I originally had plans to build a mid-century style coffee table. Those plans were scrapped when I was able to procure a nice slab of wood for a DIY live edge coffee table.
I purchased a gorgeous 7 foot slab of alder wood on Offer Up. It had natural beautiful black grain lines that ran throughout. The slab itself cost me $120 which is cheap if you compare it to buying from a retail store like Rockler. The slab was so long that there was enough wood to make a coffee table and a side table. 20 inch and 16-inch hairpin legs seem to be the right height for these builds.
The main coffee table slab was cut down to 4 feet and another two slabs of 1.5 feet. This was not easy. The thickness of the wood made it impossible to cut with a table saw so a circular saw was used to make the cuts. The knots, cracks and other imperfections were filled with a blend of sawdust and wood glue. Due to the width of over 13 inches, it wasn't possible to pass it through my planer. Enter the most tedious part of the project; sanding the slabs until it was flat evenly. A belt sander was used to flatten bigger surfaces and an orbital sander was used to finish.
After sanding to the point of satisfaction (or the point that I gave up, depending on who you ask), the tables were stained with a dark walnut oil. Originally, the plan was to leave it bare, but we decided to keep the dark look. I loved the flat look so we did not apply any wax. This made me become the coaster nazi.
There you have it. A DIY live edge coffee table for half the cost and at a much larger size. Also included is a throw-in side table.
Check out my other builds here.