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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.



















Gallery

Comments

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

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

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

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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.
 

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Great project sir
 

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Great project and great experience for the kids.
 

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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.
 

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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 too-lol.you rocked this man.
 

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

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

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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.
 

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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.
 

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

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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.
 

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Great table! How deep did you have to carve the river to accommodate the marbles? Thanks for including the process pics.
 

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Thanks everyone! I enjoyed making this…a little bummed as the table did not sell for what I was hoping for last night at the auction. But that's okay.

Brian/Bushmaster…if you are referring to the pictures at the very end…that is the bottom side of the table where the epoxy drips over the rounded edges. Once hardened they take seconds to sand flat…they don't show once sanded down.

Leafherder…i think the max depth was 1.5" but the depth was not consistent throughout…here is a photo before the marbles:



Here is what the slab looked like before any work on it:

 

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No I was looking at the second one down on the left hand side. Some one got a deal of a lifetime, The kids learned allot though and that is priceless.
 
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