How to Build a Live Edge Table

Are you interested in creating a unique and eye-catching piece of furniture for your home? Look no further than a live edge table!

How to build a live edge table combines the beauty of natural wood with personal craftsmanship, resulting in a unique and eye-catching piece of furniture.

How to Build a Live Edge Table

This project not only allows you to engage in the satisfying process of creating something with your own hands but also introduces you to the world of woodworking in a very approachable way.

In this guide, we will take you through the steps of selecting the perfect slab, preparing the wood, constructing the table, and applying the finishing touches.

Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or a beginner excited to take on a new challenge, constructing a live edge table can be a fulfilling project that adds a touch of the natural world to your home decor.

What are the Benefits of Building a Live Edge Table?

Live edge tables have been growing in popularity, and for good reason. These unique pieces add character and warmth to any room they are placed in. The natural edges and imperfections of the wood create a one-of-a-kind piece that cannot be replicated by mass-produced furniture.

Additionally, building your own live edge table allows you to select the perfect slab of wood for your specific needs and preferences. You can choose the type of wood, the size and shape of the table, and even incorporate any personal touches or design elements that you desire.

Moreover, woodworking is a fantastic hobby that can provide a sense of accomplishment and relaxation. Building a live edge table allows you to tap into this hobby while also creating a functional piece of furniture for your home.

Building Your Own Live Edge Table

What Will You Need?

Before diving into the steps of building a live edge table, gathering all the necessary materials is important. Here is a list of tools and supplies you will need for this project:

  • A live-edge slab is the most crucial element for creating a live-edge table. You can find these slabs at lumberyards, specialty woodworking stores, or even online. It’s important to choose a slab that fits your desired size and style.
  • Power saw: A power saw will be essential for cutting the slab to your desired dimensions. A circular saw or a table saw will work well for this project.
  • Sandpaper: To smooth out any rough edges or imperfections in the wood, you’ll need sandpaper of varying grits.
  • Wood glue: This will be used to join the different pieces of wood together.
  • Clamps: Clamps will hold the wood in place while you assemble your table. At least four clamps are recommended for this project.
  • Wood finish: To protect and enhance the natural beauty of the wood, you’ll need a wood finish of your choice, such as varnish, oil, or wax.
  • Protective gear: Working with power tools and wood can be dangerous, so it’s important to wear protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves while working on this project.
Clamps Will Hold the Wood in Place

Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you can start building your live-edge table.

9 Easy Steps on How to Build a Live Edge Table

Step 1. Select Your Live Edge Slab:

The first step in building your live edge table is selecting the perfect slab. Consider the size, type of wood, and the natural characteristics you want your table to have. Inspect the slab for any cracks or imperfections that may affect the structure of your table. Remember, the slab you choose will significantly influence your project’s final look and feel.

Step 2. Prepare the Wood:

After selecting your slab, the next step involves preparing the wood for construction. Begin by carefully cleaning the slab to remove any dirt or debris. If there are any large cracks or voids, consider filling them with clear epoxy resin for a smooth finish and added durability.

Sand the wood starting with a lower grit sandpaper and gradually moving to a higher grit until the surface is smooth to the touch. This step is crucial for achieving a quality finish on your live edge table, so take your time to thoroughly prepare the wood.

Finish on Your Live Edge Table

Step 3. Cut to Size:

Once your slab is prepped and smooth, it’s time to cut it to the desired size for your table. Using your power saw, carefully measure and mark where you need to make your cuts. Remember to account for potential errors and wear protective gear while operating the saw.

This step requires precision, as uneven cuts can affect your table’s overall balance and aesthetics. After cutting, gently sand the edges to remove splinters or rough spots.

Step 4. Construct the Table Base:

With your live edge slab cut to size, the next step is constructing the base of your table. The type of base you choose—metal legs, wooden legs, or a different style—will affect your table’s aesthetic and stability.

If you’re using wooden legs, you might consider joining them with a stretcher or aprons for additional support. For metal legs, ensure they are properly attached and balanced. Whatever base you decide on, make sure it complements the natural beauty of the live edge slab and provides a sturdy foundation for your table. This might require pre-drilling holes or using specific hardware for assembly.

Natural Beauty of the Live Edge Slab

Step 5. Attach the Table Top:

Now that the base of your table is ready, it’s time to attach the live edge slab and create the tabletop. Position the slab on the base to ensure a perfect fit and balance.

If you’re working with wooden legs, you may need to drill pilot holes and use wood screws to secure the slab to the base. For a metal base, you might use strong adhesives, brackets, or screws designed for metal. Make sure the table top is securely attached to the base without any wobbling or instability.

After attaching, give the entire table a once-over with sandpaper to smooth any rough edges that might have arisen during the assembly process. This is also a good time to double-check that all parts are solidly connected and that your table stands level on the ground.

Step 6. Apply the Finish:

Applying a finish to your live edge table enhances its beauty and protects the wood from wear and environmental elements. Choose a finish that complements the wood’s natural grain and fits your desired level of sheen, whether it be matte, satin, or glossy.

Apply the finish according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using a brush or cloth to ensure even coverage. Depending on the type of finish, you may need to apply multiple coats, allowing ample drying time between each application. Once the finish is fully cured, your live edge table will showcase a rich color and texture, making it a focal point in any room.

Using a Brush or Cloth to Ensure Even Coverage

Step 7. Final Touches:

The final step in creating your live edge table involves adding those finishing touches that elevate it from a piece of furniture to a masterpiece. Inspect your table for any missed spots that might need a bit more sanding or an additional coat of finish. If your table will be used frequently, consider attaching felt pads to the bottom of the legs to protect your floors. Additionally, you may choose to apply a sealant for extra protection against spills and stains. Once these final adjustments have been made, your live edge table is complete and ready to be admired and utilized in your space, serving as a testament to your craftsmanship and the unique beauty of natural wood.

Step 8. Care and Maintenance:

Avoid Using Harsh Chemical Cleaners

Your live edge table, while durable, will require some regular care and maintenance to preserve its beauty and longevity. Dust the surface gently with a soft, dry cloth, and avoid using harsh chemical cleaners that can damage the wood’s finish. For spills, promptly wipe them up with a damp cloth and dry the area thoroughly.

Avoid placing hot items directly on the wood to prevent scorching or discoloration. Periodically check the stability of the table and tighten any loose screws or bolts. Depending on the finish, you may need to reapply a coat periodically to keep the wood protected and maintain its luster. By following these simple maintenance steps, your live edge table will remain a beautiful and functional piece in your home for years to come.

Step 9. Celebrate Your Achievement:

Upon completing your live edge table, take a moment to step back and appreciate the work you’ve accomplished. Creating something with your hands is a rewarding experience that provides you with a unique piece of furniture and a sense of personal achievement.

Share your creation with friends and family, and don’t hesitate to showcase your project on social media or woodworking forums. Your live edge table is a testament to your craftsmanship and inspiration to others who might be considering taking on similar projects. Celebrate the completion of your table by hosting a dinner or gathering around it, making the most of this beautiful addition to your home.

By following these steps, you can turn a raw live edge slab into a stunning and functional piece of furniture.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Select the Right Wood: Choose a wood species that not only meets your aesthetic preferences but also possesses the durability needed for a table. Woods like walnut, maple, and cherry are popular choices for their beauty and strength.
  2. Stabilize the Wood: Ensure the wood is properly dried to prevent warping or cracking down the line. Once dry, apply a stabilizer to the live edges to maintain their natural shape and integrity over time.
  3. Fill In the Cracks: Use epoxy resin to fill in any cracks or voids in the wood. This strengthens the table and adds a unique, decorative touch. You can even add pigments to the epoxy for a splash of color.
  4. Choose the Right Finish: Select a finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood while providing the desired level of protection. Options like tung oil or polyurethane offer durability and can bring out the depth and character of the wood grain.
  5. Design a Stable Base: Your table’s base should complement its aesthetic and provide stability. Consider the weight of your tabletop when choosing or designing the base, ensuring it can support the table without wobbling.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can take your DIY table project to the next level.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Ignoring Wood Quality: Consider its durability and how it will hold up over time before selecting wood based solely on appearance. Choosing a lower-quality wood could result in a table that is prone to damage and has a shorter lifespan.
  2. Skipping the Drying Process: Don’t rush the drying process of the wood. Attempting to work with wood that has yet to be properly dried can lead to warping, cracking, or shrinkage after your table is completed, which might ruin your hard work.
  3. Using Inappropriate Tools: Avoid using tools that are not meant for woodworking, as they can damage the live edge and the surface of the wood. Make sure you have the correct tools and know-how to use them properly to achieve the best results.
  4. Neglecting Safety Measures: Pay attention to the importance of safety when working on your project. Always wear the appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and goggles, and work in a well-ventilated area, especially when dealing with chemicals like epoxy resin or finishes.
  5. Forgetting to Plan for Wood Movement: Wood expands and contracts with changes in moisture and temperature. Failing to account for this movement when designing and building your table can lead to structural issues. Ensure that your design allows for some degree of movement to avoid cracking or warping.
Selecting Wood Based Solely on Appearance

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a beautiful and durable table that will be a centerpiece in your home for years to come.

What Wood is Used for Live Edge Tables?

Live-edge tables are typically made from hardwood species, such as walnut, maple, cherry, oak, or ash. These woods are known for their durability and natural beauty, making them ideal for showcasing the unique characteristics of live-edge wood.

Some factors to consider when choosing a wood for your live-edge table include its stability and resistance to warping and cracking. Woods with tight grain patterns, like maple and cherry, tend to be more stable and less likely to warp. Additionally, hardwoods are typically more resistant to scratches and dents than softwoods.

Ultimately, the wood species used for a live edge table will depend on personal preference, availability, and budget. It is important to choose a high-quality wood that looks beautiful and has the strength and durability to withstand everyday use.  So, research and choose a wood that meets aesthetic and practical needs for your live edge table project.

Do Live Edge Tables Crack?

Live edge tables can develop cracks over time, especially if the wood is not properly dried or stabilized. However, with proper care and maintenance, live edge tables can stand the test of time without significant cracking.

To minimize the risk of cracking, choosing high-quality wood that has been properly dried and stabilized is important. Filling cracks or voids with epoxy resin can also help strengthen the table and prevent further cracking.

Proper maintenance, such as regularly oiling or waxing the surface of the table, can also help prevent cracks from forming. Keeping the table away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature changes can also help preserve its structural integrity.

In the end, some degree of wood movement and minor cracks may occur with live-edge tables, as this is a natural part of the wood’s aging process. However, with proper care and maintenance, these unique features can add character and charm to your table.

What is the Best Finish for Live Edge?

The best finish for a live edge table will depend on personal preference and the desired level of protection. Some popular options include tung oil, polyurethane, and epoxy resin.

Tung oil is a natural finish that enhances the wood’s beauty while also providing protection against spills and scratches. It can be reapplied over time to maintain its protective layer.

Polyurethane is a durable finish that creates a hard, protective layer on the surface of the wood. It comes in different levels of sheen and can provide a glossy or matte finish depending on preference.

Epoxy resin not only fills in cracks and voids but also creates a strong, waterproof seal over the entire surface of the table. It can be tinted with pigments for a unique and decorative touch.

Ultimately, the best finish for your live edge table will depend on the look you want to achieve and the level of protection needed for your specific use.


How to build a live edge table is an enriching project that allows you to combine creativity, craftsmanship, and a touch of nature’s unpredictability. By following the outlined steps, tips, and precautions, you’re equipped to transform a rugged slab of wood into a stunning piece of furniture that embodies both functionality and artistry.

Remember, the key to a successful live-edge table lies in selecting the right materials, meticulously preparing the wood, and thoughtful design considerations that honor the wood’s unique character while ensuring durability and stability.

Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or a motivated beginner, the process of creating a live edge table offers a deeply rewarding experience and the opportunity to craft a timeless treasure for your home.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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