Slab table help

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Forum topic by TIB posted 08-26-2013 08:29 AM 1401 views 1 time favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2061 days

08-26-2013 08:29 AM

Hi all! I’ve recently acquired a couple of large old growth Douglas fir slabs. The log sat at the bottom of the river for 100+ years, then was taken out and milled, then left to air dry for 4 years. These things are impressive, but I’m not quite sure what to do next.

There’s some rot damage, not sure what I can do to try and save any of that.

There’s some checks and cracks, how should I fill them?

Any suggestions on cleaning them up? I assume a hand plane and orbital, any tips?

Douglas fir is a softer wood, what kind of finish can I layer on there to make it stronger?

Any other tips or ideas? I’ve never built a table, so any input at all would be much appreciated!

I’m planning on having some nice metal legs fabbed for them, any ideas or styles you have would be helpful!



3 replies so far

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 2136 days

#1 posted 08-27-2013 02:28 AM

Use West System or other brand of epoxy. You can fill your voids with black epoxy for contrast, or with chips of colored rock for bling.

On the metal leg issue, I’d keep that sort of basic. You don’t want the legs to compete with the wood for attention.

I would also make a sled for my router, which I have done, to flatten the slab. I also made a sled for my sander after the slab was flattened by the router. It came out dead, solid, flat.

Good luck. It’ll be a lot of work, but you’ll have a unique table.

-- --Dale Page

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2927 days

#2 posted 08-27-2013 02:35 AM

Sanding Doug Fir with a random orbital sander is problematic as the early growth is a lot softer than the late growth leaving a wavy surface. A drum sander works best for me. I use poly on my chairs made from old growth DF. “Sinker” DF may be different and I have no experience with it.

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

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4131 days

#3 posted 08-27-2013 05:14 PM

poor photo, apologies. 1 slab of BC Douglas Fir, 4 1/2” thick. 33” wide, and 14’ long

I filled the voids with black epoxy.
Sanded the beast with a ROS, worked perfect…..smooth like butter. I left the live age on, and under the top.

finished it using Don Kondras recipe……smooth like butter, lots of depth as I do not like the look of that epoxy plastic stuff

2 simple legs, using 8” dia steel pipe, with base plate and floating upper plate

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

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