Live Edged, Spalted Maple Slab Coffee Table #2: Slab Flattening

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Blog entry by JamesVavra posted 09-14-2011 03:52 PM 3848 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Concept Part 2 of Live Edged, Spalted Maple Slab Coffee Table series Part 3: Base Construction »

The slab was mostly flat to begin with. However, it was fairly close to the center of the tree, and there was a bit of pith that cupped down the middle – about 1/4” high on one side and 1/4” low on the other.

A scrub plan likely would have made quick work of getting it roughly flat, but I don’t have a scrub plane. A planer would have been very effective as well, but it’s too wide for my 12.5” lunchbox planer. So instead, I took a a hand held belt sander to it for about half an hour to get it close. Then I ran it through my 16/32 drum sander. My sander is pretty weak, and bogs down quickly, so I estimate that the last 1/16th took 30-40 passes to smooth everything out. After that, I hit it with the ROS up to 180 grit.

Here’s a shots of the slab after the first coat of Tung Oil:

And here’s a closeup that shows just a little bit of curl. The voids are filled with a mixture of epoxy and sanding dust. I had a lot of sanding dust.

I got most of the base done last night, but that will need to wait for the next blog.


6 comments so far

View Rob_G's profile


13 posts in 3783 days

#1 posted 09-14-2011 05:08 PM

That’s a pretty slab.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 4584 days

#2 posted 09-14-2011 07:12 PM

Love it. Can’t wait for the finished product.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4253 days

#3 posted 09-14-2011 07:50 PM

Beautiful wood.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View WoodLe's profile


155 posts in 3961 days

#4 posted 09-15-2011 01:30 AM

nice piece!

-- Wooster, Ohio

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4401 days

#5 posted 09-15-2011 04:07 AM

That’s a beautiful slab. It’s going to make a great coffee table.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View JamesVavra's profile


305 posts in 4480 days

#6 posted 09-15-2011 04:51 AM

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