How to Make Your Own Live Edge Table

5 Materials
$500
6 Hours
Medium

I was in MN this past weekend and my brother wanted to make a bookmatched, live edge, walnut dining table. If you’re not familiar with bookmatched, it’s two consecutive slabs from a log that you can glue together to make a larger slab and the grain and character match up very well. He didn’t have the shop or tools I have in Nashville so this is a great diy project!!!

First thing I wanted to have is a set of calls. We used 8’ 2x4s cut in half and glued and screwed together. These would allow us to have something to set the slabs on and get our clamps underneath.

I put tyvek or some home wrap tape on one side so glue doesn’t stick and then I just keep these around the shop for other table top glue ups!

Find someplace trustworthy that sells KILN dried slabs. Don’t save money and buy air dried ones. Kiln dried to 6-10% moisture content and when you finish your top, finish it on all sides to help stabilize it and keep it from moving.

For a straight edge, you can use plywood, metal, saw track (which is what we used)

This is my brother wearing my company shirt🙌🏼🙌🏼 He had a small saw and to get through this 3” chunk, we rented a huge saw. We did 2 passes with the clean, little one then took the boss through!

This track has clamps on the ends keeping it secure. If you use something else as your straight edge, just make sure it’s clamped nice and tight!

After the two middle cuts were made, we put them together to see what his wife thought😁

She decided she wanted more of the sapwood (lighter color) taken out and my trip was running short so I’m using my Nashville work to finish this “how to” 😂😂 life of a traveling man. So you can see how the calls are being used. Clamping pressure in all directions and I just glued the seem. LOTS of glue and I wiped it with a warm rag to make sanding a bit easier.

Sand and finish and you have a beautiful bookmatched table that you can control the width to suit your dining room space 🙌🏼🙌🏼

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Bob
    on Jun 16, 2020

    What glue did you use? Or epoxy? What brand?

  • Bob
    on Jun 16, 2020

    What glue did you use? Epoxy? Nice very nice

  • Tara Fox
    on Jul 1, 2020

    I had 2 rings cut from some dead trees we were removing from our property and wanted to make tables. Unfortunately I let them sit in our garage and they got moldy. What’s the best way to clean them up?

    • G
      on Aug 12, 2020

      The table is beautiful and well done. It however is not a true bookmarked table. A book mark is a slab that is cut in the center and when opened like a book has the same design but reversed on each side. It is a mirror image of the other side. The true bookmarked is also a beautiful design and would make great tables.


Join the conversation

3 of 48 comments
  • Joshua Rapier
    on Jul 5, 2020

    I love making these tables, so much I’m building them for a supplier her in northern Illinois, they can make them but they also milk the wood and just have too much dust floating around so a few weeks ago I talked to the owner and they said come up here (10 min away) I figured to show the new materials....but they ask me if I’d be I retested and I said it would make my dreams co

    e true to build these for you and if you can sell them ( I think that’s 50% or more of the job and they can and they aren’t cheap so she knows what it costs to build and time and such but 60% of total sale at $1000/linear foot 36” wide starting and goes up from there and type of species of wood all that.... I have been a general contractor for 10 years still am and a union trim carpenter 10 years prior to that (2008) so my fiancé did my paperwork since I didn’t want to waste all the time since we were flipping 62 Townhome’s in 2 years w/10 guys only 1/2 would show up on a good day! But we did it and now I have a huge garage to work out of but now the work from the supplier is coming in so fast I need a 18’x20’ workshop so trying to sell a few and profit on some work and build it but it’s in beginning stages. I bought 6 gallons of deep pour epoxy which was my problem before, I had to pour in 1/4” pours at a time, ecopoxy can be poured all at once and they said no bubbles but keep an eye on it. And if that works I’d like a loan to build the shop, I bought my house outright in 2013 for $47,500 and it’s been gutted and vaulted and NOw it’s $268,000 so I am happy for myself with that but had a brand new huge garage and I want to park our vehicles and setup all the dust collection and air hookups I bought years ago and a trailer so I don’t want to wait so o should ask for a loan....anyway I have 20 pieces of cottonwood and black walnut and silver maple all ready for build and I am bring a few up theee and trying to sell a few on my own. So basically if anyone wants a table I got the skills and tools to do so and it would help a good cause! (847)833-8258 or rapierconst@hotmail.com or text the 833-8258

    kind Regards,

    Joshua Rapier with Rapier Construction

    JNRconstructionIL.com or Face book Rapier Construction-ingleside Illinois thank u feel free to ask any questions as I have to get back to work and watch fireworks out of my garage!

  • Becky Dellinger Robertson
    on Aug 13, 2020

    it's beautiful!!

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