How To Build A Live Edge Slab Table

Build a live edge slab table in 7 simple steps! You can see every part of the wood grain pop out. The natural edge makes these pieces look so unique. Every live edge slab table has original character, since you can never replicate the same piece.

If you have never had experience with woodworking before, this is actually the perfect project for you. Live edge slab tables are surprisingly one of the easiest types of furniture to build. If you get the right cut of wood, there is no sawing or planing required. All you will need is to sand and finish the wood, the attach the legs.

Building your own furniture is so rewarding. You can have your own custom built piece for a fraction of the cost. The fact that you get to see one of your own creations come to life is inspiring! I have built two tables now, and I feel a sense of accomplishment everytime I see them being used.

Follow this guideline below, to be able to build your very own live edge slab table.

Build A Live Edge Slab Table

Live edge slab
The live edge slab in question.

Start With The Right Cut

The first thing you are going to need to do is find the right live edge slab. It seems like it may be hard to do, but any wood warehouse near you should sell these kinds of cuts. Home Depot may not be the best option for this type of wood selection.

Look up reclaimed wood warehouses, and you will probably be able to find a place with live edge slabs. They range in sizes and shapes, so it will be up to you what you want.

For this tutorial, I built a TV stand, so we chose a long narrow piece of wood. I wasn’t so concerned with the measurements and we just eyeballed the size to fit in the space. For a live edge slab piece, you will have difficulty finding an exact measurement

Live Edge Slab Table Materials List:

Live edge slab materials
Build materials.
  • Live Edge Slab Piece
  • Epoxy Resin
  • Black Ink
  • 5/8″ Screws
  • Steel Hairpin Legs
  • Satin Oil Finish
  • Orbital Sander
  • Sandpaper (rough and fine)
  • Flame Torch

The Build

Once you have selected your piece of wood, the best thing you can do is let it sit in your home for two weeks before manipulating it. This will allow time for the wood do adjust to the humidity. Personally, I didn’t do this.

Step 1: Start With A Smooth Surface

The best way to make sure you’re starting with a smooth surface is to buy a very flat piece of wood already. You are not going to be able to run a piece this large through a wood planer. The second option is to plane it by hand, it it is really uneven.

Step 2: Clean Up The Live Edge

The bark really does add a lot of character to the wood. It gives it a very natural appearance. However, depending on how you plan to use your table, it might be best to shave off the bark and smooth out those edges.

For my table, I chose to leave the bark on. Since I was building a TV stand, I knew it wasn’t going to be in the way of a lot of people touching it.

If you are planning on building a coffee table, or dinner table, then I highly recommend removing the bark. You don’t want to expose anyone to snags or splinters.

Step 3: Fill In Holes

Build a Live Edge Table
Filling in gaps with epoxy.

Mix your epoxy with two parts resin, and one part hardener. Add only ONE drop of black ink. You do not need a lot of ink, one drop will go a long way.

Adding the black ink to the epoxy will allow it to blend more naturally with the wood. Once you sand and add the oil finish the resin will really pop out and look beautiful.

While the resin is setting, use the torch to flame out any bubbles. You will want to add the resin in layers to minimize the formation of air bubbles.

epoxy
Epoxy with dye before mixing.

Step 4: Sand It

After the resin sets (check instructions for setting time) Sand everything down and make sure to smooth out any extra resin. Use the bigger grit sandpaper at first. The surface will feel rough after, but that’s when you go in with the fine grit sandpaper and soften it up.

Step 5: Add The Finish

How you plan to use your table will determine what type of finish to add to the table. For the TV stand, I used an oil finishing with protecting properties. If you plan on using this as a coffee table, or a dinner table, make sure to apply a heavy duty finish. This will protect from drink stains and scratching.

Step 6: Attach The Legs

Screwing in the legs.

You can choose any style leg you like! I chose steel hairpin legs, because I like the minimal and clean look.

It’s important to make sure you have the right screw size. The legs may come with screws, but double check the length. The last thing you want is for your screws to bust through the top of the finished table!

Step 7: Admire Your Hard Work

The finished product.

Congratulations! You have built yourself a live edge table! Now decorate it and use it in your home. Be proud of your work! Your friends will be very impressed, mine were!

Be sure to check out other DIY projects on the design page. You can also follow me on Pinterest.

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Hey, I'm Maci! Find out about me and my blog!

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