Picked up a slab of ash to turn into a coffee table

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Forum topic by FancyShoes posted 06-18-2017 07:04 PM 643 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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592 posts in 2168 days

06-18-2017 07:04 PM

I ordered 5 of these from a local kiln.

Picked up the first one to start a project. Going to have a old cast iron machine base as the table base. Not the one in the picture, but similar.

Would you all share with me techniques to use on making a live edge look square when mounting to a base. Also how to clean and seal the bark.

I am sure once I search youtube I can find something. I just cant remember much of that at the moment. I know I have seen it done plenty of times.

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1368 posts in 1724 days

#1 posted 06-19-2017 04:49 PM


I am not much help of prep and finishing the bark on the live edges. I would have a concern that the bark might release from the slab over time, but when properly finished I suppose it could remain in place; just not sure. Never having worked with live edges and bark, I would probably start with a brass wire brush to clean the bark, using a light touch. Then a combination of compressed air blasts and vacuuming would remove most dust and debris.

Placing the irregularly shaped slab just right atop the machine base is an aesthetic judgment. But a starting point could be to draw extension lines at the center of the slab along it width and length that could then be aligned to the length and width centers of the machine base. The slab could be thereafter be adjusted.

Finding the center lengthwise is easy enough.

One way to approach finding the center across the width would be to establish reference string lines on each side of the slab that run parallel from one end of the slab to the other. An anchoring stick clamped to each end of the slab could serve as tie-off points for the string. The parallel string lines would just touch the widest part of the slab on each long edge. Ideally each string line would be perpendicular to the anchoring sticks and positioned so the strings lines are the consistently separated by the maximum width of the slab. Pythagoras and his theorem could be helpful making the string lines perpendicular to the anchoring sticks. The widthwise center line of the slab can then be determined by measuring to the center between the string lines and extension lines drawn to match up with the center of the machine base. I hope this sketch bring some clarity to this description…

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