Surprise for my sister

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Project by Grantman posted 08-24-2013 06:31 PM 2516 views 3 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

About three years ago, a buddy gave me a slab of cedar with a gigantic hole in the middle of it. It’s about 50” x 22” x 1 3/4”. He said he had it in his basement for about eight years but couldn’t figure out what to do with it and figured I could. Well, for three years I couldn’t; it just sat there collecting dust.

Then my older sister said we should throw a surprise birthday party for our baby sister who would be turning 60. I thought, she likes cedar and maybe I could finally figure out what to do for the legs, which as you can see, I finally did. The difficult part was stabilizing the rotten wood in the core. I chose a 2:1 epoxy by US Composites to coat the rotten wood and then used their Kleer Kote self-leveling bar top finish for the whole top.

I inlaid a 1/8” piece of walnut I had from a resaw project into the bottom so if she wants to put something in the middle, say flowers, she can.

The legs were cut from my wife’s 30+ year old waterbed that’s been moved from here to there; finally, after draining it, it’s been put to good use. The legs were rough cut with the band saw joined with splines, and I used a 1/4” template with my router. A couple of small stretchers and it was done. I used Rustoleum spray gloss black paint for the legs.

Not only did we pull the surprise party off, the table was a double surprise, too. All in all, a very happy sister.

18 comments so far

View david38's profile


1508 posts in 1378 days

#1 posted 08-24-2013 06:35 PM

beautiful table like the top.

View ralbuck's profile


1023 posts in 1301 days

#2 posted 08-24-2013 06:50 PM


Cedar is so beautiful!

Great Idea. Great Work.

-- just rjR

View PittsburghTim's profile


221 posts in 1357 days

#3 posted 08-24-2013 09:30 PM

Very nice! I used the System 3 epoxy on walnut, but had problems with air bubbles. I’m not certain if it was my technique or the open grain. I ended up using multiple coats of armor seal in the end.

I especially like the inlay as it closes the hole without losing the character of the original slab.

Good job,


-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

View aussiedave's profile


3090 posts in 859 days

#4 posted 08-24-2013 10:33 PM

Very nice table, the wood looks beautiful and I like the way you did the legs…nice job.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View FlyingMLB's profile


164 posts in 1818 days

#5 posted 08-25-2013 12:09 AM

Excellent job. Thanks for sharing with us.

-- Flying MLB *** A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

View grizzman's profile


7617 posts in 2338 days

#6 posted 08-25-2013 12:32 AM

i bet your sister was really happy, what a beautiful slab, and now in the light of a home for many others to enjoy, you did a really good job with it….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View deon's profile


2364 posts in 2060 days

#7 posted 08-25-2013 03:34 AM

Great design and work

-- Dreaming patterns

View WayneC's profile


12635 posts in 3132 days

#8 posted 08-25-2013 03:40 AM

Cool. Love it.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Mike's profile


50 posts in 930 days

#9 posted 08-25-2013 05:08 AM

I have a slab of elm that is beautiful but I don’t have enough to make legs, I love the way you did your legs and I think I’ll try something like that for mine. Another piece of wood that’s been sitting for a long time is now on its way to a project. Thanks for the inspiration.

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 2687 days

#10 posted 08-25-2013 05:14 AM

That table is gorgeous. Normally I am not a fan of natural edge slabs because everybody does it but yours is unique and stunning.

-- Yves

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1046 posts in 2842 days

#11 posted 08-25-2013 11:02 PM

That’s one lucky sister! Nicely done!

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View DocSavage45's profile


6587 posts in 1877 days

#12 posted 08-25-2013 11:15 PM


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View BalloonGuy's profile


93 posts in 958 days

#13 posted 08-26-2013 04:21 AM

Beautiful design and finish!

-- Tom Peterson, Omaha, NE

View Dave777's profile


295 posts in 3104 days

#14 posted 08-26-2013 10:04 PM

Excellent project. I have a very similar piece of wood that has been waiting years for some legs or base, your design may get used here.
Thanks, Dave

-- the stone rejected by the builders will become the capstone

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1211 days

#15 posted 08-28-2013 03:30 PM

Awesome table! Great idea on the legs and the cedar looks amazing. Excellent work!

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