Live edge wood is great. Live edge wood coffee tables are greater. Live edge coffee tables with glass down the center are the greaterest. This project was inspired by some of Greg Klassen's work, and is deceptively simple. All up it was about a week of work for a few hours each day.
The wood was sourced locally, cut, routed for the glass inset, sanded, and finished. The hairpin legs were cut, bent, and welded to brackets mounted underneath the tabletop. You can purchase hairpin legs (online, at local woodworking shops, etc) instead, but we wanted to make everything from scratch. Finally, the glass sheet was purchased, cut, shattered, purchased a second time, cut successfully, and fit into place. That's it!
If you like this Instructable, please vote for it in the Hand Tools Only contest! :-)
The most important thing in this step is to make sure you know what you want your table to look like, and to take care when cutting the wood itself. We wanted the live edge to run at an angle in the table, and to preserve the interesting wood patterns at each end. This meant we had to cut the wood at an angle lengthwise down the piece.
Photo credit: Rockler Saw Blades 101
This step is pretty easy. Lay the wood down on a set of 2"x4"s or some other elevated material so you can cut through without the saw blade hitting the ground. Be sure to support the wood well enough so that each half will still be stable even after the piece is cut in two.
Tip: Find a flat edge and clamp it to your wood so that you can run the circular saw against the edge and ensure that you get a straight line. The circular saw will do a reasonable job itself of cutting a straight line, but having a clamped straight edge to run the tool against will help.
Once you have cut the wood slab down its length, swap the two pieces so that the live edge is facing inward. Arrange them so that the freshly cut edges are parallel to one another.
Then, square off the short edges with the circular saw; again, using a straightedge and guide will help. Changing blades to a crosscut blade would be preferable, but you can get away with using the rip cut blade. Just be careful of tear-out.
Congratulations! You have the beginnings of a table!