Live Edge Oak Tree Slice Table

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Project by Keithers posted 03-04-2015 03:14 AM 5239 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend of mine who cuts down trees for a living asked me if I wanted a slice cut from an oak tree. The thing is 36” in diameter. I could barely lift it. Finished it’s 3 1/2” thick. I used 1” galvanized pipe for the base. Assembled it is about 24” tall and serves as an end table.

I’ve never worked with air dried wood before, and it was crazy how much this thing moved from day to day. The cracks are still growing. I probably should have waited longer for it to dry, having only got the piece in August. The bow tie keys were essential. They are walnut. Also the surfacing jig worked great. I picked up a 1-1\4” straight cutting bit from Lee Valley that did the trick. Two heavy coats of lacquer sprayed each side gives it very nice smooth finish.

This was an incredibly fun project to make, as well as a huge learning experience. Happy it’s home. The piece turned many heads while at the shop in the process of building it. I am very pleased at how the whole project turned out, having most of the processes new to me. I learned many new skills and honed some old ones. I do love a good challenge.

Cheers, thanks.

-- Wishin` I was fishin`!

9 comments so far

View EggMan's profile


70 posts in 2620 days

#1 posted 03-04-2015 03:51 AM

Great looking piece, like you said, I’m sure it was lots of fun to create,

lll be curious to hear and see how much it moves in the coming months and years.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 2076 days

#2 posted 03-04-2015 01:10 PM

How long did you let it dry?

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3535 days

#3 posted 03-04-2015 02:55 PM

You did a great job on this but oak ‘cookies’ are heartbreakers and yours may yet come apart. I’ve thought about attaching them to a ply/Masonite bottom so at least the pieces will stay in the same area! Best of luck and keep us posted.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Mark's profile


1048 posts in 2820 days

#4 posted 03-04-2015 03:43 PM

That’s a cool table Steve. i really like your surfacing jig. Well done.

-- Mark

View Albert's profile


543 posts in 4435 days

#5 posted 03-04-2015 05:14 PM

I like it a lot, if it cracks more just add more bowties.


View JKMDETAIL's profile


221 posts in 2500 days

#6 posted 03-04-2015 06:15 PM

Great looking table. They start to crack after about 6 weeks as they dry. Not sure if they ever stop. I am getting ready to do try the bow tie trick on some slabs.

View Grumpymike's profile


2466 posts in 3160 days

#7 posted 03-04-2015 06:56 PM

Hi Keithers,
Most wood, and oak is no exception, takes about 1 year per inch of thickness to air dry. If you rush this process, it will crack, warp and split.
I sure hope that your table is an exception to that rule.
I like your bow ties, nice and thick, I see so many use 1/8th” stock and wonder why they split.
Truly a nice table and a great job of leveling it with your router.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Keithers's profile


31 posts in 2279 days

#8 posted 03-05-2015 09:50 PM

Thanks everyone. It’s nice to hear all of the positive feedback. The tree was cut down in August of last year and I took the table home this week. So it dried for six months. I’ve heard of the inch per year of drying time, but got excited to work on the piece and had some spare time so I went for it. I thought of putting a piece of ply underneath but considered it “cheating” so to speak. If I have to add some more bowties later on, I will. I tried to screw the legs on the piece in such a way to help support around the cracks as best I could.

I have a few more larger pieces to work on in the future still drying and this project helped me learn a ton on how to handle them.


-- Wishin` I was fishin`!

View RyanS's profile


25 posts in 3035 days

#9 posted 03-06-2015 12:08 AM

I suspect log “cookies” dry rather faster than the traditional 1 yr per inch of thickness rule, due to all the exposed end grain. That faster drying would explain the extreme cracking cookies undergo. I like the router sled, I need to make something similar.

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