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Level live edge timber slab

jhodges
New Contributor

Level live edge timber slab

I am trying to make a coffee table from a live edge slab of camphor laurel. I’ve used a belt sander and random orbital sander however I’ve not been able to get the timber level or flat. If I put a plate or serving platter it rocks. Does anyone know a technique for getting a slab like this level?

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Noah
Budding Contributor

Re: Level live edge timber slab

Do you have a router? You could always consider making yourself a router jig to level the slab?

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Level live edge timber slab

Great to see you make your first post @jhodges. Welcome to the Workshop community. Feel free to post whenever you need a hand or have something to share. 

 

Let me tag some of our keen woodworkers in the community for you to assist with this project.

 

@r23on@Brad@woodalwaysworks@Wayne@AndrewJones@Poppop@kel

 

Thanks,

 

Jason

 

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kel
Experienced Contributor

Re: Level live edge timber slab

i agree with noah,a router and sled jig.if youyou don't have a router,you can continue with the belt sander,lying a straight edge on the slab and making the high points ,then sandind them down,or use a plane.

cheers kel

 

jhodges
New Contributor

Re: Level live edge timber slab

Unfortunately I don’t have a router. I tried marking the high spots but I think the timber is warped a bit making the opposite ends high and the middle low. I feel like when I correct one part it goes out in another.
Poppop
Established Contributor

Re: Level live edge timber slab

Is the slab well seasoned and dry? It may be still bending and warping as it dries out and you'll be chasing high spots for ages.
Some slab furniture manufacturers use a mill or a very large sander to level the piece eliminating the high spots in one go. Maybe you could check if there are any local manufacturers who can help you out. Although this sort of takes the "DIY" out of the equation.
On a slab like yours the dark grains will probably be harder than the lighter areas. Using a soft backing pad with the sandpaper will allow the paper to mold over the hard areas and dig into the soft parts resulting in an uneven surface. So maybe buy a roll of sandpaper so you can use a long piece on a long length of timber for backing.(The longer the better) That way you can sand larger areas on the one level plane. That's how auto panel beaters get high spots out of panels.
Good luck and don't forget to show us the finished product.
Poppop.
r23on
Experienced Contributor

Re: Level live edge timber slab

This will be hard work but if you have a hand plane mark all high spots and plane them off. as pointed out hope the slab is well dried out

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