How to Level a Wood Slab

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Perhaps you want to build one of those “River Tables” that are becoming famous around the internet, or maybe you want to build a simple coffee table using hairpin legs supporting a big ‘ol slab from a tree that was cut down in your neighborhood. Either way, you’ll need to learn how to level a wood slab. One thing is for certain; you don’t want to skip this step because the project will simply not turn out as nice as you had hoped. Learning how to level a wood slab is not particularly difficult, but rather just takes some effort and patience. This is a useful skill that can help in a number of fun projects.

Knowing how to level a wood slab is important for your project, and requires that you follow a few simple steps:

“Read” the slab. First you’ll want to get a general sense of how “out of flat” the slab is, and look for severe high spots. No special tools are needed for this; just your eyes will do.

Deal with major high spots first. You’ll want to use a quick and rough way to flatten out any spots that are significantly higher than the rest.

Use a router and sled for the rest. Using a sled system as George demonstrates, you will carefully make multiple passes across the slab to bring it down to a flat condition.

Now that you know how to level a wood slab, and you know that flattening wood slabs with a router is not as hard as it might seem, you might want to explore the process of gluing up big slabs. This will be a useful skill if you want to build a “waterfall table”, which is also a project that has grown in popularity in recent years.

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