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JYoung 08-08-2019 10:27 AM

First attempt at a river table (still to complete)
8 Attachment(s)
Good day all,

Found a picture of a river table online and wanted to give it a try. I can say it’s been a massive learnings and still is.

Probably the three biggest was how to use a router (haven’t used since high school), you can’t plane anything flat without it being on a flat surface and probably the biggest if it doesn’t feel right stop and think (you will see what I mean later). I know they may sound pretty simple things to most of you but you have to learn somewhere.

I spent a lot of time thinking between the different steps and wasn’t all done all in one go.

I started off with two pieces of olive wood that I thought would fit nicely together.

Attachment 377737

Cut away the outer edges and cleaned the wood up.

In hindsight at this stage I should have planned the two boards.

Attachment 377741

No turning back.

Attachment 377743

Out the mould, front.

Attachment 377745


Attachment 377747

Now this is were it all stayed to go pair shape. The plan was to simply plane the excess epoxy off the top surface of the table. Not having touched a route in a very long time at this point I did watch a few videos online to get up to speed again.

I found what I thought was the lowest point on the table top and set my router to null. I stupidly adjusted/turned the plunge depth control. I lost a lot of unnecessary table thickness. If it doesn’t feel wright stop.

Another lesson, if you have excuses epoxy after your finals pour don’t just put on top because you have it. Only more to try and router/plane off at the end.

Attachment 377749

Also using a dishwasher and a tumble drier as a work surface won’t give you a flat surface!

So this is were I’m at at the moment with this one.

Because I cut into the surface so deep I need to fill some of the crack/knots with the tiniest amount of epoxy. I only have 5L tubs of epoxy so I’ll wait till I mix for my next table (underway) to fill the holes.

Attachment 377751

I will definitely polish up the epoxy river to make it translated and was planning on having a look through the forum on advice on finishing off.

Hope you enjoyed and any questions on what not to do I’ll happily answer.

Im on my next project and have run into a wee snag, will be running it through you under a different thread.

Attachment 377755

Much easier working off a workbench.


woodnthings 08-08-2019 11:36 AM

You did just fine!
I don't know if you have seen this, but they go through all the steps for a great looking table:

JYoung 08-08-2019 12:31 PM

Thank you, will definitely have a look.

difalkner 08-08-2019 01:39 PM

Looks nice, James. Gonna' look better when you finish it. Mistakes aren't really mistakes unless you leave them that way. If you correct the issues and deliver/finish to a level that you expect then they were just bumps in the road, not mistakes. And from what I read you learned from them so that's a good thing!


johnep 08-09-2019 05:51 AM

I looked up sale price of river tables.In the UK one like yours is $6K.

JYoung 08-09-2019 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by johnep (Post 2065709)
I looked up sale price of river tables.In the UK one like yours is $6K.

£6k on a coffee table? Nice though but there is no chance of that happening up were I live.

I enjoy do this as a way to switch off and not to try make money out of it.

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