Live edge slab coffee table

  • Advertise with us
Project by Cornelius posted 04-04-2018 10:17 PM 2679 views 7 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As an express order three weeks before Christmas, my better half wanted a higher coffee table.

After investigating my tiny stock of oak, I picked the thickest slab but it had a crack and a severe cupping.

I made a quick and dirty jig for my premium Aldi router to rough out the flattening and finished with a jointer plane.

It took me only two weeks to deliver the table, but I still have no idea how to attach the tenons from the legs to the tabletop.

I would like to keep the “flat packing” option, so I guess some sort of metal attachment are needed there.

I would really appreciate some pointers from the fellow lumberjocks.

Many thanks for your comments

13 comments so far

View builtinbkyn's profile


3034 posts in 2277 days

#1 posted 04-05-2018 12:02 AM

The wedged stretcher isn’t doing it? Loose fit?

Use figure eight fasteners like in this article. Popular Woodworking

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

View builtinbkyn's profile


3034 posts in 2277 days

#2 posted 04-05-2018 12:06 AM

Oh by the way, nice job on the table. Looks great.

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

View swirt's profile


7115 posts in 4309 days

#3 posted 04-05-2018 01:50 AM

Good looking table. Well done

Regarding attachment to the legs: If that table is not going to be in a house with kids who might decide to sit on the end, you could get by with a couple of screws or even loose dowel pins drilled at an angle to the bottom that pierce the tenon on the leg.
I did something similar to attach the legs on a slab coffee table.

The sketch is upside-down. The green is the leg slab, the blue is the top slab. The pan head screw (black) provides just enough strength to make it so you can lift up on the top slab to carry the thing around and not have the legs fall off.

Somebody is probably going to question how that allows for seasonal wood movement. If the legs are from the same tree and alignment as the top, they are going to move the same. So there is not really an issue.

-- Galootish log blog,

View PaxJen's profile


219 posts in 1993 days

#4 posted 04-05-2018 05:17 PM

Angle the inside edges of each mortise, deeper towards the top. Glue a slight wedge to one side of your leg tenons to form a half dovetail. Angle the shoulders of your wedged tenons slightly to increase pressure on the inside of the upper tenons when locked. Insert your cross bar before inserting leg tenons.

This is not something I have actually tried, but you should try it first, and report back. Then if it works, you have joint naming rights.

Bill’s figure 8 connectors work well, in my experience, and would be a lot quicker.

-- Pax - Maryland

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4203 days

#5 posted 04-05-2018 08:15 PM

That is a beautiful table and I bet she’s going to love it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Ivan's profile


17138 posts in 4204 days

#6 posted 04-06-2018 06:51 AM

Nice work – I like it’s natural look.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4369 days

#7 posted 04-07-2018 02:01 AM

Very Nice Work & Well Done Cornelius!

Regards: Rick

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Cornelius's profile


65 posts in 2437 days

#8 posted 04-10-2018 09:20 PM

Dear All,

Many many thanks for your comments and input. Sorry for the delay in answering, I was away travelling.

Builtinbkyn, thanks a lot, I never heard about this attachment, it is so simple yet so well thought. My tenons are not really loose, but the whole base of the table is quite heavy. I guess that could perfectly solve my problem. Many thanks!

Swirt, thank you for helping with a drawing. I was thinking about this as well, I am sure it’s doable in my case. I was never keen on screws at an angle, it feels a bit untraditional to me, but that would be a quick solution for sure. And as for the wood movement, the whole table comes from the same board.

PaxJen, thank you for your input. I am not entirely sure I can picture it, I will try to draw your idea.

Everybody, thanks again for your help and nice comments, as a beginner it is always reinsuring and motivating, so thanks a lot!

View dynadeuce's profile


49 posts in 3981 days

#9 posted 04-11-2018 10:16 PM

A thought about your mortise joint problem. How about a dovetail key?

the mortise needs to continue through the middle of the tabletop underside, make it a sliding dovetail joint, remove the tenons from the legs, make a notch in the center between the existing tenons, (this is where the dovetail key will insert), make sliding dovetails where the tenons were, the notch height needs to meet or exceed the height of the dovetail key, the dovetail joint on the table underside needs to become a dado in the same relative space as the leg notch. mate the legs to the bottom by aligning the mortises, drop a dovetail key into the notch/dado space slide into the sliding dovetails in the legs and tabletop.

concerns, may be a weak joint if sized improperly, dovetail keys may not back out easily for knockdown

-- dynadeuce-- What will your legacy be?

View EnchatedForestLoggrs's profile


29 posts in 2170 days

#10 posted 04-12-2018 01:44 AM

I like it
great job

View Cornelius's profile


65 posts in 2437 days

#11 posted 04-12-2018 08:40 PM

thank you EnchatedForestLoggrs!

Dynadeuce, I am not sure to picture the idea, i will re-read the while explanatiin. Dovetails is what brought me to woodworking, so I am a really intrigued by your idea. Thank you for having taken the time to explain it in details.

View kryptix's profile


111 posts in 1928 days

#12 posted 09-25-2018 02:22 PM

What I would do is just cut a kerf or biscuit slot on both sides of both legs up near the tenon and just put in tabletop fastener z clips there. Don’t try to lift it by the top too often and you’ll be fine.

View Cornelius's profile


65 posts in 2437 days

#13 posted 01-03-2019 06:48 PM

Hi Kryptix, Many thanks for your input!
I will check that out as well….I must say the table is in good use now and I’ve let that finish detail out for now.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics