Working With Live Edge Wood

woodworker working with live edge wood

Working with live edge wood can be a beautiful way to make furniture and art. This type of wood has a unique look that can add a rustic touch to your home design.

It can be tricky to work with live edge slabs, however, so you should know what to look for. Some common flaws include rot, bugs, and flaws in the epoxy finish.

Buying a Slab

Live edge wood is a unique way to make furniture and art that stands out from the rest. It can be used to create a variety of items, including bar tops, coffee tables, and desks.

You can buy a slab of live edge wood from many places, including local sawmills and lumber yards. These sources are often cheaper than purchasing one from an online seller, but you should always take the time to inspect it before you buy it.

If you do decide to purchase a slab, look for a seller that has experience in selling these types of products. This will help you ensure that you’re getting a high-quality piece of wood.

Aside from size and thickness, you should also pay attention to the moisture content of the slab. This is important because a slab that’s too dry could warp or crack, making it difficult to work with.

Making a Slab

Working with live edge wood can be a challenge. But with a little know-how, you can create furniture and art pieces that bring your home to life!

The unique shapes and grain patterns of live edge woods lend a rustic look that can’t be replicated with traditional lumber. They can be used to make unique accent tables, consoles, coat racks, or decor pieces like lamps and mirrors.

When selecting a slab, it’s important to select a piece that’s been air dried to a moisture content of under 12%. This will help keep the wood from warping or expanding as it dries.

Once you have the proper wood, it’s time to work with it. First, remove the bark from the slab using a chisel. Then, sand it until it’s smooth.

Finally, fill any holes or voids with epoxy. A slow pour lets the epoxy gradually seep into the voids, preventing air bubbles from forming. If the voids are larger, you can use butterfly keys to secure them in place.

Finishing a Slab

Live edge wood is a unique material that adds a beautiful organic element to any room. The gnarled nature of the wood is what sets it apart from traditional woodworking pieces, making it an excellent choice for furniture or art.

It’s important to work with live edge wood carefully when making furniture or art so that the piece will last. The open grain of live edge wood makes it susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity, so it needs to be sealed with an epoxy or polyurethane finish.

After sealing, sand the slab until it’s smooth. You can add additional finishing elements such as staining and dyeing if you’d like to create an even more custom look.

Before you begin sanding, evaluate your slab for splits and other defects. Deal with them first to prevent the crack from widening and stabilize your piece. Install butterfly keys, also known as bowties or dutchman joints, across splits to stabilize them and keep your piece looking good.

Using a Slab

Working with a slab of live edge wood is a great way to make furniture and art that adds an organic element to any space. These pieces can be shaped into different forms and treated to keep them looking their best for years to come.

However, it is important to know what you’re getting yourself into when using this unique material. Because the wood is often prone to curling and twisting, it’s crucial to take proper precautions when cutting or assembling a piece.

Saws are a popular tool for cutting live edge slabs, but you can also use a router for precise cuts in your slab. Which tool you choose depends on your project and level of experience.

Whether you choose to use a saw or router, make sure to sand the edges of your live edge slab properly before you cut into it. This will help smooth out any rough edges and prevent splinters from appearing on the surface. After you cut your live edge slab, it’s also a good idea to seal and treat it for extra protection from moisture or wear and tear.

Contact Us

To get started in working with live edge wood, contact us for help today!