This week’s project was one of my favorites! We made a live edge walnut coffee table for my parents. We were recently down in Arkansas visiting Jack’s grandparents and his grandpa took him to a saw mill that had these really cool walnut slabs. It was an extremely hot day and Jack’s grandpa is battling cancer, but he toughed it out and brought him to the mecca of rough-sawn hardwoods and got him 2 pieces; one for a coffee table and one for an entryway table.
The slab was really rough to begin with. You could see the chainsaw marks on both sides.
To get it smooth, we sanded it with 60 grit, 80 grit, 120 grit sandpaper, 150 grit, 220 grit, and lastly with 800 grit. It was basically just sanded over and over again until it seemed to be as smooth as possible. And it is soooo smooth! The 60, 80, and 120 grit were done with a handheld belt sander that we burned out the motor using so much. It was well worth it though!
Since it is a slab of natural wood, there were some cracks that needed to be filled. To do this, we poured epoxy in all of the cracks. We taped the edges before the epoxy went in to hold it in and keep it from leaking out the sides. Although it did leak off the table and onto our puppy and now he has to deal with some hardened and stuck together hair until his first haircut!
It all got sanded again to make it smooth after the epoxy dried in the cracks.
To finish off the walnut, we sprayed on 3 coats of Minwax Polyurethane Satin, sanding with 800 grit sandpaper in between each coat. After the third coat it was pretty smooth, but to make it even smoother, we lightly sanded it one more time with 800 grit sand paper and then wiped on a very thin coat of polyurethane with a rag. This was a great process and made a perfect finish! We will definitely be using a similar finishing process on future pieces of furniture.
Jack welded the base out of steel tubing like he did for the other coffee table we made. Since one side of the table top is wider than the other, one of the legs is bigger to keep the whole thing from being out of balance. He welded 2 different size “squares”, leaving about 1 inch on the bottom for legs.
Then, he attached the legs with one piece of steel that rests on the bottom. He grinded down all the welds, sanded them with 120 grit sand paper and spray painted it with dark gray paint.
The wood and the steel base were screwed together once the table was in place.
I think it goes great in my parents’ space! Jack learned at the saw mill that the light colored wood along each edge is called sapwood.
Eventually, we are going to use the other piece of walnut we have to make an entryway table for our house. It will be longer and have a different style of legs so I can’t wait to see how that one will turn out! I’ll probably post that one whenever it gets done but thanks for stopping by again!