Glow in the Dark Live Edge Table (Part 1: Wood)

I hate wood working. That’s my dad’s thing. But I do like shiny things. I came across an Instructibles Article.  To be fair, most of the method I used was from that article, so credit where credit is due, to Mikeasaurus. I made a ton of mistakes, and had to repeatedly go to plan B. Then plan C. Then plan D. I’m breaking this into three sections. First, the wood. Next, the epoxy. Third, the legs.

I’m going to warn you in advance. This is an expensive project. I’ve spent at least $1000 on supplies for this. But when it’s done, it will look sexy as hell.

Let’s start with the supplies. And these are the supplies for the entire project. Also, I am trying to setup an Amazon Associates account, where I get a small commission of each purchase made through these links. Even if you buy something else. So if you are feeling generous, consider clicking through these links any time you want to purchase something from Amazon.

  • Live edge wood. The live edge is wood with the bark still on it. The size is up to you. For me, I wanted a kitchen table, so I wanted my table to be roughly 30 inches wide and 48 inches long. I contacted a localish guy who would sell me the wood for $700.  The problem is that it was an hour drive away (and I don’t have a car, so I’d have to rent one), and I’d have to go there, pick the wood, then either wait around while he planed it, or come back another day, and another rental car later. Besides, I was going to go camping in a month, so I decided to hold off on this project. While camping, it just so happened that there was a dude selling live edge wood on the side of the highway. Greg, from Tide Tables, sold me the two boards for the top and four boards for the legs for $300. Plus, I already had the rental car because I was in Oregon.
  • Epoxy. You’ll need a lot of epoxy. I tried two different kinds. First, I tried this. It worked pretty well. Sadly, I used it all up, and so when I got more, I got some liquid glass type of epoxy. This was far more likely to have tiny bubbles. So I’d recommend the first epoxy. I ended up using three gallons. That was about $235.
  • Glow in the dark powder. This is mixed with the epoxy, and has a 1:4 ratio. I kept buying more. In total, I used about 400 grams of blue. $120.
  • Glass Gems. I needed about 15 bags. $70.
  • Lots and lots and lots of latex gloves. $30
  • 3 Plastic buckets. $20
  • Plywood. $20
  • Wood for the frame. $15
  • Acrylic. $5
  • Primer, Black, and White paint, wood stain. $45.
  • Wood Glue and Gorilla Glue. $15

This is in addition to tools, like a heat gun (or torch), sander, saw, level, paint brushes, etc.

So let’s get to it. The wood was pretty warped. Therefore, it needed to be run through a joiner and a planer. Neither of which I have. I came across this place called IsGood Woodworks. They offer a monthly subscription to use their tools, or (since I don’t like woodworking) you can pay someone there to do it. I think it cost me less than $200. Also I can’t recommend these guys enough. Nick was awesome. They also offer classes, if you’re interested.

Here’s the wood when I first got it. It’s hard to tell, but it’s twisted. It was 2 inches thick. Protip: get more wood than you need, and cut it down. It’s really hard to make wood grow. You’d have to pull really hard. Nick suggested getting at least 6 inches more than you need.

 

 

 

The joiner and planer basically do the same thing. The difference is the joiner has the blade on the bottom, and the planer has the blade on the top. That means that when you are running it through the planer, you need the bottom to be flat. Thus, you run it through the joiner first. You just push the wood down as it’s going across the joiner and slowly take off the high (or low depending on how you view it) parts. Pass after pass after pass. Just a little at a time. Over and over again, until it’s flat.

 

Once you’re done with that, you do basically the same thing with the planer. Pass after pass. A little at a time.

When all was said and done, the wood was now 1 1/4 inches thick. So yeah, it took quite a bit off. This picture is just some of the wood after the joiner. So figure at least twice as much was taken off in total.

After that was done, Nick offered to straighten the edges for me. That was a simple task of running it through a table saw with a special adapter that held the live edge part.

Also, he ran it through a huge sander for me. Have I mentioned how awesome Nick was?

Now that the wood was in it’s final size, I could cut the plywood down to size. I knew that I wanted a frame around it, so I added 1/2 inch to each side.

Once that was done, I put the table pieces on the plywood and lined them up to where I wanted. I then traced the live edge part. The trace doesn’t have to be perfect. I just needed to know where to paint the table white.

I removed the wood, and put primer on the plywood, going about an inch past the outline of the live edge. I did the same thing with a few layers of the white paint. The reason for this is so that I was sure that the white paint extended beyond the live edge.

 

 

Now it’s time for the frame. The wood I got was 1 inch thick, and I had allowed half an inch on the plywood. This was on purpose. So I needed to cut a notch on the wood. That was quickly accomplished with a tablesaw.

Then I measured how long each piece would be, and cut 45 degree angles so they would look like a picture frame.

The wood was prepainted white. I wanted black. So I primed over it and then painted it black.

 

Meanwhile, my minion, Lauren, stained the wood. We got two types of stain. The original idea was to have the top lightly stained, and the legs dark. Sadly, the light stain didn’t do anything, and the dark stain wasn’t that dark. So we just used dark stain.

She did two layers of stain.

Now we were ready to glue everything in place. I didn’t get a picture of this, but basically, we put wood glue along the edge of where the board would go, then Gorilla glue was painted on throughout. Meanwhile, I used a damp cloth to wet the back side of the wood. Next I quickly put the wood in place, and clamped it down. Protip. Use lots of clamps. The Gorilla glue expands quite a bit, so make sure the clamp is tight.

I didn’t. Luckily, I was going to cover the entire thing in epoxy, so that would level the final product.

That’s that for this section. I’ll add some more pictures below. Next time, I’ll cover the epoxy. Here’s a teaser: I FUCKING HATE EPOXY.