Waterfall Coffee Table out of Curly Walnut

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Project by descolada posted 12-29-2014 01:02 AM 1738 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first live edge work and was built from a slab from the same tree as my dining table. They look great sitting across the room from each other. The top is about 60” long with 20” legs and a ~8” wide bubinga stretcher underneath.

After the first few steps, flattening with a router jig and smoothing with hand planes, I spent a good amount of time figuring out how to build this.

I ended up using a track saw to cut the angles “into” the top and kept those cuts parallel with each other using a large plywood spacer. I then used the same spacer underneath the table to mark out the line for the bubinga stretcher. I routed the double tenons using another router jig and squared them with chisels. After I had those I made the top-matching 45-deg cuts in the legs at the table saw, moving the fence a bit each time as I sneaked up on the original cut line.

After that I lined up the pieces with the top side down and nearly had a heart attack when the waterfalls didn’t seam to match. A few seconds of calmer thought brought the realization that the bottom portions of the miters were obviously not going to match as they were almost 5” away from each other when still in single slab form. The tops matched perfectly and was I able to get the rest lined up with some rasp and file work once it was all assembled.

I then joined the miters using a domino set to 45-deg from the surfaces and thus 90-deg from the miter. This worked great and when combined with the stretcher I barely needed glue to keep this thing together. The glue-up was a bit nerve-wracking as the different angles between the dominos and the stretcher meant that I had to glue up the whole thing at once.

Once it was together I rounded over the sharp miters and then finished it up with a few coats of watco tung oil finish and then shellac. I’m not actually sure how this combo led to such a glossy finish and I think I may have had a bad/expired batch of one of these. I think I’m going to sand down the top a bit and put on a coat of semi-gloss arm-r-seal

7 comments so far

View JimYoung's profile


219 posts in 1008 days

#1 posted 12-29-2014 01:31 AM

Outstanding! The design is so simple, but I can see all of the work that goes into it working with the live edges and miter joints.

-- -Jim, "Society is well governed when its people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law." -- Solon

View watermark's profile


482 posts in 1363 days

#2 posted 12-29-2014 05:04 AM

Very nice!

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View DavidTTU's profile


113 posts in 1056 days

#3 posted 12-29-2014 05:19 AM

Fantastic piece. The Dutchmans look fantastic.

View whitebeast88's profile


4086 posts in 1611 days

#4 posted 12-29-2014 07:48 AM


-- Marty.Athens,AL

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2111 days

#5 posted 12-30-2014 12:43 AM

Very nice !

You did this beautiful slab proud.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Keithers's profile


31 posts in 855 days

#6 posted 12-30-2014 06:55 PM

I would love to have a piece of walnut like that to work with. Great job!

-- Wishin` I was fishin`!

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1848 days

#7 posted 12-30-2014 08:10 PM

Nerve wracking to say the least, well done! Personally I think the glossy look is perfect!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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