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Live edge tables, advice for newbie

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Mrfunk

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OK, been asked by "the boss" to make some live edge tables on hair pin legs..

Ive done lots of normal woodwork before.. I'm looking for any tips, such as bark removal, finishing and a good supplier of epoxy for infill. I was considering using Osmo products to finish with, not keen on a gloss finish.

Hopefully not wanting to recreate the wheel, so any advice would be really appreciated

Thanks

Mrfunk (hammer)
 

thetyreman

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can you not bribe the boss to make a table with legs, aprons and turnbuttons instead? I know the live edge style is cool at the moment and in fashion but they concern me in terms of movement, not much stopping a thick slab from moving over the years.
 

Richard_C

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I've recently made a live Edge console table from a piece of Douglas Fir bought at the National Trust Ickworth craft fair last October. They sell estate felled timber, this was felled and planked in 2016. Kept it indoors for a few weeks with no obvious movement. As with a few things, bought it with no real plan but fell into the too good to miss category.

Movement doesn't really matter as long as it doesn't bow significantly, its just 4 legs screwed to a plank. Time will tell.

Legs came from the cunningly named hairpin leg company, not cheap but good quality, mine are yellow. They sell via amazon, as do dozens of others.

Bark removed with a small wallpaper scraper, bit of hand sanding. Top sanded with my 1960 vintage black and decker vibrating sander then finally by hand. Finish was a few coats of acrylic clear 'varnish', quick dry so reduces dust worries, satin suited me. Do both sides or it will definitely bow, but of course you don't need the same fine finish underneath. Have used it before on a table and it lasts OK, one benefit is the ease of a quick fine sand and re-coat after a 2 or 3 years. I guess the choice is go with super durable like epoxy or super easy to re finish.

I only had one small knot hole, neutral wood filler and judicious use of brown and black felt tip pen. :D

I have a beautifully figured slab of yew waiting for the same treatment, this time for a low coffee table. Got it last month from British hardwoods in Keighley. Went in for some small oak offcuts, came out with big piece of Yew (as well, not instead).

I accept it's not fine woodworking as most people here practice, but it works.
 

colinc

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Hi,

I find myself with this dilemma too. I have been asked to make a coffee table using a 2” thick slab of Cedar. have refused to fit hairpin legs, I couldn’t live with myself.

Problem is, I am struggling to come up with a suitable design for the legs/undercarriage, so I can’t advise on that score.

I filled some cracks with West epoxy as I had it to hand. It does penetrate deep into the adjacent fibres so I hope it doesn’t show through the finish. One mistake I made was not sealing the bottom as well as I should have, needs a strong tape. When I realised it was bulging I added a pressure pad below to stem the flow. Also take care to get bubbles out.

Interested to know how you get on.

Colin
 

Mrfunk

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Cheers Colin,

Found some chestnut, and the "Miller", has suggested it's probably the most stable for these sort of tables. I'm looking to make tables approx, 600x400mm and also a coffee table. I'm trying to avoid making river tables, so hence looking for wise slabs at least 400mm.

Will still look into epoky, and use if needed.

Thanks
 

colinc

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Milliput as loved by woodturners everywhere may work as a filler too, probably without bleeding into the adjacent fibres.
 
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