I phoned round all the architectural salvage yards within driving distance and found these mahogany billiard table legs which seemed to be a good starting point:
From the same yard I also got three pine scaffolding planks for the top and to build up the height of the turnings, also some tongue and grooved pine floorboards for the base.
The planks had to be glued together to get the required width:
Then I mocked up the pine slabs with the turnings to get an idea of final shapes/proportions:
The slabs were squared up and flattened then had a moulding routed on to add a bit of detail.
I decided to join everything together by drilling a hole into each end of the turnings and gluing in a 20mm threaded steel rod with epoxy resin. The square slabs would be drilled to fit the rod and held in place with a locking nut.
Next more scaffold boards were used to make a rectangular frame for the base which was then covered with floorboards:
I repeated the bleaching four times in the end, each time they got a shade lighter:
Then the other parts were bleached and some of the lightest pine was darkened a bit using caustic soda as a chemical stain. Either vinegar or baking soda was then used to neutralise the wood before hosing it all off.
Then it was assembled using the steel rods:
Then a final sanding and the top was darkened a bit with some water stain before finally finishing with two coats of matt finish.
I was later sent this photo of it installed in the living room: