Spalted Live Edge Sofa Table

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Project by Blackbear posted 11-02-2015 03:57 PM 1623 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished a sofa table I built as a birthday gift. I spent some time measuring our futon and couch to try and find a comfortable height for the table, and length. The height ended up at 32” so it would sit a few inches below the back of most couches, and the length is 56”. The width was determined by the spalted maple slab I picked up for the project, which is approximately 12 inches wide.

I’ve worked with spalted maple before on smaller projects, but a slab was new to me. There were a lot of fractures along the live edge of the slab. I filled them and stabilized them with epoxy, then sanded the edge lightly to remove any extra epoxy. The ends of the slab were cut at 45 degrees after cutting to length to somewhat match the live edge profile.

The legs were cut from some hard maple that has been laying around the shop for quite some time. They are 1.5”x1.5” at the top, and taper down to 1”x1” at the bottom. The taper was done on the jointer by taping a spacer shim near the top of the leg and repeatedly passing the leg over the jointer until the taper reached a pre-measured mark.

The skirts are curly/tiger maple. I joined the skirts to the legs using mortise and tenon, which was reinforced by draw boring with walnut pins for contrast. I used a router with an edge guide for the mortise, and did speed tenons on the table saw followed by rounding the corners of the tenons using chisels and a rasp.

The slab is attached to the base with shop made buttons so it can move with the swings in humidity. I learned a few things about buttons on this project. The first batch I made had long grain going width-wise. The slab had already slightly started to move and some of these buttons simply snapped in two when tightening. The next batch I got smart and oriented the grain into the skirt, so end grain. I also used some hard as nails hickory I had. These are very strong and flattened the slab right back to where it should be. You can see some of them in the fifth picture.

The finish is two coats of Watco Danish Oil – Natural over the entire project with multiple coats (4?) of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal satin on the table top, followed by beeswax over the entire project.

Thanks for looking!

5 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8638 posts in 4808 days

#1 posted 11-02-2015 04:25 PM

I think your table is really beautiful. Love Spalted wood!
However if you used this photo first I think it would get more views, Just saying!
Nice work !

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View LoganN's profile


489 posts in 3356 days

#2 posted 11-02-2015 05:44 PM

Looks great! I’ve worked with a lot of spalted maple on bigger projects and you did a hell of a job getting that piece finished! I love the bevel on the ends and the apron looks fantastic!

View ohwoodeye's profile


2775 posts in 4608 days

#3 posted 11-02-2015 08:08 PM

Excellent choice on how you cut the end grain on an angle to show the spalting traveling through the piece. Really shows off this beautiful wood.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Blackbear's profile


137 posts in 3674 days

#4 posted 11-03-2015 12:45 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments!

View JerryLH's profile


198 posts in 2766 days

#5 posted 11-05-2015 02:53 AM

You did really, really good! The way you were able to better display the spalting with the simple low angle edge treatment – really good. :)

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

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