I built this table for a client that wanted a prep station and serving table for his out-door kitchen. The requirements were that it be high enough for a comfortable work surface and that it be relatively maintenance free. I selected a 3 inch thick, quarter sawn, live edge, white oak slab for the top. Live edge means that the cambium and sap wood layers are left on the log. It is the first cut on the log made by the sawyer. This tree was likely sustainably grown and harvested from a second growth forest. It was nearly 8 feet around and more than 2 1/2 feet in diameter.
I choose white oak for the top because it it highly resistant to rot. If no finish is applied it will turn grey overtime. Spar varnish is a typical clear coat because it has UV blockers but it will require annual maintenance.