I was also looking at using some lightly figured Iroko as well.   After I put the finish on, I was happy that I chose the Zebrawood.

The maple "toe-nails" (I like that reference ) are sort of dowelled on.   I used a horizontal borer with a plug cutter to cut the tenon on the maple and then drilled a hole in the main leg.   So there is no floating dowel in the joint.

Gene, I do show my work occassionally at the Northwest Gallery of Fine Woodworking.

Gail, I try to sell most of my work and this table will be no exception.   The pieces I have are either rejects or prototypes.   However, I want to try to get this table into some exhibitions, so I am going to hold on to this table for awhile.   Besides, I don't think I'm ready to let go of it yet...

Yes Dave, the piece was meant to be completed for the entry into the Curviture exhibition but that didn't happen.   So now the table is done and waiting for another opportunity.   Oh the piece is part of my Arthropod series.   The title is ARTHROPOD(recluse).

Joe, sure, feel free to add pictures/posts to your website.   What a compliment, thanks!   All the joints on the table are basically mortise and tenons with the exception of the top which is just edge joined.   The top and stretchers are M&T's and the legs are attached to the rails with floating tenons.

Thanks again!

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