I haven't tried making my own furniture yet, but I'd gonna give it a try. Every since elementary school refused to allow me into wood shop (I had to take home economics where I learned to make placemats, potholders, and aprons, yuck), I've wanted to work with wood, make useful things. But I never learned the basics as a kid, and only now am trying to figure it out.
I recently acquired two slabs of monkey pod from a dead tree. That's a variety that grows in my area. Monkey pod has very pretty grain. Well...at least that's my opinion. These two slabs are about 2 1/2 to 3 inches thick. One is about 18 inches on its widest diameter, the other about 36".
This bigger one has two holes in it. While others may see this as a defect, I count it as an asset. It will give the tabletop some character. Tables, yes. That's what I have in mind.
First step is to rough sand it. The initial sanding is with #50 sandpaper and a belt sander. There are a lot of gouges from the saw, so it will take a bit of sanding.
So after the initial sanding, this is what they look like...........
So far, I'm pretty pleased. Now I'll sand them using a finer grit, #80 paper.
I think the grain is oh so pretty. Plus I plan on leaving the bark on and let it be rough. I still haven't figured out what sort of finish to use. Hope I decide well and don't ruin them. But we shall see what happens.