River Table Conversion

The original table
The completed river table

I was approached by the customer who wanted to refurbish an old table she had inherited, however it was showing signs of its age – the table was warped, uneven and heavily tarnished. After discussing several options, she opted for a river table conversion, which allowed the table to be made wider, and for all the holes and cracks to be filled so the table would have a smooth and hygienic finish.

Planed and ready for conversion
In mold, ready for epoxy

First I removed the existing legs from the table, and trimmed the ends straight. Then the wood was planed and sanded, and any small voids are filled with a black pigmented epoxy. The table is then cut down the middle to form the river from the live edges, and placed into a custom mold.

Epoxy poured
Planed and ready for sanding

The customer wanted a copper epoxy to match other interior decor, so I presented several samples to help decide on the exact color and opacity. The pearlescent effect of the pigment produces a really nice result. After the epoxy had poured and had time to cure, the table is removed from the mold, planed flat and sanded. Along the way I am checking for any newly exposed cracks or voids and filling them. The sanding process is extremely intensive in order to bring epoxy back to a mirror finish, but the results are worth it.

The customer wanted a natural look and feel to the wood, so I finished it with Danish oil, and the epoxy river was sanded and polished to a mirror finish. I made a new set of legs from maple, and reinforced the table with an apron made from beech. Both the customer and I were extremely happy with the finished product.