MASSIVE Live Edge Table with Epoxy River

John Malecki

MASSIVE Live Edge Table with Epoxy River

John Malecki Builds a Giant Live Edge River Table

min read
Nov 27, 2019

I consider myself super lucky to be a maker in this digital age that we live in, able to show off my favorite projects and share with you all what I do. I’m far from alone in this appreciation; not only do other makers share their work online, but people love the satisfying feeling of seeing projects being made.

One of the biggest trends in the ‘so satisfying’ video collections on the internet is the live edge river table: a classic table filled with epoxy resin for a natural flowing look. If you follow me on social media (which you obviously should), you know that I’ve created a handful of epoxy resin tables, including a giant conference table for Black Rifle Coffee Company.

Well, I was tasked by Westminster College to tackle a project like this again. This time, no bullets or logo, just a classic and extremely large river table for their entrepreneurial center. The slabs were donated by my friends at Mitcheltree Lumber. I had a blast building this project that involved some interesting design choices and plenty of problems solving along the way. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Project Overview:

How to Make a Live Edge River Table

  1. Clean Your Slabs
  2. Flatten Slabs on Jig
  3. Cut & Weld Metal for Base
  4. Build Mold 
  5. Mix and Pour Epoxy
  6. Flatten with CNC
  7. Chamfer Edges
  8. Finish & Assemble

What You’ll Need for a Live Edge River Table



How to Build a Live Edge River Table: The Step-by-Step

Clean Your Slabs

Before getting started, be sure to clean off your wood from dust, dirt, and debris. Remove all tree bark as well.

Flatten Slabs on Jig

Get started by flattening your slabs. I used a jig for this process, which will really enhance the end product that you create. Be sure to fully secure your slabs before doing this.

Cut & Weld Metal for Base

My design for this live edge river table included a metal base. Begin by cutting the steel for the base. I ended up using a plasma torch due to the thickness of the metal. 

Once cut, begin the build-up of your base, tacking together and squaring pieces. Once all is good to go, begin welding all seams, rotating around the structure to avoid warping.

Build Mold 

Next, begin building a sealed mold for your table large enough to fit both slabs and the river.

Mix and Pour Epoxy

The fun really begins here. Start by mixing your epoxy and adding pigment as desired. Once mixed, pour your epoxy into the river of your table and any voids in the wood. Once poured, stir with a wooden dowel and use a blow torch to remove bubbles. This will need to dry for approximately four days, so go have yourself a long weekend.

Flatten with CNC

Once dry, I headed over to the neighbor’s shop to use their massive CNC. I flattened the top and bottom using the CNC, then sanded by hand using an orbital sander.

Chamfer Edges

My neighboring shop owner suggested that I find a way to soften the edges of this massive table. I chamfered the edges with a router for a nice edge finish.

Finish & Assemble

Once all way sanded down, it was time to add a spray finish to really liven this thing up. Once transport was completed (with the help from my guys at the Westminster team), she was good to go!

And that’s a wrap on my live edge river table! If you liked this post, be sure to let me know in the comments and check out some of my other recent posts:

Download the Plan

Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.

min read
Nov 27, 2019
Sponsored by
John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!