A Podium In Longleaf Pine

UT podium1

I just completed and delivered this podium to the new Stark Center at the University of Texas this past week. It is a companion piece to the conference table I show in my previous post. I was a few days late in getting the podium there, which displeased my clients who needed it to begin lectures for the new fall semester. I really worked overtime to get this project finished on time, but I just could not make it happen.

While this longleaf pine may exhibit a certain old-fashioned charm, it can be very frustrating to work. It constantly gummed up my blades and cutting tools, instantly clogged sandpaper, and had many checks and splits that had to be filled or glued together. I had to resort to the old card scraper and lots of hand sanding to bring things to completion. All turned out well, but it took lots of extra time and plenty of  muttering under my breath to get there.

UT podium3

Click on any image to enlarge.

I joined the curly pine in the center of each panel to the boards on either side with a wavy edge. To accomplish this I created mating  templates in MDF and then used these to route the curvy edges with a pattern bit. The basic technique is described in this article. It worked perfectly. Because much of the wood in both the podium and conference table came from a sinker log pulled from the Sabine River, I wanted the wavy edges, along with the figure of the curly pine, to suggest the rippling flow of moving water.

A back view of the podium shows holes cut in the shelves that will accommodate cables, wires, and an electronic touch panel. An additional adjustable shelf is not shown.

UT podium2

Here is another photo of the companion conference table showing some details in one of the pedestals. The split turnings on either side of the raised curly pine panels are mesquite as is the wedge that locks the trestle in place. This form of construction goes back to at least medieval times and probably much earlier.

table pedestal detail

About twenty years ago, I made an armoire out of some exceptional pine. The material was clear, low in sappy resin, had beautiful figure, and was a pleasure to work . At the time I had no idea how rare this lumber was. I may never have a chance to work longleaf pine this free of defects again. I made the pulls out of teak.

longleaf pine armoire

To see more of my work visit My Furniture Gallery.

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