Issue 640

End Grain in the Picture

When I was a callow youth working in my father’s cabinet shop, exposed end grain was to be avoided, if possible. It was almost shameful to allow end grain to be shown to the world — as if your pants had fallen down or your zipper was left open. It was looked down upon as an example of poor craftsmanship. Not so today. End grain exposure is no longer immoral or a sign of poor design. And I am 100 percent in favor of this change in status. End grain patterns and treatments can be beautiful and are used in furniture of the highest quality.

But thinking about this did get me to ask the question: what else has changed in this way? What woodworking traditions or style elements that used to be out of bounds are now more accepted? What comes to mind over your years of woodworking?

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

Video: Anyone Can Make a Live Edge Slab Table


Modern-style live edge tables with metal legs like this one have exploded in popularity in the past few years. If you’ve ever shopped for one of these tables you might have been hit with sticker shock. And the prospect of building one of these tables might seem out of reach because the slabs alone can be tough to find and most of us don’t have the equipment to mill our own slabs. Also, welded metal legs aren’t something you can find at every corner hardware store. We’ve found an easy, affordable way to make the slab tabletop.

Materials

Pine Timber-Link Slab Boards:

Edge Piece – 2″ Thick x 5-8″ Wide – Item #63608
Center Piece – 2″ Thick x 8″ Wide – Item #64197

28″H V-Shaped Welded Steel Table Leg Set, Black – Item #66014

Kreg Jig® 2-1/2″ HD Pocket Hole Screws, 30-Pack – Item #46910

General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Urethane Top Coat, Satin, Pint – Item #56598

Step-by-step instructions for building this table.

Choosing the Right Router Dovetail Jig

With a quality router jig, a little patience and some diligent practice, you can add a variety of half-blind or through dovetails to your projects. Some dovetail jigs also cut box joints and more.

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Did you know you can use your router table as a slot machine? Okay, okay, not the Vegas kind. But seriously, one of the best ways to make a slot through a piece of wood is on the router table. Learn the essential steps of this technique in the video below.

Cutting slots on a router table
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