Live Edge Cherry Coffee Table from the Beginning #1: Choosing a Board, Initial Flattening

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Blog entry by CharlesA posted 07-24-2014 01:02 AM 2814 reads 4 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Live Edge Cherry Coffee Table from the Beginning series Part 2: More Flattening, coming up with a plan »

Four months ago I asked some advice on how to construct a waterfall leg on a live edge table. I’m finally beginning construction after several things got in the way.

The first step was finding the right board. The nearest sawmill to me (19 vs. 45 miles one way) was clean out of live edge pieces. I called the next closest sawmill and he was looking at $150-200 for a slab, so I decided to take a “chance on two 1 boards on CL on Craigslist. They had been sitting in a barn for good little while. They were surprising flat, so I picked up two for $25/each to see if I could make them work.

I thought the shapes were okay, the length was just barely long enough, and the price was right. Got them home, cleaned them up with the plane . . . and . . . they wood grain is just kind of plain. It’s not repulsive, but this table is for a wedding gift, and neither has the look that you want for a presentation kind of furniture.

So, I checked a third sawmill, and his prices were a little more reasonable. This place was not that far out of the way returning from Lexington last Thursday when I picked up my nephew, so I picked up a 2” slab for $100. Now we have something to work with:

I was able to re-use the router jig I set up for my first live edge project a little over a year ago. I am using some pieces of plywood to raise the level of the slab so I don’t have to re-make the side supports for the jig. The first step is to make the bottom flat enough not to wobble on the table. it was concave on the bottom, so I could do that pretty quickly.

I was able to get that done pretty quickly, flipped it over and began flattening the top with the jig. The slab was concave on the top, so I needed to take the top middle out first.

After two passes, I had a pretty broad middle flat, with some curvature on the edges. I like some curvature, but after looking at it a bit, I decided that I will take a bit more off to get a broader flat top and see how I like that.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

2 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 07-24-2014 07:15 PM

My main thought is that it is a very nice slab and that it will look even better when you are done with it. I also like your short side support rails for you router jig. Easy to build and easy to store. I would probably want stops at both ends of each knowing my sloppy ways, but they look very useful. Nice blog, keep up the good work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CharlesA's profile


3445 posts in 2676 days

#2 posted 07-24-2014 07:25 PM

Never even thought about stops. I just keep a watch and keep moving them along.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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