Driftwood table #1: Slow progress

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Blog entry by peterrum posted 08-09-2011 02:16 PM 7662 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Driftwood table series Part 2: Research and a bit of work continues »

Well this story starts out while flyfishing on the Kettle River last year in August. While taking a break on shore I found a unique piece of driftwood which was a stump with some of the roots entwined around rocks. It looked like a very interesting piece and thought that I will try to get it home and figure out what to do with it after a bit of thought. Here are some photos of my find in the shop.

Well after a few hours and months of thinking about it and getting input from all sorts of people I settled on a plan to make this a coffee table with a glass top on it. Now to get to work on it.

The first part was finding a suitable surface to flatten and to try to get the best look out of the piece so after turning it over and over I settled on where my flat top would be. I used a lazer level and a pencil to mark the areas that I wanted to cut. A reciprocating saw took care of some of the smaller roots and then I used a chainsaw to get the bigger piece off. These were rough cuts and as long as I was within an inch of my lazer lines that was good enough.

Now the big chunks were off but I needed to get the top as close to dead flat as possible. I did quite a bit of research on line and could not find anything that was specific to my needs but settled on building a large router sled, similar to what is used for flattening the tops of large slabs of wood. I built a crib for the piece and it is about 4’x3’ square and 19” high. I built the crib out of some scrap constuction grade lumber and plywood, it didnt have to look pretty. Then I built a 4’ long sled that I could run my router in. I made this out of baltic birch, clamped a couple of scrap pieces onto the ends to give me the gap I needed and started running the sled across the top of the driftwood to level it out. I used a 3/4” straight bit and only took 1/4” off the top at a time. After a few passes I bottomed out the router and could not go any deeper so I slid a piece of 3/4” plywood under the piece in order to raise it and continued with my light passes. After about 5 passes all the pieces which will support the glass top were level with each other. It took me about 6 hours to accomplish all this and I am very happy with the results.

-- Carpe Diem

2 comments so far

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 2564 days

#1 posted 08-09-2011 02:34 PM

Love this piece of driftwood and great job on being able to get it flat by building the sled! Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3275 days

#2 posted 08-09-2011 04:03 PM

That will be a very nice table. Alot of work goes into it but it will be very unique.

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