Live Edge Waterfall Bubinga kitchen table

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Project by jfk4032 posted 09-16-2019 01:45 PM 1339 views 5 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After six months with on and off again work on our new kitchen table, I’m finally done!

This started with a trip to NC with the folks at West Penn Hardwoods. Rocky and his crew were very accommodating allowing us to pick through several large slabs and find the one that fit our needs after he offered to cut the first six feet off of a fourteen foot slab, as seen in the last picture. While we were there, James from Odie’s Oil was there demo’ing their products. I liked what I saw and decided right then and there that was how I was going to finish it.

When I received the slab a few weeks later, I noticed there was about a heavy .25” cup within the 1.375” overall thickness. I had to think this through so as not to lose too much thickness in the flattening process or the final table would be too thin. My thought was to create a steel substructure to serve two purposes, one to create a stiff flat skeleton that I could lessen or eliminate the cupping altogether, and two, serve as a sled to keep a coplanar sub surface to slide this in two passes through my 4’ x 4’ CNC…again the slab length was 6’.

I first started to sand and carve out the bark off of the undulating live edges. For the most part, I followed the natural contour of the edges, but I did take some creative liberties to wander and embellish a little bit. I then cleaned up both cross cut edges. I rounded over the cross cut edges, fully sanded up to 1500 and finished the underside of the table, which was a good learning trial run for the top show side I did later. I filled several small bark inclusions with clear epoxy and used the Odie’s deep penetrating oil prior to several coats of the Odie’s oil to finish.

At that point things sat for a bit while I researched what type of table legs I wanted and if I could find a fabricator that could help me with the custom steel substructure referenced above as well as fitting that to a cool leg structure. I found Evan at ECon Welding & Fabrication on Etsy and after several conversations and drawings I loved his spider leg design and we got that started. I had the steel powder coated with a matte black. Once those arrived I bolted the substructure to the finished bottom side of the table and took that to my CNC to flatten it.

After several dry runs and much sweating and anxiety, I started to skim off several hundreds of an inch at a time. It took four or five passes to complete it. The sled idea worked well although the steel skeleton was about .125” out of being perfectly flat. But the skeleton virtually pulled the cupped slab straight so I wound up only losing between a 1/16” and 1/8” off of two of the corner sectors and it is dead flat on the top surface!

I followed the same sanding and finishing procedure as on the bottom side as I did on the top. After several minor blemishes that took me over a month to eliminate, I’m starting the life of our kitchen table with an amazing top side of the table. I know with usage it will get worn in, but the natural beauty of this wood is spectacular. The folks at Odie’s recommended a cleaning solution you make yourself from two of their products and I must say it works great, I’d highly recommend it!

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

33 comments so far

View PaulDoug's profile (online now)


2172 posts in 2217 days

#1 posted 09-16-2019 02:42 PM

Beautiful. If that was my piece of wood, it would be hanging on a high wall, just so I could look at natures art….

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View pottz's profile


6403 posts in 1497 days

#2 posted 09-16-2019 02:56 PM

spectacular to say the least,the wood and the put a better finish on the bottom than most do on the top.not always a fan of metal legs but this one works very well with the top.that is a table for generations to come.

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

View luv2learn's profile


2967 posts in 2816 days

#3 posted 09-16-2019 03:26 PM

Wow Joel that is a fabulous table you designed and built. It is beautiful craftsmanship.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View BurlyBob's profile


6516 posts in 2779 days

#4 posted 09-16-2019 03:49 PM

That’s totally amazing.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


333 posts in 60 days

#5 posted 09-16-2019 03:59 PM

It looks like its still alive and undulating!!! Also not much a fan of metal legs, usually, but here its perfect.

1 for the money

2 for the show

Go cat go

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View DannyW's profile


194 posts in 310 days

#6 posted 09-16-2019 04:13 PM

Absolutely breathtaking! That is about the most gorgeous table I have ever seen, and yes the metal legs go great with it.

-- DannyW

View jfk4032's profile


375 posts in 3040 days

#7 posted 09-16-2019 04:43 PM

With a table that thin when thinking about leg designs, I needed something light and airy and I didn’t think I could get that with the stability I was looking for in wood…plus any other wood to be used as legs would look so different and not as nice as this waterfall bubinga (major clash potential). I’m very happy with the powder coated steel spider legs.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View oldrivers's profile


1821 posts in 2080 days

#8 posted 09-16-2019 06:03 PM

Absolutely beautiful! Super job Congratulations.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View doubleDD's profile


8661 posts in 2556 days

#9 posted 09-16-2019 06:53 PM

That’s astounding. Great choice of wood and excellent job.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Ken90712's profile


17745 posts in 3702 days

#10 posted 09-16-2019 07:11 PM

This is amazing, a put work of art. A+++++++++++++++... One of the best I’ve ever seen. .. congratulations

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23401 posts in 3619 days

#11 posted 09-16-2019 09:21 PM

That is one gorgeous table! I love. that had to be a giant tree!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View jfk4032's profile


375 posts in 3040 days

#12 posted 09-16-2019 10:56 PM

Jim, this was the narrowest of the live edge waterfall bubinga slabs they had there…at the narrow edge mine is 44” and the wide edge about 51”...many of the slabs were 60+” in width, some even approached 80”+. Yea, this massive tree must have been a magnificent sight to behold when alive.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View AJ1104's profile


836 posts in 2172 days

#13 posted 09-17-2019 12:06 AM

Wow, you did a fabulous job with this beautiful wood. It really is a piece of artwork.

-- AJ

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3588 posts in 3622 days

#14 posted 09-17-2019 01:40 AM

That is drop dead gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to get a slab of waterfall bubinga, but I believe the window is closing on availability. Right?

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View swirt's profile


4238 posts in 3485 days

#15 posted 09-17-2019 01:59 AM

Just….. WOW. Everything about that is so amazing. Perfect work.

-- Galootish log blog,

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