This communal, bar-height table was made from an old machine base. The base has original cast iron lathe legs dating back to pre-1950 or so. With the more simple style, it is not as old as the turn-of-the-century. The original metal legs were about 36in tall. We added a nearly 1.5 inch thick top, approximately 2.5 inch thick feet, and use the support under the top to make up the different to get to a 42 inches tall.
To prepare the base, we sandblasted the cast iron, then applied tannic acid to re-darken the metal. We followed this up with a clear polycrylic spray. This approach provides a less even, and more natural look. It doesn’t look overly finished or artificial like a paint or powder coat. We added a wooden stretcher between the legs for added stability. We choose wood, but this might have been interesting with a large steel pipe or rod. We could probably find another similar old base, or our blacksmith can make a new one.
The top is a reclaimed white oak. We call this style more of an “interior cut.” It come from the interior of the cut beams and logs, which look much more like their modern counterpart. The grains are still tighter than modern wood and it has more character, but it doesn’t have nearly the same character as the outside of reclaimed white oak. The edge is very mild, but nevertheless a “live edge” showing the original curve and character of the tree. The top started out as a monster sized sill timber. (you can see it coming in on the skidsteer)
This particular table was 36in x 10ft. We’d be happy to make a similar one for you.