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DIY Modern Live Edge Waterfall Coffee Table with April Wilkerson

By: April Wilkerson

DIY Modern Live Edge Waterfall Coffee Table

Check out April’s video here.

Things I Used in This Project:

It will be at least a year before the slabs I recently milled will be dry enough to use, so I purchased a few slabs from an Austin based Sawmill called Greenwood Milling and made a Live Edge Waterfall Coffee Table.

It’s called a Waterfall Coffee Table because you cut a portion off and that turns into a leg. But you do it on a Miter so the grain is continuous from the top onto the leg.

First step in the process being to fill in the many cracks the slab has, with epoxy. I first flipped the slab over, using Painter’s Tape to tape off all the cracks and holes I could see. This is so as I start pouring in epoxy it won’t of course just fall through the other side. I got a lot of recommendations from Instagram viewers that Tyvek Tape actually works better for this job. It apparently removes easier, so you may keep that in mind if you do this project.

Next was to flip it back over and start filling in cracks and crevices. For this I’m going with a Two-To-One Epoxymade by Total Boat. The Two To One number means that it’s Two Part Resin to One Part Hardener in each mixture. However, something I really like about the Total Boat System is their pumps are designed to make this a lot easier for you. They simplify it to one pump, to one part, and the pump dispenses the two to one ratio for you. After following directions on the stir time, I started pouring the Total Boat epoxy in the cracks. Also on the end crack, I again used painter’s tape so the epoxy would have a stopping point.

There are a lot of epoxy choices from which to choose but the Total Boat System is very good at self-leveling plus it’s extremely clear. On that note you could tint the epoxy if you prefer it not clear.

I’d pour it into the cracks until they had an overflowing amount of epoxy on top, then move onto a different area as that settled, coming back with a Heat Gun to rid the epoxy of any air bubbles. Once it had settled a bit more, I’d fill it up again, continuing this step until the crack stopped taking epoxy.

If you are needing epoxy, go to and be sure to use Coupon Code April W to get 20 % off your purchase. On top of the 20% off, it ships FREE within the US, AND this Coupon Code is valid until December of 2019 so you have an entire year to utilize it.

Now, onto flattening the slab out. I started off with my large Triton random orbital sander. On this Triton Sander there are two settings, a more aggressive setting and also a more gentle one. As I have a lot of epoxy to remove, I started with the more aggressive setting. This made quick work of leveling it out, switching then to the more gentle setting, to run along the entire live edge.

Next, I cut in the miter that will drop off the portion of the table that will become the leg. Using my Track Saw I got a Square Cut on the end of my slab. Not having a true reference to be square, I eye-balled it by using a squareagainst my Track, lining it up to what looked like a straight line down the center. This will at least get me close to where I can pull two tape references off this cut, setting up my track to cut the 45 degree angle.

I tilted my Track Saw over to use. As a note, the Triton Track Saw has a foot you can move over into the track, to keep it from falling off the track as  you are cutting at a bevel. Instead of trying to do it all in a single pass, I cut  three different passes. I’d make a pass, set the depth a little bit deeper, make another pass, then repeat.

With the hardest part done, I started joining these two pieces together. Using the Triton Duo Doweller, I removed one of the router bits to make it a Single Doweller. My join is at a 45 degree angle so I set my fence depth and also the plunge depth to match.  Beware, you are going in at an angle and you do not want to plunge through your entire work piece.

After setting the tool up, I put together my slab, marking off where I wanted the four dowel placements to be cut in. Although a simple tool to use, I still took my time ensuring 1) seating the work piece properly at the 45 degree angle and 2) making sure both the fences were flush against the work piece that was actually plunging in the bit.

Before laying down any glue I attached what’s called Glue Up Cauls. These Cauls are made of plywood and used solely to make clamping down this joint much easier. Grabbing a piece of scrap plywood, I cut it down the middle to a 45 degree angle. Next I took these and glued them to my work piece with the 45 degree angle, away from the joint. Not having a lot of time to wait on glue to dry I used the Titebond Quick and Thick as it has a very quick set time. I left that to set up for a few minutes and started working on the dowels.

Anytime I’m using a dowel for a joint I put in a spiral cut in order to give the glue some place to go whenever you put the dowel in the hole, so it doesn’t seize up. There are a few different methods but I used the Band Saw with my Miter Gauge set to a 45 degree angle, very gently rolling it as I pushed it through the blade at the same time.

Once the Cauls were dry I flipped the slab over and applied Painter’s Tape right up to both these 45’s. This prevents a lot of hard clean up work once these slabs are actually joined. I personally went with Titebond II and first placed a liberal amount of glue inside each one of the dowel locations. I then hammered the dowels in, covering the rest of the joint in Titebond II,  then started putting things together.

The Caul’s outside cut of 45 degree matches the miter joint which gives me two parallel surfaces to get a good clamp set, using the clamp strength in order to fully seat and tighten this joint. I absolutely love this trick.

After allowing he glue to set up overnight, I removed the clamps and started the clean up by first removing the tape from inside the 90 degree angle. Clamping down the workpiece I removed the plywood Cauls. One reason to use plywood is you can shear down the layers. I found it best to use two chisels to work down the length of the plywood until the entire piece pops off. However, it was suggested after doing the glue up that many people lay down Construction Paper, Parchment Paper, or even Painter’s Tape, in between the caul and slab to make removal the caul even more of a cinch.

After removing the majority of the caul, I used a chisel to get rid of the bulk waste then used my Sander to completely clean it up. Since I was sanding I went ahead and sanded the entire piece to prepare to Finish. I started with about 80 grit to remove the plywood then went down to 120 and then finally 220 grit. Cleaning it to get all the fine dust off, I set things up to start begin Finishing the table.

As I will be Finishing both sides, I set the slab on top four Bench Cookies with the pointer’s tip. I first Finished the inside of the table.

After the underside was coated, I flipped it around, using a 2 x 6 to prop it up then repeated the steps for the top surface. I personally am using Minwax Wipe On Poly. I love this finish as I find it the easiest one to use and not mess up. It’s very good at self-leveling and doesn’t leave a high glossy, plastic look to your piece after it’s done. It is very quick to dry but also very durable. I just pour it directly on my work piece, using two paper towels to smear it around nice and even.

The bark of my piece is a bit rough so I switched to a brush to get into all the nooks and crannies of the bark area. You need to wait about two – three hours before re-applying another coat of finish, so I started working on the other leg for the table.

I originally was going to go with a wooden, mesquite trapezoid. The trapezoid is normally the go-to leg for this style of table but after thinking about it, I decided to go with a Bow Tie shaped leg instead. Not a solid Bow Tie but just the outline of one. As the Mesquite piece I milled last week will not be dry for another year, I decided to make this leg from some ¾” Square Tubing I had.

I first drew this leg to its exact size on a piece of Construction Paper, then took it to my metal working side of my shop, cutting the ¾” tubing to the size needed on my metal cut off saw.

I cheated by simply placing the ¾” Tubing down on the drawing and used a Square to mark off where it needed to be cut and at what angle. This not only worked great but also very quickly.

After cutting all six pieces needed, I first tacked them together, coming back to weld each joint closed. I welded them closed not so much for strength but as I wanted to paint the leg, I did not want to be able to see through an open joint. I also wanted it nice and smooth so I next grabbed a grinder, grinding down each seam so it appears the bow tie was made of one solid piece of metal.

Just a tip, if you end up doing this you can see that the top and bottom horizontal pieces are the top of those vertical pieces. For this method I cut some pieces and capped off the end. However, if you switch the orientation and make the vertical pieces extend past the top and bottom, you can avoid this step.

Last thing step to this leg welding wise, I cut some very thin Flat Stock, mitered the ends just to give it little bit nicer look, then tacked and welded it into place as well.  This creates a wider footprint on the underside of the table. After sticking that into place, I used a scrap piece of wood on my workbench, drilling three holes across the entire length.

By now the first coat of the Minwax Wipe On Poly was dry on the table so I sanded it all down, using 320 grit Sandpaper, prepping it for the second coat.

Not being able to resist attaching the leg before doing it, just to see how it looked. I used the three hole locations in the bottom of the Flat Iron in order to attach it to the bottom side of the slab. I then continued on with Finishing of the slab, all total doing three coats of finish for this table.

AIthough I made this small coffee table for my chaise Lounge, keep in mind you can do the same process for any table, whether an Entry Way Table, a Desk, End Table – there are simply no limits. Although a relatively quick project, it is certainly a fun one.

I hope you enjoyed this project. I will see you soon.

Check out more from April:





Building A Modern Oak and Metal Side Table with John Malecki

By: Minwax Partner

In this video I build a modern side table for my living room. Featuring A hand cut dovetail drawer, an awesome inset metal drawer pull, and continuous mitered edges.

I have been on a mission to upgrade my home as of recent. Probably because I no longer live alone, and I do have the skills to improve my home’s equity. With those improvements comes new furniture to go with it. So after making my Concrete Coffee Table I wanted to complement it in the room with some wood. So I came up with the design for this beautiful Modern Side Table.

If you want to see how I built it, check out the full video HERE! 

Building A piece of furniture like this is actually quite basic

  1. Break Down / Glue Up Panels
  2. Flatten & Miter Panels
  3. Cut the Joinery & Glue Up Carcass
  4. Create Drawer Front
  5. Hand Cut Drawer
  6. Cut & Assemble Base
  7. Sand, Finish, & Assemble


Break Down / Glue Up Panels

Breaking down the lumber is the same as any basic standard process. Rough cut, joint, and plane the material to thickness. From there glue up all 4 panels.


Flatten & Miter Panels

When the panels are out of glue up, you want to flatten and and prep these panels for final glue up. Using a hand plane, flatten each panel, and sand and scrape them. Cut one side miter to 45* and then set the table saw to cut the opposite side to make sure all panels are the same size.

Modern Side Table -3


Cut Joinery & Glue Up Carcass

I use a domino Xl to reinforce the miters. I do recommend reinforcing them with some sort of joinery, whether its a biscuit, domino, or spline. As the wood moves it will expand apart due to its size. I glue it up using a ratchet strap to get uniform clamping pressure.

Modern Side Table -5 Modern Side Table -6


Create Drawer Front

Cut the drawer front to size based on the inside distance from the glues up carcass. Cut the joinery for the inset pull. I used my Axiom CNC for this, but can easily be done with a router. Then shape your metal handle using basic metal working tools.

Modern Side Table -8


Hand Cut Drawer Box

Modern Side Table -11

Cut a drawer box to fit the chosen slides and sizing specifications you look for. I chose to cut mine by hand, and after 3 screw ups, got it right.


Cut & Assemble Base

Using flat bar, or cutting strips from plate like I did. Weld the base together and grind it flat and smooth. Prep it with your favorite primer and finish combo.


Sand, Finish, and Assemble

Modern Side Table -16 Modern Side Table -18Modern Side Table -17

Final sand the piece down to 220 Grit. I chose a simple and beautiful finish with Minwax Wipe On Poly. I love this finish for projects like this. Its highly durable and so easy to apply.

Sponsored by:

For more from John, check out his:


Refinishing 140-Year-Old Red Oak Floors with I Spy DIY

Let’s talk about the Barnhouse wood floors! A lot of you were following along with the process of refinishing the 140-year-old floors on Instagram stories, and gave me your feedback on finishing them, so thank you for your help! I am so happy that we ended up keeping them looking as close to the original as possible with Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish, and here is how we got here!

As soon as I saw the house, I knew that there were beautiful original floors under all the crud, and I was SUPER excited to be able to bring them back to life. We ended up hiring someone to sand them down because there was many years of build up. I am pretty sure you can rent a heavy duty sander from the hardware store, but we left that part to the professionals. After one round of sanding they patched any damaged areas, and then sanded it again. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the original Red Oak was after more than 140 years!! There are still some areas that are discolored, and imperfections, but it does not bother me. It adds to the character and charm of the old house.

Next was picking out a stain. The plan was to use a matte polyurethane, but when we tested a swatch it pulled out a lot of the orange in the Red Oak, which I really did not like. So I ran out and bought 7 new colors to test! I tried everything from white washing to a darker stain that pulled out the grain, and then I took it to a poll on Instagram. The stains from left to right are: Minwax Amber Pine, Water-Based Polycrylic, Birchbark, White Wash, Weathered Oak, Golden Oak, Grey Elm.

See what I picked after the break! 
All of them got votes, but I got a lot a feedback that I should use a Water-Based Satin Polycrylic because when it dried the wood floods would look the closest to how they looked freshly sanded, which I loved! I found Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish, a water-based professional formula that is super durable, and does not amber overtime, which was super important to me, because I do not want it looking to orange-y. I ended up going with a satin finish instead of a matte because it shows scratches and imperfections less, which I know is important for dog owners.

Applying it was simple!
First, Stir (don’t shake) Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish
Apply a thin coat using a new synthetic pad applicator. Maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks.
Allow the finish to dry at least two hours, but less than 24 hours. If this timing is followed, no sanding between coats is needed!
Apply a second coat and third coat following the steps above.

We did not step on it for the weekend, and then it was covered with paper while we were finishing up the renovation. Today we uncovered them again, and they look even better then I remember!

This post was made in partnership with Minwax® Products. Thank so much for supporting my amazing sponsors who make I SPY DIY possible! For more woodworking/wood staining inspiration head over to the Mixwax Facebook page and “LIKE’ them

Find more from I Spy DIY: 

Everything You Need to Know to Refinish Hardwood Floors with Bless’er House

By: Minwax Partner

A step-by-step tutorial for refinishing an existing hardwood floor, including a complete list of materials and tips for a seamless process.

This post is sponsored by Minwax.

Ever since we moved into this house last year, I couldn’t WAIT for when I could go all #demoday on this bedroom.

Rip down the valance, paint those greenish walls, pull out the ceiling fan, the whole nine yards.

But the one thing that excited me the most was ripping up this carpet just to see if my gut feeling was correct.  There HAD to be hardwood floors underneath, right?  I mean, that’s how all happily ever afters in home renovations start.

Robert pulled up a corner of the old carpet, and we held our breath just hoping and crossing our fingers.  Lo and behold, we. were. right!

The original hardwood floors were in fantastic shape, so Robert and I did cartwheels and victory booty dances to celebrate.  (Well, okay, we victory shimmied… because doing a cartwheel when you’re 7 months pregnant is not exactly a piece of cake.)

The number one priority once we started embarking on our nursery makeover journey was dealing with this floor.  And since we were knocking out this big job in my third trimester when I can’t do any hard labor or be around fumes, we knew we had to call in the pros for this one.

So if any of y’all are planning to go through the same hardwood refinishing process in the near future, I thought I’d share all of the details and materials we used to help yours go smoothly.

But first… Exhibit A.  The original state of our floors.

Those lovely black spots aren’t mold, if that’s what you’re thinking.  They’re just remnants from the old carpet pad.

Supplies Used:

We handed over the job to our contractor who ripped out the old carpet and pad to see the full scope of what we were dealing with.

The Steps:

  1. To remove the carpet, use the hammer and pry bar to remove the quarter round molding from your baseboard.  Then, pull up the carpet from the corners and cut sections with a utility knife as needed.

Make sure to wear safety glasses, a dust mask, and knee pads when necessary. It’s a good idea to turn off your HVAC unit, open windows, and seal off vents with plastic sheeting and painter’s tape to prevent dust from seeping into the rest of your house.

2. After you haul out the old carpet and pad, remove staples from the floor using the locking pliers.

3. Once all of the carpet and padding was hauled away and the staples were removed, our contractor sanded around the edges and corners of the floor first with 180 grit sandpaper to remove the existing stain where the large floor sander wouldn’t be able to reach.

4. Then remove the existing stain on the rest of the hardwoods using a large floor sander.  You can usually rent a floor sander for a day from your local hardware store, if you’re choosing to do the job yourself.

5. Once all of the sanding is finished, remove the sanding dust leftover on the floor using a shop vac and tack cloth.

6. Then stain!  Our contractor was able to match our existing refinished hardwood floors to Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stainin the color Provincial. (If you want a better idea for other stain color options, you can check out this postwhere we tested a few.)

Wear a respirator mask and knee pads for this task, and start in the far corner opposite from the door in the room.

Use a Purdy lambskin staining pad to work in sections by applying the stain and wiping away the excess, always in the direction of the wood grain.

Repeat the process all across the floor until you have worked your way out of the door (because nobody wants to stain Baby into a corner).

Let the stain dry on the floor for at least 24 hours (hot, humid conditions may take longer).

Here’s what our floor looked like just after the stain was applied:

7. When the floor is fully dry after staining, apply the sealer step.

Start again with the edges/corners of the floor by applying Minwax Super Fast Drying Polyurethane for Floors using a Purdy XL 2.5″ angled brush.  Make sure not to overwork the polyurethane.  Just brush it on in one smooth stroke at a time.

Once the edges and corners have sealer applied, start again in the far corner opposite from the door just like you did with the stain and roll on more polyurethane using a Purdy lambskin roller in a smooth, even coat.

We chose a satin sheen for ours.

Once the polyurethane is dry (after about 4 hours), apply one more coat in the same way.

Let the sealer dry for at least 24 hours before walking on it again, and even then make sure not to drag furniture and always wear just socks or covers over your shoes to avoid any damage before it cures.

8. For routinely cleaning the floors, we use Minwax Hardwood Floor Cleaner.  But wait at least a week after your floors have been sealed before using it.

Squirt it on and mop and you’re done.  I love that I don’t have to mess with a bucket and rags.

The entire refinishing job took about 4 days to complete from start to finish.  (If you’re a local to the Charlotte area, we used The Hardwood Giant Co, and they were awesome.)

It’s definitely not a quick, simple job, but walking into this room to see this gorgeous floor gleaming in its newly refinished beauty was totally worth every bit of it.

Now that this nursery floor is finished, we still have Robert’s office left as the only carpeted room in the house.  And I’m betting my bottom dollar there are hardwoods hiding underneath just begging to see the light of day too.

Since I won’t be pregnant when we give that space a big makeover, I’m really tempted to do that one ourselves.

But it was a great lesson to see how the pros handle it this time around.