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How to Build a Live Edge Table the Easy Way

Introduction Are you looking to add a touch of rustic elegance to your home decor? Building a live edge table may be just the project for you! This unique style of furniture showcases the natural...


Are you looking to add a touch of rustic elegance to your home decor? Building a live edge table may be just the project for you! This unique style of furniture showcases the natural beauty of the wood, with its edges left untouched. In this article, we will guide you through the process of building your own live edge table in an easy and efficient way. So let's get started!

Choose your Wood Slab

The first step in this process is to choose a wood slab that meets your needs. Consider the size and shape of the table you want to build. While the most common size is 8 feet long and approximately 42 inches wide, you can customize it according to your preferences. It's recommended to go for a single slab instead of two bookmatched slabs to avoid the hassle of joining them together. Keep in mind that the rough cut slab may not look like the final product once it has a finish. Once you find the perfect slab, you are ready to begin the construction.

Wood Slab Wood Slab - Image Source: sanaulac.vn

Check the Moisture Content

One crucial step that is often overlooked is checking the moisture content of the wood slab. If you are purchasing from a lumber store, they should have a moisture meter on hand. It's important to ensure that the slab is kiln dried and ready to use. Ideally, the moisture content should be around 8%. Anything over 12% can lead to warping or cracking in the future. To determine the appropriate moisture content for your slab, consult a chart based on the relative humidity of your home. You can find the relative humidity on most smart thermostats.

Moisture Content Moisture Content - Image Source: sanaulac.vn

Surface the Slab

Flattening the slab is an essential step in the process. While you can opt for a DIY option using a router, it can be time-consuming and expensive. It's recommended to invest a little more and purchase a slab that is already surfaced. At Lancaster Live Edge, we have a specialized Woodmizer that efficiently flattens slabs for tabletops, removing any warping caused by drying. Ensuring that the wood sits flat is crucial for the stability and functionality of your table.

Flattening the Slab Flattening the Slab - Image Source: sanaulac.vn

Moisture Check - Again

After the slab is surfaced, it's important to check the moisture content once again. This step will reveal the wood that is closer to the center of the slab. The moisture content of this wood should still be below 12%, ideally around 8% depending on the humidity of your home. This moisture content ensures the long-term stability of your table. Always aim for an acceptable range to prevent any future issues.

Moisture Check Moisture Check - Image Source: sanaulac.vn

Debark the Slab

To avoid any potential issues in the future, it's recommended to debark the slab. You can easily do this by using a small chisel and hammer. This simple step helps maintain the overall integrity of the wood and ensures a smoother finish.

Add Epoxy to the Voids

If your wood slab has cracks, it's advisable to use epoxy to fill them. This step will result in a smooth and polished tabletop. To begin, apply tyvek tape to the bottom side of the slab to cover all the voids. Be generous with the tape to prevent any epoxy from leaking out. Next, purchase a two-part pour-over epoxy and follow the instructions for mixing the resin. Pour the mixed epoxy into the cracks and allow it to dry for a day or two. Once dry, your piece will be ready for further work.

Router the Edge

For a smooth edge on the cut ends of your live edge table, use a router to create a bullnose. A 1/8" bullnose bit is ideal for this purpose. After routing the edges, lightly sand them to achieve a desired finish.

Sand the Wood

Sanding is a crucial step in the finishing process of your slab. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper (around 40 grit) and gradually work your way up to a finer grit (up to 120). Sanding ensures a smooth and even surface. However, be cautious not to go too high on the grit scale, as some finishes, like Rubio Monocoat, recommend a maximum of 120 grit. Also, remember to protect the piece by placing blankets on your sawhorses or work area before sanding.

Add your C-Channel

To maintain the flatness and prevent warping, twisting, or cracking of the wood, use a c-channel with slotted holes. The slotted holes allow the wood to expand and contract along the channel without significant movement. This step ensures the long-term stability of your table.

C-Channel C-Channel - Image Source: sanaulac.vn

Inlay the Legs

Inlaying the legs is an optional step that adds extra stability to your table. If your table has four bolted legs, you may consider inlaying them. Using a router, trace the mounting plate and router the area inside the legs so that they sit securely in the wood.

Inlaying the Legs Inlaying the Legs - Image Source: sanaulac.vn

Mount the Legs

To mount the legs, use bolts and threaded inserts. Start by drilling a pilot hole and use electrical tape on your drill bit to ensure the correct depth. Apply a dab of wood glue and use an Allen wrench to insert the threaded inserts into the wood. It's crucial to position the inserts in the center of the oval-shaped mounting holes to prevent any cracks or damage to your table.

Finish Your Table!

Now that all the hard work is done, it's time to remove the c-channel and legs and apply a finish to your table. Popular finishes like Odie's Oil and Rubio Monocoat can be rubbed onto the wood and then wiped off. These finishes will enhance the natural beauty of the wood, giving it a glossy and elegant look.

With these easy-to-follow steps, you can create your own live edge table and add a touch of natural beauty to your home. So grab your tools and get ready to embark on this exciting DIY project!

Disclaimer: The images used in this article are for visual representation purposes only. The source of the images is sanaulac.vn.