Large live edge Maple "cookie" slab table

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Forum topic by cjdesmit posted 06-20-2019 07:31 PM 330 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 30 days

06-20-2019 07:31 PM


I’ll preface this with that I am a complete newb to wood working, so be gentle…

I have a large live edge maple cookie slab that I obtained for free from a dead tree that was recently cut down. I have since had it planed down and leveled by a local lumber company for a nominal cost. The cookie measures about 4ft across and is roughly 3 3/8” thick. I was envisioning creating a large coffee table out of it but have since found out that it’s not nearly as simple as I was hoping. The wood is still relatively wet/green and I was told it would take several years for it to fully dry. The local lumber co said if I did not want to wait for it to dry, that my best bet would be to simply remove the bark, sand it down, and finish it with some linseed oil.

Being that I do not really have a practical place to store such a large piece for several years until it drys, does this sound like my best bet? I am aware that it will begin to crack and split as it dries and I’m ok with that. I will address that as it occurs. My main question is what would be the best way to go about finishing or sealing it since it is still relatively green?

In addition, for legs I was simply going to use three 12” hairpin metal legs which would give me a height of about 16”. Should I attach the legs directly to the underside of the slab or use some kind of wood block/spacer in between?

Thanks for any and all help!


4 replies so far

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9950 posts in 1557 days

#1 posted 06-20-2019 07:59 PM

When you say “cookie”, I assume that means end grain on top and bottom? If so, what you’re essentially wanting to do is to utilize this as it dries. I would probably remove the bark and not finish it at all at this point. It’s not going to take as long for a cookie to dry as it does for lumber that is longer than it is wide. Just screw your legs directly to it and use it if you want to. In a couple of years, it will be dry and have lots of cracks. Deal with the cracks, sand the surface down and finish it however you wish then.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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3 posts in 30 days

#2 posted 06-20-2019 09:52 PM


Yes, it is end grain top and bottom. Below is a picture of it. Like I said it is about 4ft across. I am definitely going to remove the bark and sand it down a bit. Would it hurt anything to put on a couple of coats of linseed oil on at least the top in the meantime before it is dried?

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3 posts in 30 days

#3 posted 06-24-2019 12:55 AM

So I have had this thing in the garage for the past few days up on saw horses with a fan under it hoping to aid the drying process. I went ahead and removed the bark and started to try and sand it. I am using an electric mouse sander with 80 grit. I’m running into some problems though since some patches are wetter than others. Would moving down in grit help? I’m not looking for a super smooth finish, just want to remove the lines from the planer. Thanks!

View Aj2's profile


2321 posts in 2217 days

#4 posted 06-24-2019 02:03 AM

I have no idea what going to happen to your project. There’s just too many variables but I do think it’s a waste of time sanding right now.
Getting it dry is your main goal right now .
Too fast it will crack badly maybe even warp
Too slow it might turn a ugly blackish blue color as bacteria starts feeding on the sugars in the maple.
Good luck Report back with your outcome.

One more thing ditch the hair pin legs. Yuk I bet you have plenty of time before you need legs. Think about something else.

-- Aj

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