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Author Topic: Teddy Roosevelt table  (Read 465 times)

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Offline scsmith42

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Teddy Roosevelt table
« on: October 16, 2021, 01:11:09 PM »
A year or so back I was contacted by an individual that lived on Long Island, NY.  He was in the process of moving from NY to NC, and had some slabs with a very special provenance that he was interested in having kiln dried.

He explained that his great uncle was Charles Wang, the founder of Computer Associates and a big fan of President Teddy Roosevelt.  Charles Wang immigrated to the US when he was 8 years old, and like a lot of immigrants really believed in the fundamental premise of individual freedom and rights that the US was created from.  Mr. Wang embodied the American Dream; working hard and ultimately become a billionaire.

Wang built an estate on Long Island that bordered President Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill home.  Teddy Roosevelt built Sagamore Hill and moved in with his family in 1887.  It served as the "Summer White House" during his presidency, and was where he lived afterward until he passed away in 1919.  Charles Wang was well known to the site manager and crew and was a frequent donor and supporter of the museum.

Around 2015 Wang approached the site manager and enquired about what they were planning to do about the large copper beech tree that was dying on the estate.  To which the site manager replied "what dying copper beech?"  Turns out that they were unaware that one of the majestic 40" DBH trees that Roosevelt had planted was dying about 400' from the main house.  The tree had lost a large upper limb in past wind storms, and had started dying and decaying from the mid point down.

TR was a well known fan of copper beech trees, and it is well recorded that he planted many on the estate, including immediately adjacent to his home.  Wang felt strongly that the logs from the dying tree should be preserved, and struck a deal to be able to retain the logs if he funded the removal of the dying tree and all of it's debris.

The salvaged logs were transported next door to Wang's estate and stored in his landscaping service area.  Unfortunately, not long thereafter he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died.  Before he died, he asked his great nephew to become responsible for the logs, and to ensure that they were used in a manner that was appropriate for their provenance; to which the nephew agreed.

The nephew arranged for an urban treecycling company to come to the estate and slab the logs, and then had them stacked and stickered under some canopy type shelters for air drying.  The treecyling company ended up with some of the boule's, but the nephew kept two of them.  A 36", 13' long section from where the broken limb was, and an 8' long, 40" diameter crescent shaped log from the bottom of the tree.  After some discussions with us, he sent a truck down from NY with the boules, and we took charge of them, kiln drying the larger one and stickering the smaller one for continued air drying.

We've sold a few slabs, and worked with the nephew to create a table from a bookmatched pair.  We did the planing, glue up and sanding in-house, and the nephew arranged for a cabinet maker to build the legs and finish the slab.

Here are some progress photo's of the project.

Here is the dying tree at the start of the removal process:



 


Same tree after limbing.  TR's home is visible in the background.



 


The log that the slabs were milled from:



 


The bookmatched slabs that we selected for the table top, after using the Peterson swingblade sawmill for flattening the kiln dried slabs:



 

 

The finished glue up:



 

The completed table.  We did not do the finish work, but supplied the glued up and sanded slab that was ready for finishing.



 

It is really fulfilling to be able to participate in projects that are unusual, especially one with a legacy as tremendous as Teddy Roosevelts'. 
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and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2021, 01:43:21 PM »
Teddy might say it's bully!
Science isn't meant to be trusted it's to be tested

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2021, 02:00:55 PM »
Nice story and table.
thanks for sharing.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Offline Paul_H

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2021, 03:37:54 PM »
Tom also would have really appreciated your story and the finished product.

Taps in General Board (forestryforum.com)
Science isn't meant to be trusted it's to be tested

Online trimguy

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2021, 05:11:43 PM »
Very nice , table and story !!

Offline ESFted

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2021, 06:30:01 PM »
It's a beautiful piece.  As an aside, way back in the day I did nuclear weapons calculations on a Wang programmable calculator the size of a very large typewriter... today it would be done in less than the blink of an eye on your mobile phone.
S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry '65
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2021, 06:39:02 PM »
Love it!
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2021, 09:18:08 PM »
Great slabs there and great history to go with them.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2021, 10:37:13 PM »
Good show! as Mr. Tom would say.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline customsawyer

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2021, 11:20:24 AM »
Not to brag but I'm going to any way. Those slabs look better in person and to get to see the excitement on Scott's face as he tells the story is better than reading it.
Great story, slabs and work on finishing them. You should be honored and proud. You honored both fine men in the finished product. 
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Teddy Roosevelt table
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2021, 11:53:17 AM »
Not to brag but I'm going to any way. Those slabs look better in person and to get to see the excitement on Scott's face as he tells the story is better than reading it.
Great story, slabs and work on finishing them. You should be honored and proud. You honored both fine men in the finished product.
Jake, thanks for your kind words. They made my day!
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.


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