Console Table from Raw Lumber

We absolutely love tables made from slabs – especially when the live edge is left intact.  Something about the modern + natural combination is so beautiful.  All the clean, sharp lines intrinsic in modern design coupled with the rawness and beauty of wood slabs is just stunning.

Modern Living Room

This is our living room… which we consider Modern.  For the South, it’s VERY modern!  If we lived out West, it would probably be considered slightly modern.  😉  That console table behind the couch was a raw slab of wood that we purchased at a sawmill.  If you live anywhere near Charlotte, NC you should definitely check out The Sawmill, Ltd.  Susan and I were both like kids in a candy store!

Susan gets full credit for this project!  I’m not sure I would’ve had the patience to do what she did… it took roughly 30 hours of sanding (mostly done by hand).

But all that hard work paid off because the surface feels like glass!  Here’s the process she used to turn this rough, raw slab into a glass-like surface suitable for eating on.  (Disclaimer:  We don’t claim to be experts at this!  This is just the process we used… not necessarily the best process).

  1. Powerplane the top/bottom surfaces to achieve level
    1. This step is important, otherwise you might have trouble attaching the legs!
  2. Sanded all surfaces with an orbital sander – 60 grit sandpaper
  3. Sanded all surfaces with an orbital sander – 80 grit sandpaper
  4. Sanded the top surface by hand – 120 grit sandpaper
  5. Sanded the top surface by hand – 220 grit sandpaper
  6. Sanded the top surface by hand – 320 grit sandpaper
  7. Apply 7-8 coats of Poly, sanding with 600 grit sandpaper between coats
    1. We used a water based, brush-on polycrylic.  Oil based poly’s can make the wood appear yellowish in color, so we wanted to avoid that and went with the water based.
  8. Apply final coat of Polycrylic and wet sand by hand using 1200 grit sandpaper
  9. Apply paste finishing wax and buff to a high gloss

Finishing products

Watching this process was amazing… with each level of sanding, more wood grain and details would become visible.  It gave the impression that we were looking inside the wood.  Just beautiful…  The numerous coats of Poly were critical in achieving the smooth, glass-like surface.  And the simple application of finishing wax gave it a high gloss finish.

We attached some legs that we purchased on Etsy from a Welder.  We would have liked to make the legs ourselves, but we’ve yet to add Welding to our list of DIY skills.  😉

It’s really nice sitting at this table behind the couch, eating dinner and watching TV!

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