Coffee Table from Log Slices

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Project by daverose posted 02-09-2014 03:20 PM 1629 views 12 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Been working on this table for a bit. My next door neighbours old maple had to come down a couple of years ago and I managed to get a few slices off it with no real intention of what to do. I figured they would check and split all over the place but to my surprise they hardly checked at all. I posted something here looking for ideas back in the summer but eventually found a picture on line where someone had done something similar so used that for inspiration.

Flattened the discs out with router sled which I thought would be the worst part of the job. That was before I started sanding them. I don’t have a thickness sander as my basement shop is about 12’x12’. Took about 60 minutes with 50 grit on a belt sander for every side and that was just to get the marks out from the router, never mind finish sanding.

Joining them together was tricky. I decided to use mortise and tenon early on with some additional support provided from the base. Because they are no parallel sides it was very difficult to cut the tenons perfectly from top to bottom. So there are slight gaps where the pieces join on the top. If I was to do it again I would have used floating tenons or some heavy duty dowels so I could get a nice tight parallel joint. Still, it’s not so bad.

I decided to build a nice sturdy base and went with that x shaped leg design. The wood came from a salvaged piano. The cross braces help tie everything together and provide a lot of extra support for the tenons that hold the top together. Figured out all the weird angles in Sketchup and it came together nicely. Finished with BLO and wipe on poly.

Not bad for an self taught amateur I’d say! Thanks for looking.

14 comments so far

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1167 posts in 358 days

#1 posted 02-09-2014 03:21 PM

very interesting piece, turned out wonderful, great work

-- steve, simple and effective woodworking---

View Tommy's profile


62 posts in 328 days

#2 posted 02-09-2014 03:28 PM

This turned out great! Your hard work clearly paid off, unique for sure.

-- Tommy

View capecodfarm's profile


12 posts in 346 days

#3 posted 02-09-2014 03:30 PM

Wow, That is awesome. How long did it take you to get those legs that way? If it were me there would have been A LOT of kindling from that project, I don’t think I have those kind of patience. Great Job.

-- Matt, Cape Cod

View daverose's profile


39 posts in 1099 days

#4 posted 02-09-2014 05:28 PM

@Matt, The legs were definitely the easy part although they look complex. Once I’d figured out the angles in Sketchup it was just following a pattern. They are all just simple lap joints. The top was much harder and more labour (sanding!) intense.

View medsker's profile


116 posts in 1299 days

#5 posted 02-09-2014 05:36 PM

Very unique and interesting. Nicely done! Enjoyed reading about your process.

View Toolz's profile


1003 posts in 2490 days

#6 posted 02-09-2014 05:48 PM

I LIKE it! Great job.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Prplhrtjarhead's profile


80 posts in 854 days

#7 posted 02-09-2014 06:21 PM

very creative!

-- "We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness." R. Reagan, "The Speech", 1964

View Betsy's profile


2914 posts in 2644 days

#8 posted 02-09-2014 08:18 PM

I like it. I think I would have left the bark on the outside edges, but either way it a piece that will certainly garner lots of attention.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View hoosier0311's profile


651 posts in 773 days

#9 posted 02-10-2014 01:04 AM

One of a kind piece, awesome. well done.

-- I'm only deaf in one ear,,,,,I just can't hear out of the other one., Denny, Indiana implant, living in PA

View siavosh's profile


412 posts in 619 days

#10 posted 02-10-2014 01:05 AM

Great design and use of the wood.

-- -- Discover the best woodworking blogs!

View Randy_ATX's profile


692 posts in 1190 days

#11 posted 02-10-2014 04:31 AM

First of all – to me this is a work of art – I like it a lot. I also love that gray rug. The photo ALMOST looks like a B&W photo with a color table superimposed on it. :-)

I can’t believe those slices didn’t check at all. I am also trying to figure out the intersection part of the legs. Is one plane of the X a half-lap joint? Then the other legs which are 90 degrees from the first, attached some how to the first set? Going back now to have a second look. :-)

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View Jake's profile


450 posts in 379 days

#12 posted 02-10-2014 06:11 AM

Very nice, thank you for the idea, I have a lot of birch waiting to be sliced in a year or so. Very interesting build to try out for my bedside tables!

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View daverose's profile


39 posts in 1099 days

#13 posted 02-10-2014 11:12 PM

@Randy. Yeah got lucky with the checking. They cured for about 2 years so I think I’m OK. There is some minor checking near the whorls where the branches used to be but nothing major. The legs are just 2 X’s joined with lap joints, then a notch at the top and the bottom of each X where they intersect and just slide them together Just like a lap joint though I think it has another name in that configuration.

Glad you like the rug. Shag is coming back baby!

View Randy_ATX's profile


692 posts in 1190 days

#14 posted 02-11-2014 03:20 AM

Thanks Dave. Shag – yeah baby!

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

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