Glowing River Redwood Slab Coffee Table

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Project by Napaman posted 04-08-2017 09:53 PM 11676 views 4 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished and delivered this coffee table this morning. I built it for my school’s annual fundraiser dinner and auction. I teach 7th/8th grade Language Arts at a great little charter middle school called River Middle School (Thus the river in the table).

The last couple years they have asked each advisory class (like homeroom class) to make an art project for the live auction. Since I first fell in love with woodworking during middle school I wanted to do something with working…and expose the kids to it. Someday I would like to start a program at our school because both years I have done this I have gotten some kids to really like it.

We get a couple of work hours (lol!!!!) To work on the projects at school with our class…so I had my students help me with sanding the parts…after that I took over and finished the table at home.

This year I used a redwood slab for the top…routed out the river…coated the river with a light coat of clear epoxy mixed with blue glow in the dark epoxy…then we set in marbles and filled it with clear epoxy. Then went back and added a final coat of clear epoxy to fill in the rest of the river and the table top to create a bar top finish. The base is is made of thick Big Leaf Oak and redwood frame.

The Table is 52 inches long, 21 inches at it’s narrowest spot and 25ish at widest…

I think it turned out amazing. There are some blemishes and mistakes that I would still be working on if I had another week…i would have sanded the base down and added one more coat of poly…and there were some drips on the side that could be knocked down more…but you have to get really close and be at the right spot to see them.

Overall this project was full of new lessons for me and I am pretty proud of this one!

Here are some photos from the build.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

24 comments so far

View builtinbkyn's profile


3028 posts in 2104 days

#1 posted 04-08-2017 09:56 PM

That looks super! Great to see kids doing things with their hands other than on a cell phone. Nice work!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View EugdOT's profile


332 posts in 1719 days

#2 posted 04-08-2017 10:14 PM

Very very cool!

View jack1's profile


2163 posts in 5191 days

#3 posted 04-08-2017 10:15 PM

What a great project! You have outdone yourself this time.
Thanks for sharing.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View greg48's profile


633 posts in 3921 days

#4 posted 04-08-2017 10:25 PM

There you go again, setting the bar higher for the next advisory class.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View lew's profile


13386 posts in 4919 days

#5 posted 04-08-2017 10:25 PM

Way to go, Matt!

Giving the kids ownership in a project like this will stick with them forever. You may just have started a bunch of new woodworkers/artist on their way to stardom!

Table is beautiful! Hope it is the top money draw for the auction.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30631 posts in 3502 days

#6 posted 04-08-2017 10:32 PM

Great project sir

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1672 posts in 3828 days

#7 posted 04-08-2017 11:03 PM

Great project and great experience for the kids.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Lenny's profile


1716 posts in 4691 days

#8 posted 04-08-2017 11:50 PM

From conception, through execution and completion, what a fabulous idea and finished project! Matt, that “river” running through the table is phenomenal. It is so eye-appealing. Kudos to you for the donation and getting the kids involved.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View pottz's profile


18854 posts in 2148 days

#9 posted 04-08-2017 11:54 PM

that’s just fabulous,helping the school,getting the kids into something besides staring at a screen,this is absolutely beautiful,and the table is pretty damn good rocked this man.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View JayCee123's profile


200 posts in 1928 days

#10 posted 04-09-2017 12:03 AM

Beautiful table. Great job !
Wonderful that you get them involved early.

View swirt's profile


6350 posts in 4136 days

#11 posted 04-09-2017 01:33 AM

Love everything about this project. The epoxy river, the wood, the design and that you got your students involved.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4739 days

#12 posted 04-09-2017 01:35 AM

Definitely worth the “Daily Top 3” award, and nice to have the kids help to generate some interest in the younger crowd.
Nice work Matt.

View BobWemm's profile


3000 posts in 3090 days

#13 posted 04-09-2017 01:50 AM

Really great effort by you and your students.
What a good story, makes the whole thing more special for the purchaser.
Thanks for sharing,


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8087 posts in 4517 days

#14 posted 04-09-2017 03:43 AM

Super nice table Congratulations to you and your students! Well done!

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

View bushmaster's profile


4130 posts in 3446 days

#15 posted 04-09-2017 01:49 PM

very nicely done table and base. Very sturdy and well balanced. Just wondering about the one close up picture of the top, are those air bubbles that didn’t escape during the pour. Then again they look like open holes. the epoxy is slow setting so that doesn’t happen. I have always used a propane torch to release the air bubbles. At school we used the oxy-acet torch as the kids would steal the propane torches.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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