Picture of Live Edge Maple Slab Outdoor Table

We just had a new patio added on the back of our house and needed a large table to seat 10 or more people - all the tables we saw when shopping were for either for 4, 6 or 8 at the most - and ranged from $150-$600! I had seen several of this style "live edge" tables as rustic dining room tables, but never used outside. I did some research to see if it was even practical and after determining it was, started the planning to make one myself. The goal was to keep the total under $400.

As an experiment, I did a time-lapse of the majority of the process - wow, I get tired just watching it! It is here - 14 days reduced to 3 minutes - enjoy - http://youtu.be/ngZ_2pP5csQ

I looked at some local sources for the wood slabs (lumber yards, and saw mills) - I was pleasantly surprised at how many choices I had. I finally settled on purchasing 2 slabs from Craigslist - the person selling them had 6 slabs cut from a large maple tree - they had been drying for about 4 years - properly "stickered." The only problem I ran into was that I needed to rent a truck from Lowes for $50 to pick up these 2 11-foot long slabs - all told, the project came in at $361.

Materials Needed:

  • 4”x4”x8’ Douglas Fir Post - (legs and frame)
  • Set of Maple slabs – 4’ x 10’
  • Valspar Duramax Semi-gloss #5 Dark Tint Base - 1 qt
  • Titebond III waterproof wood glue - 1 Qt
  • 2”x4”x10’ Board – straight edge
  • WaterLox Tung Oil Marine Finish
  • KREG 2.5” Blue-Kote Pocket Screw – 50

When researching the type of finish for an exterior table, I had to make sure it would be able to endure harsh winters and hot, humid summers. I ruled out polyurethane and varnishes - they crack and chip with wide extremes of temperature. I needed something that would expand and contract with the temperature (-20 to 100 degrees). For the top, I used WaterLox Exterior Marine Tung Oil - it expands and contracts without cracking. For the base I was more concerend with durability than appearance (and the Tung oil is very expensive) - I came across this article and decided to give it a try for the base. The only problem I had was I could not find the oil-based base (NY has pretty much outlawed Oil-based paints... thanks). I settled on Valspar Duramax #5 Base from Lowes. If dried with a slightly whiteish finish - the oil-based version would not. Nevertheless, it is barely visible on the base.


Awesome, it looks fabulous! I love the 9 months later follow up too! Impressive! :)

I cannot believe you pocket jigged that many holes. How long did that take!?

Awesome build, by the way.

ChrisReddy (author)  wonderbrett1 year ago

Only about an hour, but it was WAY overkill.

mike29071 year ago
How did you fasten the slab to the base?
ChrisReddy (author)  mike29071 year ago

I use some 4.5" lag bolts, counter-sunk and filled with a hole plug. It isn't going anywhere. They were something like this - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-8-4-1-2-in-In...

devbert1 year ago
Great design on that table! Someday I hope to make one of my own.
ttowngirl1 year ago
You are amazing. Give yourself a handshake from me!

This is beautiful!