Crater Lake CCC Table

Please excuse while we are under construction and updating!

The Crater Lake CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) Table had been somewhat protected from structural damage because it was covered in books in an office!

It was difficult to see the extent of the damages done until we brought it back to the studio; then we were able to see the beginnings of structural damage, and serious finish issues.

The table had been used in the children’s areas at one time and there was all kinds of paint and crayons on the top of the table, and even on the sides and legs.  It was even left in the snow one year!

The table, while beautiful, was oddly designed.  It was without supports for the ways that people might use it now, such as sitting on the edges of the table.

Some of the deep cracks were over a quarter of an inch thick.

Most of the work we were going to do was under the table, and so, when it was delivered, it was turned upside down on the work benches, which is how it sat for the weeks we treated it’s many issues.

We decided the best way to take care of the table for another century was to create structural blocks that supported the cantilevered edges, especially along the longest sides.  These edges cantilevered eight inches unsupported!

In laying these out, we found the table had other oddities.  The structure was not built symmetrically.  When the blocks were laid out based upon a symmetrical centered number, you can see it was off-center to the structure, shown left.

There were many missing screws on the legs and on the joins, and yet this rock-solid table continued to stand.

The table was built of Oregon Myrtle wood.  Six blocks were created from Iroko, sometimes known as African Teak, which matched the grain pattern and is much more readily available.  Iroko is a large hardwood tree from the west coast of tropical Africa that can live up to 500 years.  Additional supports for the underside were created from the same wood, left.

The designs of the carvings were drawn, then carved, into the new wooden blocks.

Once the carvings were created, the edges were beveled and sanded, above.  They were drilled to be installed, fitted and readied to be installed after finish work was completed.

We tested applying the finish in various layers until we found a good match for the existing finish.

The finish was made from powdered Brazil Wood extract and Gamblin’s Odorless Mineral Spirits, which are wonderful to use because they are nearly non-toxic.

  • The first coat of pigmented mix was brushed and allowed to set overnight.
  • The second coat was brushed cross grain and allowed to deepen in color overnight.
  • A coat of polymerized linseed oil and bees wax was brushed until it had a thickened viscosity, and allowed to cure.
  • Two more coats were added.
  • A final coat of pigmented polymerized liquid oil  and natural resin varnish was sponged.

(This was allowed to cure while the rest of the table parts were treated.)

Finally, we created a pigmented wax.  The mahogany pigmented wax was used on the new blocks, and eventually on the entire table.

Missing or loose screws were reattached to the underside, and the corner-blocks were re-secured.  The new fittings were also finished and set into the underside.

Table legs and table top sides were thoroughly cleaned of white paint and treated with the mixes above, as needed.

The thick wax was used as infill on surface cracks in the legs, and the table was nearly completed, below.  We turned the table over and finished the table top.

Note: Please excuse our messy finish room.  We were expanding our business and moved into the new room just before we began the project.

Before and after comparisons, below.

The lovely CCC Table, below.

To see one of the matching CCC Benches conserved, go here.


 dkatiepowell [@] / mitchellrpowell [@]
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