Need advice on a live edge top

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Forum topic by Topsailor posted 04-09-2013 09:24 PM 1096 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 1942 days

04-09-2013 09:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Ok so I have a live edge piece of elm that I am working towards a coffee table. The top is flat but the bottom is curved just as it came off the tree. I decided the best way to put legs on it was to chisel a groove so the legs wil sink in and put some 1/2” dowels in to add some strength. My concern is that when the table expands along it’s width it will try to spkit the legs apart. I thought about only gluing the center dowel and drilling the holes for the outer ones oversized but I’m worried that this will eventually cause the legs to fall off. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Don’t judge the pictures too much I still have a long way to go, but this should give you the idea.

6 replies so far

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3008 days

#1 posted 04-09-2013 09:53 PM

That looks like it will be a cool table.
With the grain being the same on the legs as the top, the legs should grow and shrink with the top.
I think I would glue it.
The only point I would be concerned about is the end of top, outside of the groove. Any racking on the legs may have tendency of breaking out the end. May want to add dowels at this point.
Just my thoughts.
best wishes

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2911 days

#2 posted 04-10-2013 01:12 AM

Lynn is right, the top should move seasonally with the legs. That being said, I’d probably attach the top to the legs using “buttons” eg. see this topic for discussion on them:
You could rout recesses in the underside of the top to hide the buttons.
My only other concern is that your legs seem too thin to support your design if there is any racking unless you are planning to add a stretcher.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2718 days

#3 posted 04-10-2013 02:05 AM

I would just glue and dowel it as the top and leg should expand similarly as Rob said. Also second the stretcher idea.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

29404 posts in 2366 days

#4 posted 04-10-2013 02:14 AM

I’ll go with the glue and dowel. Be sure to post it. I am anxious to see it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3922 days

#5 posted 04-10-2013 03:11 AM


I always glaze the live edge, as it creates shadows, depth etc.,

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View bondogaposis's profile


4770 posts in 2380 days

#6 posted 04-10-2013 01:05 PM

Because the grain orientation of the legs is the same as the top they are going to move in the same direction at the same time . Splitting should not be a problem, don’t worry about the over sized holes they are not necessary.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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