Sapele & Walnut Live Edge/Slab Coffee Table

  • Advertise with us
Project by Andy Brownell posted 11-25-2009 05:52 PM 9192 views 12 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A tribute to some Mid-Century Furniture Masters
- Submission for Yin-Yang LJ Awards -

This is a project that I sourced wood from 2 different locations in Cincinnati, OH. The first was from a local Sawyer here in town that let me pull through his supply of 10/4 and 8/4 walnut. The other was from an importer of exotic hardwoods here in town that hooked me up with a 15’ x 13” x 8/4 board of ribbon sapele with a live edge of nicely contrasting sapwood. The dark/light combination of the two species, as well as the dark/light combination within the woods I chose include sapwood/heartwood mixes, along with a chatoyance in the sapele top cause the grain direction to shift as you move from one side of the table to the other. Light shifts to dark and vice-versa.

The table is certainly was influenced by some recent stuff I have been looking at that combines the softer round edges of Sam Maloof’s work along with some of the Nakishima influenced lines of the base structure and the natural slab top of course. The natural edge of the top is a gentle trapezoid shape, also mimicked in the large slabs of the base. The combination of hard edges/angles of the base compliment the natural flowing lines of the top.

The table measures 50” long x 22-24” wide x 19” high. The slab and base elements are 1 1/2” + thick. Joinery consists mainly of lap joints (like Lincoln Logs), secured with 1/2” walnut dowels. The finish is 4 coats of Minwax rub-on Poly and buffed with butcher’s wax. The project took me approximately 35-40 hours to complete.

-- Andy Brownell

15 comments so far

View Dennis_MGWW's profile


90 posts in 3442 days

#1 posted 11-25-2009 06:03 PM

Very nicely done! I love working with walnut. I have never worked with sapele though, but it looks great.

Great job!

-- Dennis,!/MpleGrvWoodwrks

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3145 days

#2 posted 11-25-2009 06:50 PM

very nice

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View Ellen's profile


135 posts in 4470 days

#3 posted 11-25-2009 06:51 PM

This looks great, just wondering if it might have looked better without the 2 horizontal pieces at the bottom. Did you need that for stability? I love the way the top is joined to the 2 legs. The finish is awesome too.

-- Ellen --

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3258 days

#4 posted 11-25-2009 07:03 PM

Very nice work!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3829 days

#5 posted 11-25-2009 07:10 PM

One of the best coffee tables I have seen on LJ.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3619 days

#6 posted 11-25-2009 07:22 PM

great design, awesome grain, very nice

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4271 days

#7 posted 11-25-2009 08:03 PM

Beautifully done. Calling on two of my favorite master woodworkers. I love everything about it.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Andy Brownell's profile

Andy Brownell

144 posts in 3276 days

#8 posted 11-26-2009 04:17 AM

Thanks for the comments. Ellen, I was considering it without the two horizontal elements at the bottom, but without them, the design was a little expected for a table of that style. The extra stability was a plus, as I have two kids at home here (7, 5). In addition, the ends of the horizontal elements feel really good on the foot, almost like a massage. ;)

-- Andy Brownell

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 3131 days

#9 posted 12-01-2009 03:16 AM

Very nice coffee table. Keep up the good work.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View nralien's profile


41 posts in 3159 days

#10 posted 12-05-2009 03:19 PM

Beautiful table. That top is especially nice.

-- nralien, Wausau, WI

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3963 days

#11 posted 12-05-2009 04:21 PM

That’s one really nice table. You’ve got some beautiful sapele for the top and the sap wood frames it well. I like the base with the “extra” support, it gives it some distinction.

-- Working at Woodworking

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3145 days

#12 posted 12-17-2009 01:02 AM


-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2744 posts in 3616 days

#13 posted 01-06-2010 01:10 AM

Very Nice! Beautiful Woodgrain!

-- Dennis Zongker

View woodchic's profile


841 posts in 3382 days

#14 posted 01-22-2010 09:24 PM

I agree with Dennis…...........the woodgrain its great. Nice.


-- Robin Renee'

View TexasTimbers's profile


67 posts in 3839 days

#15 posted 07-06-2010 06:33 PM

Looks fantastic. Great job.

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics