Before. During. After. The rough slab came from the attic of my grandmother’s house, a hundred-and-twenty years old or more, and if you ran your hand against the grain, you’d have many tiny splinters in your skin. I sanded it and sanded it, smoother, smoother, swirls and rings and knots revealed themselves. I wanted to be able to see the saw marks, the jagged lines, a reminder of where and when it came from. I rubbed a finish on it made of boiled linseed oil, pure tung oil, and polyeurothane. It’s a table now, with hairpin legs.