Mystery Slab Sofa Table

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Project by AlpE posted 10-14-2020 03:51 AM 1083 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently I bought a slab at a neighborhood Sale for $30. The seller was transparent and straight up with the add that he didn’t know what kind of wood it was. From the photo posted, I thought it was Cherry and rushed right over to snatch it up. I knew it was a great find no matter the species, but if it was cherry it would have been an extra bargain. To my surprise, when I arrived to pick it up, I found out that this piece of wood was most certainly not cherry. It was far to dense, hard, and extremely heavy. Just feeling it, it felt twice a dense and heavy as white oak.

After getting it home, I now needed to figure out what I would make with it. Personally, I’ve never really been a fan of live edge furniture, especially the “river” tables. To me, more often than not they come off as looking too much like someone encased beautiful wood inside plastic. Don’t get me wrong, some pieces are quite nice, but I think it takes a lot of design effort and skill to make both epoxy and wood mediums play nicely together. I think maybe one of the things that gets me with river tables is the ratio of epoxy to wood, too much epoxy, no matter how elegantly done, distracts too much from the natural beauty of the table. Perhaps I’m just trying to justify my tastes, I don’t know.

In any event, despite not really being a big fan of the styles this piece seemed like a good candidate for such design. Besides, I’ve never made a river anything before, so at the very least, I’d get to learn some new skills. In the end, I, very satisfied with how it turned out. I still couldn’t bring myself to put the live edges out, preferring the “traditional” furniture form for a more classic, and in my opinion, classy, aesthetic.

Legs are made of poplar and mortised and tennoned together, simple shaker style design. Top is one slab cut in three pieces with black, pearled, epoxy pour 1.75” thick, 3 bow tie inlays on each side made of off cuts from same slab.

After working with this wood I”m reasonably certain it’s Mulberry, but I can’t be sure. Initially I thought it might be Osage Orange, and in truth, it might be. The only thing that gives me pause about it not being Osage is that despite it being incredibly dense, heavy, and hard, it was relatively pleasant to work with. I would have expected a dry Osage Slab to really make my tools groan, more than they did.

Anyway, thanks for taking a look.

8 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


5813 posts in 2837 days

#1 posted 10-14-2020 11:02 AM

it turned out pretty nice

-- 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 bondogaposis's profile


6027 posts in 3566 days

#2 posted 10-14-2020 01:46 PM

Nice table and I’ll take a stab and say that it is olive.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ohwoodeye's profile


2679 posts in 4368 days

#3 posted 10-14-2020 03:27 PM

Looks good.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View pottz's profile


20130 posts in 2199 days

#4 posted 10-14-2020 07:10 PM

ill do 30 bucks all day long for a slab like that came out sweet looking.the base goes with the top perfectly,and you did a nice job on the bow ties also.whatever wood it is it’s beautiful.nice job.

welcome to lumber jocks.

-- 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 Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

327 posts in 3719 days

#5 posted 10-14-2020 11:33 PM

Beautiful! The simple base complements the top very well, and the result is clean and elegant.

-- Ron Stewart

View swirt's profile


6526 posts in 4187 days

#6 posted 10-15-2020 02:53 AM

Nice design and great look on the top. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Lazlo's profile


23 posts in 1992 days

#7 posted 10-22-2020 11:05 PM

I’ve got mixed sentiments regarding
River tables as well. That said, yours has a sort of cosmopolitan vibe going for it. There’s an elegance to it that works – the understated base, supporting a high-contrast white-and-black table top. My first impression was that I liked it, but it seems I like it MORE each time I look at it. Well done!

-- Lazlo

View MBHaysKS's profile


21 posts in 4238 days

#8 posted 11-17-2020 06:18 PM

I have cut some mulberry that looks very similar to the before and after photos of your lumber. Whatever it is it looks great.

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