Sapele & Walnut Live Edge/Slab Coffee Table

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Project by Andy Brownell posted 1731 days ago 5578 views 11 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 2044 days

#1 posted 1731 days ago

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


969 posts in 1747 days

#2 posted 1731 days ago

very nice

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

View Ellen's profile


121 posts in 3072 days

#3 posted 1731 days ago

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


689 posts in 1861 days

#4 posted 1731 days ago

Very nice work!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View sharad's profile


1063 posts in 2431 days

#5 posted 1731 days ago

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


3036 posts in 2221 days

#6 posted 1731 days ago

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 2873 days

#7 posted 1731 days ago

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 1878 days

#8 posted 1730 days ago

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 1734 days

#9 posted 1725 days ago

Very nice coffee table. Keep up the good work.

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

View nralien's profile


34 posts in 1761 days

#10 posted 1721 days ago

Beautiful table. That top is especially nice.

-- nralien, Wausau, WI

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 2566 days

#11 posted 1721 days ago

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


969 posts in 1747 days

#12 posted 1710 days ago


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

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2419 posts in 2218 days

#13 posted 1690 days ago

Very Nice! Beautiful Woodgrain!

-- Dennis Zongker

View woodchic's profile


831 posts in 1984 days

#14 posted 1673 days ago

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


-- Robin Renee'

View TexasTimbers's profile


66 posts in 2442 days

#15 posted 1508 days ago

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."

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