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Live Edge Walnut Sliding Top Coffee Table

Here’s something new!  We got the idea for this little table because, long after a trip to a regional lumber yard on a hunt for cut offs, we discovered that we had two pieces of live edge walnut that belonged together.  For whatever reason, someone had cut this piece of walnut in half, and in our hunt through the bins of wood, we each grabbed a piece, unaware that the other had the complement.  We stacked the pieces from that trip in the shop and only months later discovered that we had these two pieces that belonged together.  Serendipity dictated that we design something that made sense of it all, so we decided to make a moving table top that, when opened, revealed a hidden storage compartment.  


From there we came up with the curved, mid century leg design, and because the live edge walnut had a veritable rainbow of hues and tones, we were able to use Sapele wood of two different colors for the legs, the apron, and the structural compartments upon which the live edge top pieces glide.  The lower shelf is black walnut, yet another hue in the top, and rests on two cross braces of Sapele between the legs.


Each leg unit consists of three pieces of 2” thick Sapele—two legs with a curve at the top, and a straight piece that unites these and serves as an apron.  These three components are assembled with blind tenons and for added structural support, as well as a lively decorative feature, we crafted elliptical braces for the joints that are screwed on and finished with Sapele plugs.  The leg units are held to each other at the top by the Sapele braces that also form the sides of the hidden compartment, and at the bottom by Sapele braces that support the lower walnut shelf.  We created box-like structures of Sapele that are attached to the bottom of the two live edge pieces, and these are hooked to the frame via a set of steel ball bearing drawer slices that let the live edge ‘float’ just a little bit above the leg frame.  


The hidden compartment is roughly 6” x 6” and is ‘quilted’ in a single layer of batting under a soft faux leather, held in place by bronze upholstery tacks.  The little compartment is a bit of a novelty feature, but can hold, as the pictures indicates, small items like iPhones, coasters, and small television remotes.

The piece is finished in multiple coats of hand rubbed oil and urethane semi-gloss finish.  The table measures 29” long x 14-18” wide (this is for the live edge top.  The table top overhangs the leg frame about 1” on the ends and 2” on the sides).  The total height of the table is 20”.   As with all of the larger items we create, this table is for local (Washington D.C. metro area) pick up only.

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