Asked on Jul 27, 2017

Any suggestions for a live edge birch outdoor table?

by 4554290
My neighbor has a saw mill, yesterday I purchased 5 birch slabs. These are the slabs he puts between boards to protect the expensive walnut and cherry that I can't afford in my budget. I would like to replace the glass on my $75 Kijiji table with the wood slabs. Any suggestions on how to lay out the wood? The pieces are all about 10 feet long. Once I have figured out the pattern, I will sand and use 4 to 5 coats of Minwax Helmsman to seal the wood. Thanks in advance.
q any suggestions for a live edge birch outdoor table
q any suggestions for a live edge birch outdoor table
q any suggestions for a live edge birch outdoor table
  12 answers
  • SHA25011399 SHA25011399 on Jul 27, 2017
    I would even them out and lay them side-by-side lengthwise (ala pallet wood).

  • Marra Marra on Jul 28, 2017
    I think I would use the "waviest" pieces facing out on the edges. Do you need the width of all 5 boards? Using 4 boards you could have {_| |_} {_| |_} (I hope you can make heads or tails out of this)

  • 4554290 4554290 on Jul 28, 2017
    I would like to use the waviest pieces for the edges. I had the 5 th piece cut in 1/2 to be used as reinforcements underneath the table. I was just wondering if I should have my husband cut the centre pieces so that they are straight or have them retain the edge. I am going to do as Sharon suggested and lay the pattern out first. Thanks for your ideas and yes, I get it!

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Jul 28, 2017
    you also might want to biscuit join them all the way in both directions. Length and width. Otherwise you will have warping terribly with expansion and contraction due to weather. You might want to be extra sure that your base can handle the weight of your new wood.

  • Drae13 Drae13 on Jul 28, 2017
    Lay out the pattern you want to have with the live edge, attach to each other and also to your table top then gill the gaps in the middle of the table with epoxy. There are some pretty cool things you can do with the epoxy.

  • Peggy Peggy on Jul 28, 2017
    i have one wedged between three tree trunks.

  • 4554290 4554290 on Jul 28, 2017
    Thank you, Hope. I wish I did have a biscuit joiner. I might have to rent one.

  • 4554290 4554290 on Jul 28, 2017
    How does epoxy withstand the elements? We get a lot of snow here in the winter. I have used it on interior surfaces only.

  • 4554290 4554290 on Jul 28, 2017
    It must look very nice, I love live edge lumber!

  • Betty Betty on Jul 29, 2017
    check out the You Tube video Stonebond Black Walnut Table for great tips and instructions for live edge work.

  • John Biermacher John Biermacher on Jul 29, 2017
    You will want to put a straight edge on both sides of the middle boards and one side of the edge boards. You can glue them together like others suggest, but you can just push (clamp) them together as tight as possible and live with the cracks. It is a look that a lot of people like, but others deem it impractical because "stuff" can accumulate in the crack. Either way you can attach a piece of plywood (1/2" to 3/4" to the bottom of the table top with screws. Its size should be just slightly smaller than the inside the dimensions of the table frame. It will add stability and keep the top from moving. You can leave as much overhang on the actual top, as you choose. Hope this helps and let me know if there are any questions.

  • 4554290 4554290 on Aug 04, 2017
    Thanks so much, Betty. I will check the link.