February 21, 2024 3 min read

Live edge tables have become increasingly popular in recent years for their unique and rustic charm. Whether you're a professional woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, one of the key questions you may have is, "How thick and flat should a live edge table be?" In this article, we will explore the answers to this question and provide you with essential insights for your woodworking projects.

Choosing the Right Wood Thickness

The thickness of the wood you choose for your live edge table is crucial, and it primarily depends on the type of project you're working on. To keep it flat and sturdy, the thickness is a significant factor.

For Flatness

No matter the size or style of your project, one common goal is to have a flat tabletop. For larger pieces like conference tables or dining tables, starting with a thicker wood is advisable. This initial thickness allows you to achieve a thicker finished product, which adds stability and durability.

For Smaller Projects

If you're crafting smaller itemslike shelves or nightstands, you can opt for thinner wood. In these cases, you can even use thin glue lamination for added strength. However, it's essential to note that for the majority of live edge tables, a thicker starting wood thickness is preferred.

Flattening the Wood

Achieving a perfectly flat surface for your live edge table is paramount to its overall quality. The process of flattening can vary depending on the tools you have at your disposal.

Professional Equipment

Professional woodworking shops often use specialized equipment, such as laser-leveled surfaces with gantry routers and wide belt sanders. These machines ensure that the surface is perfectly flat, a critical starting point for crafting a live edge table.

DIY Flattening for Hobbyists

For hobbyists working from home garages, a DIY approach is feasible. Many opt for building a router sled, which functions similarly to a manual CNC machine. This sled allows you to manually guide a router bit over the wood, gradually machining the entire surface flat. Once flattened, you can proceed with sanding to achieve the desired smoothness.

Post-Flattening Process and Preventing Warping

Flattening your live edge table is just the beginning. To ensure long-term stability and prevent issues like warping and twisting, there are additional steps to consider.

Filling Voids and Checks

After flattening the wood, it's essential to fill any voids and checks with resin. This not only enhances the aesthetics of your table but also contributes to a truly flat surface.

Adding C Channel

To further safeguard against warping, adding a C channel to the back of the tabletop is a standard practice. This reinforcement helps maintain the flatness of the wood over time, even if the wood experiences changes in humidity and temperature.

The Unpredictability of Wood

Despite your best efforts, wood can be unpredictable. Even if you use thoroughly dried wood, there's always a chance that it may release tension and warp over time. Therefore, implementing preventative procedures like adding a C channel is wise, no matter how dry the wood initially appears.


The thickness and flatness of a live edge table are crucial considerations for any woodworking project. Choosing the right wood thickness and ensuring a flat surface are essential for creating a stable and visually appealing table. Remember to fill voids, checks, and consider adding a C channel to prevent warping.

If you have more questions or need expert advice on your live edge table project, don't hesitate to contact KC Custom Hardwoods today. We're here to help you create the perfect live edge tables that suit your needs and style.