River Legged Live Edge Coffee Table

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Project by swirt posted 10-12-2017 03:03 AM 5728 views 6 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My neighbor cut down an Oak tree about 2 years ago. I slabbed up some of it by hand and previously built an end table with it, and now I have just finished a coffee table from the same wood.

I am really starting to love this wood. I think most regard it as trash wood because its grain is squirrely, it checks and twists like grazy as it dries, and it does not look like Oak. I think the wood is beautiful in its grain variations. If used in the right project, I think it can be amazing wood.

A few firsts for me:

I used mainly hand tools but did have to occasionally fire up the band saw, drill press, circular saw, and random orbit sander.

Wood: Swamp Laurel Oak
Finish: pure Tung oil and shellac
Stain: Alcohol based tea dye

Gory Details with lots more photos of the build: Live edge oak coffee table

-- Galootish log blog,

26 comments so far

View JackinNac's profile


110 posts in 1829 days

#1 posted 10-12-2017 04:56 AM

Cool table!

-- When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed they are not it

View recycle1943's profile


4716 posts in 2477 days

#2 posted 10-12-2017 10:33 AM

there’s a LOT going on in that hunk of lumber


-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View AaronK's profile


1511 posts in 4320 days

#3 posted 10-12-2017 10:54 AM

really cool. i had a similar problem in aligning multiple through mortises in slabs with two live edges recently.. i used the same centerline approach.. it worked out reasonably well, but not perfect. i also like your use of stone to wedge the mortises. overall really nice!

View builtinbkyn's profile


3011 posts in 1796 days

#4 posted 10-12-2017 12:53 PM

Very interesting use of materials. Love the use of those polished stones for wedges. Nice finish and nice work all the way around.

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

View kiefer's profile


5773 posts in 3522 days

#5 posted 10-12-2017 01:03 PM

A very interesting table and materials that it’s made from .
Very organic and good design and craftsmanship .
Looked at your blog on your website and thank you for that also.


-- Kiefer

View swirt's profile


5480 posts in 3827 days

#6 posted 10-12-2017 01:28 PM

@JackinNac @recycle1943 Thank you.

@AaronK Thanks. Your play stands look nice. Agreed, measuring and calculating with live edges all the way around is an interesting challenge that I enjoy.

@buildtinbkyn Thank you. Those stones aren’t as “polished” as they appear. They were pretty smooth from the river, but it turns out that rubbing them down with a bit of tung oil and shellac shines them up nice.

@kiefer Thank you and thanks for going through all the blog and photos.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Redbeardedwoodworker's profile


43 posts in 1431 days

#7 posted 10-12-2017 02:44 PM

Great table! Really enjoyed seeing the design and build process.

View swirt's profile


5480 posts in 3827 days

#8 posted 10-12-2017 04:50 PM

@Redbeardedwoodworker Thanks and thank you for taking the time to check out the process.

-- Galootish log blog,

View SuperCubber's profile


1138 posts in 3140 days

#9 posted 10-12-2017 05:06 PM

Wow! What a beautiful table. I, too, love the use of river stones.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3543 days

#10 posted 10-12-2017 05:50 PM

Ohhhh yesss, that’s a great one … love so much !!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View pottz's profile


11310 posts in 1839 days

#11 posted 10-12-2017 06:00 PM

very cool table you really made nice work with a combination of materials.i dont think ive ever seen stones used as wedges before,i really love that look.great job with the butterflies and epoxy also.

-- 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 Ken90712's profile


17902 posts in 4044 days

#12 posted 10-12-2017 06:59 PM

Great table normally not a fan of Oak as well. This has a great look and its the knots , cracks and twisting that gives it real interest! Love the rocks on the side great touch!


-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View finns's profile


169 posts in 3971 days

#13 posted 10-12-2017 07:23 PM

Wow. This is outstanding in every aspect. Especially like the finish, and the reasoning behind your choice of template material from your blog made me laugh. You are an artist! Very well done.

View TZH's profile


581 posts in 3995 days

#14 posted 10-12-2017 10:44 PM

Love the blog! Love the table!


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View swirt's profile


5480 posts in 3827 days

#15 posted 10-13-2017 01:28 AM

@SuperCubber Thank you. Those stone came from Moutain Rest SC Your neck of the woods.

@Steliart Thank you.

@pottz Thanks. I searched a lot to see if I could find any references to anyone using stone wedges and came up with nothing. It made me worried (not that much) that I was heading down the wrong path. It turned out it wasn’t hard to do and I liked the results.

@Ken90712 Thank you.

@finns Hahh!! I wrote that segment late at night and I was getting a little punchy. Thank you for the compliments, and for reading that far down the blog.

@TZH Thanks so much.

-- Galootish log blog,

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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