Friday, October 6, 2017

Beautiful Slab Dining Table, Design and Build by Perfect45Degree

10'6" Guanacaste Parota dining table. 

Stunning Parota Dining Table designed and built by Jacquelyn Smith of Perfect45Degree. 

I build the solid wood base and beam of this Trestle Table from Shedua. The trestle style table is an extremely solid design. 
Before the finish I do a test set up and fit. I am fortunate to have a fork lift and hoist to aid in moving around these large slabs! Some of my slab tops weigh from 220 to 385lbs! That's a lot of weight especially when the size is 42" x 10'6". Fortunately I used to build buildings so I have first hand knowledge of lifting beams and making things much larger than myself. I am also ever so grateful for the several people in my shop building who have come to the rescue over the years helping me get the slab turned over or into and out of a truck! 

This striped beauty is Quarter-sawn Shedua. The deep dark streaks and golden highlights are a perfect match for Guanacaste Parota. 

Simply beautiful.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Large Slabs For Sale

One Parota slab remains for sale or commission.

Milling services available upon request. Here's a video of my last Parota dining table that I just shipped:

There are similar qualities of grain and color with the Parota I have used. All have been amazing to work with and ended up being fantastic tables. Like all wood each board, each tree varies according to what has happened in it's life. It is fascinating to discover each piece!
A true trestle table. Everything is made to fit together seamlessly for a short install and a long life. 

Contact me if you are interested in discussing a slab purchase or a table commission. I have been building for over 30 years creating spaces and furniture for clients all over America. Write to Jacquelyn at

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

16' Dining Table, Extra Large Guanacaste Parota Slab
Installation day of one of my latest dine tables this year. 16' Guanacaste Parota slab dine table. What a beautiful piece of wood to work with! The muralist is still working on the ceiling above the table and the electrician has a light fixture to install. Yikes! All is well and worked out as planned!

My client is still in the phases of finishing their new Vancouver home but special guests from around the world are due to visit so we install the table to help fill out the room!  

We wanted to keep the live edge as an interesting element but straight cut the other three sides to work with the lines and shape of the room. Just sitting at this table is a treat!

    The grain in this wood is phenomenal! It's like flying over the earth!

Left: One of the base ends
nearly ready to assemble.
The base is built out of Shedua.
Curved work is one of my true loves!

Building up the finish. As the finish builds the grain of the wood becomes richer and richer. It is a wonderful treat to be able to witness!

Thanks for taking a look! Enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Looking for a beautiful Slab Dining Table?

Looking for a beautiful Slab Dining Table?

I have two slabs coming from Costa Rica soon to be dining room tables. I made one table with this same wood, Guanacaste Parota last year and it was spectacular. Parota is stable, thick, and incredibly beautiful loaded with interesting grain patterns, color and figure.

FOR SALE NOW, purchase directly through Paypal using your account or a credit card. Or buy through Etsy . . .


Here are a couple shots of my first Parota slab table with finish being applied:
The surface of the Parota Slab with Waterlox finish:
The shot above shows the heartwood at top and Sap wood at bottom. In this case the Sap wood was very solid and looks like Ivory with a spalted feather like pattern! This really helped make this table a beauty!

Please contact me if you are interested in having a table made for your home. 

Have a great day,
Jacquelyn Smith

Friday, December 4, 2015

Music Boxes

Design your Music Box with me!

A recent music box custom designed for an anniversary gift this season! This music box is beautiful, thoughtful and personal with superb sound quality.

The movement plays Canon in D, which has three parts, by Johann Pachelbel. You can hear the music and see this box in action here:
A music box can be more than a box to hold the movement. You can incorporate a jewelry box or other container with the movement. There are so many possibilities here! I'd love to have a custom movement made with our bedtime lullaby (Durme, Durme) and give one to each child when they have their first born. 

Made from American Cherry because acoustically this wood gives a very nice tone when combined with the music box movement. The Sankyo movement is fine tuned by Better Music Boxes to sound as precise as possible. On their site you can listen to the various movements they offer and even contact them about having a custom movement made. 
The inlay shown is Claro Walnut and Western Maple and the hearts represent the family.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Parota Dine Table

An example of elegance, simplicity and breathtaking beauty. The Parota slab comes from Costa Rica in the Guanacaste province. We had it shipped to my shop in Portland Oregon where I milled, sanded, and finished the slab. I designed and built the base after getting the slab in my shop. I wanted to see and feel the visual weight of it and make sure the wood I used in the base was compatible in color and grain. The base is made from Shedua, the one and only wood in my entire selection that had the correct matching!
The base and slab fit perfectly and are solid as a rock! Exactly what I wanted for a 220lb slab. 
Here are a few detail shots of the wood. I am still waiting for photos of the table complete in L.A.

The slab has outstanding ribboning and below is a detail shot of the sap wood:

Above is a test fit of the base to the top. There are rails that set inside the top which register it on center, fasten it and create a very strong bond between the base and the slab. The base doesn't have any finish on it yet here.
In the end it is finished with Waterlox, a 103 year old floor finish waterproof recipe.
Stay turned for final project photos!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Want to BE a Woodworker?

self portrait, Jacquelyn Smith

Whether you make wooden spoons, modern coffee tables, or far out executive desks, being a woodworker is interesting work on many levels. We do work with dead plant material which has many challenges. It's a nice mix of technical, creative, deliberate and happenstance. Want to try it out? Take a class at a community center or college that has some tools and give it a shot. If you are fortunate there may be a woodworking school nearby. If you get serious here are a few pointers to keep in mind . . .

Just when you are convinced you know most things about the work, something presents itself to show you otherwise. It doesn't really matter how long you've been at it.

There are very few shortcuts. When you feel the urge, resist. What's the saying . . ."do it right, once". The resources we use do have a limit. Your life and energy are precious. What we create can carry on and inspire many if we are present respectful of our work.

One of the most important skills to develop in music is listening. In woodworking its looking and feeling. Pay attention. Look all the time at different angles, lighting and distances. Look at your own work and all the work around you. Go to see furniture in shops and look online. Feel your work as you go. We can feel 500ths of an inch with our fingertips. Woah.

A woodworker will tend to make any job way more complex than it ever needs to be. Don't be afraid to do the abstraction process to dump your own brilliant ideas for something more basic.
Ebony Wallet by Jacquelyn Smith
Read, read, read. James Krenov (The Impractical Cabinetmaker), Sam Maloof, Japanese Joinery, and anything that interests you. They aren't gods but they were good woodworkers who made a living at this trade and taught many others. Times have changed regarding making a living but the work is much the same.

One of my favorite woodworkers is David Savage (Fine Furniture Maker) and another is Brian Newell. Both have work I like and don't like. Both push the boundaries of woodworking in their own ways. Both heavily value DESIGN.

If you work as hard at design as you do woodworking you will be on your way to contributing good work to our community and honor this valuable resource in the best possible way.

The most important thing I can pass on to you is this one simple thing:
WOODWORKING IS EXTREMELY PERSONAL. For instance, you will see people who have studied under Krenov continuing to make Krenov pieces. Seems to me Krenov fell short on one extremely important aspect which is to encourage others to make their own work. Of course he may have stressed this and the people I see repeating his work might just be afraid. It might feel risky to discover or uncover your own line or shape. I encourage you to find out what it is. Maybe you already have it. You will know when you find it. You can feel it and you will continue to see your line or shape in each piece for the rest of your life.

The 'personal' aspect relates to it all. Woodworkers love to lay down the law and say "you can't do blah, blah, blah." Rules add up so fast you soon find it difficult to do anything. Break a rule and find out what it's about. Push your own boundaries, open your mind, experiment and use your own common sense. There are so many ways to do things, discover your way. Keep samples around the shop for most of your testing, time will be the storyteller.

Above all else, do the work. No one will ever see the work we agonize over in our heads.  I just read a quote by Pablo Picasso . . .

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working." 

Mondrian Inspired Side Table by Jacquelyn Smith

Little Flame

Little Flame
Prize winner in the NWFW 30th Annual Box Show! SOLD