One of the unique pieces built during my weekend workshop at Snow Farm was a live edge coffee table. Lisa’s “Cape Cod coffee table” began as a 1” cross cut of a cherry tree that showed an attractive burl, intriguing insects cavities and some natural cracks.
Our plan was first to fill the imperfection with colored epoxy. Then re-turn four reclaimed furniture legs that Lisa had found on the street. And lastly, make four anchoring wooden plates for each of the legs that will be connected to the underside of the top via screws.
We began by making preparations to fill the cavities with tinted blue epoxy resin. Lisa choose blue, as it goes well with the Cape Cod style that she likes so much. At first, she excavated as much as possible the powdery stuff that filled the cavities (if you think about it, it’s actually insects poop), then she blocked the holes’ opening on the underside of her slab with masking tape. Next, she added some blue dye to the epoxy and poured it into the holes. We used West System slow setting epoxy which is a thin epoxy formula that allowed the resin to flow down and fill all the nooks and crannies it could find. Thin Epoxy is great for infiltrating voids but it is also notorious for trying to escape and drip down and around the masking tape seal. To prevent this we waxed a few flat pieces of wood and clamped underneath the cherry to support the masking tape. After the epoxy solidified Lisa sanded the surface with a belt sander followed by an orbital sander.
Next time I will show how Lisa continued working on her project, including re-turning the legs.