Live-Edge Cedar Sofa Table Build | Hand Tool Woodworking

  • Published on Jul 16, 2018
  • A few months ago, a friend of mind gave me a HUGE haul of wood, including a gorgeous live-edge cedar slab. Truthfully, I'm not terribly good at thinking out of my own little design box, so I couldn't come up with a good way to use this slab. In fact, I almost cut off the knotty end. Thankfully, my mom saw the slab one day and commented about how much she loved it. Since I am waiting on a load of walnut to acclimate to my shop before I begin work on a walnut side board, I decided to make my mom this sofa table, and man did it not disappoint.
    It's a very simple design with a few complexities. It's a simple, tapered leg shaker-style table with mortise and tenon joinery for the apron rails. However, to make the top appear to be floating, you need some sort of support structure to lift it off the table carcass. So, I used tapered, sliding dovetails to affix the supports to the apron rails, and then I used regular sliding dovetails to attach the top to the support.
    All in all, it wasn't a hard project, but it did take some thinking, planning, and a LOT of planing! Also, I did it with almost all hand tools; the only power tool I used was my bandsaw to trim the leg blanks down to square and then to cut the curves on the supports. In total, it was about 5 minutes of work on the band saw. Sorry for all you purists out there :)
    Here's the article from Fine Woodworking where I got my inspiration:
    I didn't get any plans or anything. I just took the picture, and then I made that design work for what I had.
    I really hope you've enjoyed watching me and my mom make this live-edge cedar sofa table.

    Thanks so much for watching!
    I really do hope you have enjoyed this video. Please feel free to check out my other social profiles.
    Instagram: thehandtoolery
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  • Howto & StyleHowto & Style

Comments • 45

  • Ray Roberts
    Ray Roberts Year ago

    Hi Mom...


    great !!! I love it

  • Vince Presto
    Vince Presto Year ago +1

    Awesome Job Andrew/Mom, turned out Great and Love the Floating Effect it has !
    Thx’s for sharing

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago

      Thanks! I’m so glad we decided to go that route. At first we were thinking more of a traditional table, but in the end this turned out way better!!

  • Joseph Laverty
    Joseph Laverty Year ago +1

    It turned out great! Cool to see your mom work with you on the project.
    A few of the shots were pretty shaky while you worked, I assume from resting your tripod on your bench. Maybe a camera stand like Jay Bates' ( would be helpful.

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago +1

      Thanks! It really was cool! Sorry about the shaky camera, and thanks for the suggestion!

  • Rick Hickman
    Rick Hickman Year ago +2

    I'm just beginning to expand my hand tool collection to begin building some furniture when I'm not working, and watching this happen with basically the list of tools I have in the mail is very inspiring!

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago

      Nice! The infills do tend to go a bit easier, except for the metal working part. That can be tedious. I just responded on IG by the way. I didn't see your message--sorry! Thanks for the kind words, too. I'm looking forward to seeing those planes ;)

    • Rick Hickman
      Rick Hickman Year ago

      The HandToolery I picked up a few books on building wood planes and I've found plans for each different infill I want to attempt. Once I get started on them I'll be documenting my processes, my wins and losses, and my comparisons. I think the infill planes are going to be easier to build in my mind, but I am going to do a smoother in wood then a smoother in metal so that I have a somewhat fair comparison of them with a similar level of skill - or lack there of at that point lol. Good job on the dining table top as well by the way. I messaged you on Instagram as well by the way, and subscribed

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago

      A wood bodied plane is quite the experience! They are a bit finicky at first, but then you get the hang of it, and they are great to use. They pop up regularly on my local craigslist, too, but a lot of times people over-estimate their value. I'd say, definitely try your hand at building both! It is a great learning experience, and fun to boot!

    • Rick Hickman
      Rick Hickman Year ago +1

      The HandToolery I look forward to seeing it. One thing I'm really keen on attempting is to build a wood bodied plane, an infill plane, and contrasting them against my old Stanley's that are on their way (after they're restored of course)

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago

      Haha! Thanks, man! Go ahead and "bug"! I have a video of me building the infill shoulder plane (and plans, of course). I is surprisingly straightforward, though tedious. If you have a belt sander, it will reduce the man-hours significantly!

  • Mike Shipman
    Mike Shipman Year ago +1

    That’s a really nice looking piece, and great to have built it with your Mum, a pleasure and good memories for you both.

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago

      Thank you! I 100% agree! It is a project full of memories I’ll cherish 😁

  • Jim Eads
    Jim Eads Year ago +1

    Fantastic project!! So neat to see you and your mom work on this.

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago

      Thanks! It really was a special project! I was really impressed with how quickly she picked up the different tasks-seriously her mortises were perfect and her dovetail fit 1st time. Crazy!!

  • The Wood Yogi
    The Wood Yogi Year ago +1

    Beautiful work Andrew :) ॐ

  • vova Nester
    vova Nester Year ago

    Это супер. Вот интересно. А что за древесина?

  • Raquel santos Canal
    Raquel santos Canal Year ago +2

    Parabéns ficou lindo no ambiente. 👏👏

  • Jesse Gomez
    Jesse Gomez Year ago +2

    Great job! I really loved how this turned out.

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago

      Thank you! I really really enjoyed this one, especially the result!

  • Make Brooklyn
    Make Brooklyn Year ago +2

    That came out great!! Love the way the grain leaps out of that cedar!

  • ThriveworksFred
    ThriveworksFred Year ago +2

    Amazing! Even better in person (and so are the creators)!!! Awesome!!

  • Twisted Woodshop
    Twisted Woodshop Year ago +3

    Nice work. It's great that your mom got some time with some tools and with you. I'm glad you explain how much time you have in the project. I always listen for that when I watch a hand tool project. Good stuff!

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago +1

      Haha! You got this! My desk took 6 months. It was my first major project all by hand. My wife’s took like 10 days-was way less complicated but still has morose and tenon joinery, dovetailed drawer, no screws or nails except for the top and one other place. Totally worth the time and effort!

    • Twisted Woodshop
      Twisted Woodshop Year ago +2

      I will check out the magazine. I'm building a cupboard. Should be done this year. Lol

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago +2

      I’m right there with you. There are ways to save time and work more efficiently for sure, but a lot of that is just learning by doing, and of course learning from others. I really have benefitted from the Mortise and Tenon magazine articles in they way they discuss things. One thing that has been freeing is worrying less about unseen/untouched surfaces and uniformity. What are you making?

    • Twisted Woodshop
      Twisted Woodshop Year ago +2

      The HandToolery awesome! I am in the middle of a hand tool only project and am always wondering if I am really slow at it (I am). Great video!

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago +2

      Thanks! I suspect this could have been much quicker if not for gluing up the legs and having to plane away a ton of material for the three middle supports. All in all though it was a great time, and I did it mostly during evenings when the kids were in bed! Haha

  • Skippy Lippy
    Skippy Lippy Year ago +4

    What a wonderful video and story!
    So glad that you shared this with us.
    Thank you :))

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago +1

      Thanks!! It was a blast, and I’m really happy my mom got to be a part of it!

  • daisy corta
    daisy corta Year ago +2


  • Rosa Jaques
    Rosa Jaques Year ago +3

    Ficou lindo,simplesmente maravilhoso,adorei a participação de tua mãe🙌🙌

    • The HandToolery
      The HandToolery  Year ago +1

      Brigado! Eu também fiquei feliz de trabalhar com ela!

  • Natione Paula
    Natione Paula Year ago +2

    Parabéns adorei 🔝🔝👏👏👏