White Oak Slab Table

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Project by justgrif posted 09-07-2016 09:37 PM 2155 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This piece was a commission, and the client selected this particular slab, which would not have been my first choice (I prefer clean looking walnut for these things.) Lots of cracks, divots, tearout, this and that all over the place. I spent a lot of time with dental tools and small files cleaning out all the little channels throughout. Eventually, I had to leave a certain amount of rough detail to just let the slab “be itself”, so to speak, opting to smooth and round the lighter colored edge to contrast the chaos on the top.

Because of the deep cracking in this table, plenty of reinforcement was necessary. There are three large-ish bowtie keys inlaid deep into the table holding three potential movement points in place. The client didn’t want to see these details so I located them on the bottom.

I flattened the slab with the “Offerman” router jig, and it went pretty well. I’m happy to have the jig for my next slab project, or possibly cutting boards.

The base of the table is made from 8/4 white oak and is very strong. I wanted to overbuild a modern looking base a bit to compensate for a relatively thin and irregular slab. The angled bridle joints were a lot trickier to get dead on than I anticipated but provided a great learning experience. I’m now quite hooked on cutting my joinery by hand where possible and leaving my table saw and other power tools for rough dimensioning only. My router plane gives a LOT more confidence when it comes to truing up tenon cheeks and the like.

Overall this project was a learning experience, and paid for a sweet new Veritas plough plane, which I’m about to use to groove a drawer for my current project, a Shaker side table.

5 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile


6977 posts in 3601 days

#1 posted 09-07-2016 09:57 PM

Definitely a great looking table! The slab is very rustic—but what I’m drawn to is the trestle base—really a nice counterpoint to the slab!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View cavalier's profile


21 posts in 1093 days

#2 posted 09-08-2016 06:33 AM

Love the rustic look.

View Bud_3's profile


901 posts in 1678 days

#3 posted 09-08-2016 01:30 PM

Cool!Number one table!

-- Personality and character of a man is like wood,you must polish it to shine.....

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3320 days

#4 posted 09-08-2016 08:44 PM

This beautiful slab makes a wonderful table.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View pottz's profile


5788 posts in 1438 days

#5 posted 09-09-2016 05:32 PM

always love a nice rustic slab table,great job on this one.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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