Live Edge Coffee Table
with David Kotz and Abel Dances

Furniture Making Series Level:  Level II 


This furniture making course introduces you to working with live edge boards and is taught by David Kotz and Abel Dances.

A live edge board is cut from the tree so that the bark and cambium layer are retained showing the natural edge of the tree. Live edge boards often have interesting characteristics and need more work than kiln dried lumber

We're offering this course in partnership with David Kotz of the Coyote Woodshop on Bainbridge Island. David has spent much of the last fifteen years collecting trees (urban reclamation) on Bainbridge Island and in the surrounding areas. He has an awe inspiring stock of wood - both sawn and waiting to be sawn. His selection includes mostly native woods with some locally grown rare and exotic species.

David has a truly impressive operation there (see this article on our blog). David will have done much of the heavy lifting on the tops for the tables - he's sawn them from the tree, let them air dry for several years, using his dehumidifcation to bring the moisture content to a stable level and then flattened the board on his big CNC router.

The materials are not cheap either - David has to cover his costs preparing the tops and the substructure kits. But think of it this way - David sells his coffee tables in the $400-$500 range - so you added skills, knowledge and you take home a coffee table. That's quite a bargain!

Class Description

In this course you work on finishing the live edge boards: smoothing them with either hand or power tools; adding butterflies to stabilize any cracks (those are character not defects) or for aesthetic reasons; using epoxy to fill knot holes or to fill cracks - all adding to the character of the top. You may want to keep the bark on the edge of the board - so we'll look at techniques for gluing it in place.

David will also have prepared kits of legs and stretchers so that you can quickly build the substructure for the table. These kits are oversized and you'll trim them to fit your slab and the height you want for the table.

Abel Dances will show you how to assemble the legs and stretchers using the Festool Domino system. You should be able to glue up the bases on the first day.

This will be an intense but fun class and you leave with a coffee table - perhaps wanting some finish but you'll know what and how to apply it.


  • You'll need to bring safety gear - Ear defenders, Safety goggles or over glasses and a dust mask.

More about this class

  • Note on the Table Tops 
    We expect the blanks for table tops to be 36" long and 16-24" wide and the legs to be up to 15" tall. David will bring a variety of boards for you to be able to choose from. He currently has Maple, Elm, Cherry, Fir and Birch. There may be a few other species available by the time of the class.


In this class you will use handplanes or power sanders to smooth the boards that David has prepared. So experience using hand tools and small power tools will be a good background for this class.

Class Information and Registration

This class runs on Father's Day Weekend 2013 - consider giving a place in this class to your favourite Dad.

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.

Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.

Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $300
Materials Charge: $175




Coming Classes:

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.

June 15-16, 2013

Live Edge Coffee Table



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200 Battery Way | Fort Worden | Port Townsend, WA 98368 | (360) 344-4455 | email

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Any donations made to the School are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.