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! :-)

Step 1: Cutting the Wood

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.


  • Circular saw
    • DO NOT USE A TABLE SAW FOR THIS. As there is not a straight edge to guide the cut on a table saw, and the wood is large and heavy, you can easily get the saw blade stuck, and the table saw would then throw the wood straight back into your body...which wouldn't be awesome for you. Use a circular saw with a good rip cut blade instead.
  • Rip cut blade
    • Rip cut blades have fewer teeth (typically 24-40 tooth count), and a distinctive shape to the blade profile. Rip cut blades are designed to move quickly through wood with the grain, removing material and maintaining a relatively smooth profile. Look for a thin-kerf blade in particular. The thinner profile helps maintain a smoother cut, and because it isn't as wide, you aren't removing as much wood. This prevents the wood from overheating and burning as the blade cuts.

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!

What kind of router did you use? Edge/plungeetc......?
I have a Skil 1827 Plunge Router
This is great! I have a slab that will be perfect for this. I was picturing something like this, but I'm glad to see that it does indeed look awesome.<br><br>Also, any idea where I could get a yellow and gray rug like the one in your photo?
<p>My wife got the rug on Zulily, so it might be tricky to figure out where it came from. Sorry!</p>
<p>Can you clarify a little bit on how you routed out the piece for the glass? That seems to be about the only part that I can't figure out yet. If you use the piece of glass as a template, you would be cutting further than the width needed... So I am a bit confused!</p>
<p>Yes, this was certainly tricky. :-) I didn't use the glass that was going to fit inside the table as the template. I clamped the glass that I cut off to the table instead, and then was able to offset that a distance away from the edge where I wanted the inset to go, and then used that as the template. Does that make sense? Because it's the shape that matters though, not the spacing between the wood, it doesn't really matter either way. Cut the glass, use it to rout the wood, put in the glass inset and then mount the legs and supports so that it fits nicely together.</p>
<p>is glass tempered?</p>
<p><em>Annealed, not tempered</em>. Tempered (i.e. safety) glass will shatter if you cut it conventionally. </p>
<p>I love the look of this table. It has the nature look but with a clean finish of the glass top. I need to pick up a small welder. I have wanted to make lawn ornaments as well as some other items for my home. This has me motivated to pick up what I need. Thank you for sharing. </p>
<p>Absolutely gorgeous! I love your idea of having the live edge in the middle instead of on the outside. Super clean and slick. Definitely the greaterest idea.</p>
What a great project. My daughter and son in law are friends of Greg and his family. His work is truly amazing and he has helped my kids with some of their home renovations. <br>I am going to see if my son will build a small dining room table out of Koa with me for Mother's Day. I love the idea of creating the flowing water thru the middle. Thank you for posting!
<p>This is really great. It&rsquo;s got my vote. And thanks for giving cred to Greg Klassen&rsquo;s excellent work. I'll definitely be trying something like this out. Hopefully it's obvious to folks that those C-channel braces underneath are critical, and that plate glass should probably not be be used as a structural component (despite my doing things like this... - but hey, its 3/4&quot;:)</p>
<p>Nice media console! I think your glass can probably count as structural. :-P Thanks for the feedback, it certainly was a fun project. </p>
<p>Have seen a lot of live edge tables, but this one is really unique. Love the live edge on the inside of the table...good job </p>
<p>For step 1 you could use a table saw with an &quot;L&quot; fence. Use double sided tape to attach a straight edge to the piece to be cut... but the size of the piece might make that cut a bit tricky. nevermind... well, here's a video of what I'm talking about anyways</p><p>http://www.finewoodworking.com/how-to/video/versatile-tablesaw-l-fence.aspx</p>
<p>Great idea, great craftsmanship, great Instructable and a beautiful table.</p><p>For those less skilled, like me, how about foregoing the glass cutting &amp; rabbet and just use the rectangular glass as a top?</p><p>When I first saw the title and glanced at the photo, I thought there was water flowing in the &quot;river&quot;. You could have guppies in it :)</p>
<p>Resist making a bunny 'rabbet' joke.. </p>
<p>Thanks! Using a sheet of rectangular glass at the top would work fine if you don't want to cut the glass and rout the inset. My advice would be to build in appropriate supports at the corners however to help keep the glass in place though. </p>
<p>This is really amazing - your table looks great. Great job on the instructable I can tell You put your time into it. </p>
Amazing, you did a great job explaining everything and really put time into the extra little things like explination of rip vs crosscut blades and how you shouldn't use a table saw. You definitely deserve to win the Handtools Only contest.
<p>I love the idea and simple instructions. When I saw the instructable at first, I thought it had a resin centre. Did you think about using resin instead of glass?</p>
<p>Thanks! I did think about using resin actually, but decided against it for two reasons: 1) I wanted the river surface to be shiny and wasn't sure I would be able to get the same surface with resin, and 2) that would have required a lot of resin which I didn't have access to. :-) But it's definitely a valid concept!</p>
<p>I love the idea and simple instructions. When I saw the instructable at first, I thought it had a resin centre. Did you think about using resin instead of glass?</p>
<p>And a waterfall into a lake at one end!</p>
<p>Gorgeous; great job on this. I really like the diagonal cut then swapping them around so the live edge is inside. Extra points for bending your own hairpin legs!</p><p>(I've also had mixed results in cutting my own glass, tougher than it seems)</p>
<p>Very cool! But how fixed glass?</p>
<p>Really beautiful job. Thx for the idea!</p>
<p>i already have the wood. I hope I can get someone professional to cut the glass for me. I am planning to make a dining table when I get the time! this was very helpful!</p>
<p>Love it.. but I'd probably lose half of my fingers trying to do this.. I'm not even allowed to do the dishes, due to glasses shattering on me. :( LOL </p>
I love table! I'm going to ask my Hunny if we can do this together!!!
<p>really awesome table! :)</p>
<p>Really pretty table!</p>
Well done! Excellent craftsmanship, beautiful material selection, and great write-up. Lots to love here!
<p>This is fantastic! I love the way it turned out. Gorgeous work on the table, and an excellent write-up on the process too. Well done! :)</p>
<p>great work !</p>
<p>Beautiful. I think my coffee table is about to get an upgrade</p>
<p>Wow, just wow! This is te prettiest coffe table I have ever seen! Your carpentry skills are awesome. Thanks for the small tips you had in there. Kudos</p>
fantastic table
This looks amazing! I really like how the live edges are on the inside of the table.
Really beautiful job! I like the rabbits too

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