I’m sure most of you have heard the term “Live Edge.” This is a term describing a board or plank that still has bark on one side or both. In most cases the bark is removed to leave a wavy appearance on the edge. Live edge or natural edge is a style of furniture where the furniture designer or craftsman incorporates the natural edge of the wood into the design. This technique is to show the true beauty of the wood as Mother Nature created it. You can add stain and finishes to alter the color and appearance, but this technique is all about the rustic beauty of the wood.
The possibilities for these planks are only limited to the creative minds of the wood worker. Most will be turned into tabletops or counter tops. Other options are cabinet fronts, shelves, picture frames, bookends, trim, displays, decorative boxes and so much more. Most of our local lumber supply is less than 25 inches wide, with the majority at the 20 inches and less widths. So if you need a tabletop that is 36 inches wide, all hope is not lost.
Another popular technique is called book matching. Think of the log like the middle of a book. When closed the pages are side by side and touching each other. The same thing is going on inside the log so when we cut one plank, the plank that is touching it will have almost the identical markings as the previous board. When both boards are married together it looks like one wider board but is indeed two boards to get a wider end product.
A very hot trend right now is called live edged river tables. This is a technique that rips a live edged board down the middle, then places the live edges turned toward each other in the center of a frame, with a void left in between. The void is then filled with casting epoxy to resemble a “river” running between the boards. The epoxy can be made to look like marble, natural rock, clear like glass, solid colored, wavy colored, or anything you can conjure up. These tabletops can also be made to the exact dimensions you need, with length being the only limiting factor.
This is a product in the developmental stages here at GF Hardwoods and Moss Sawmill. It is a long process to get to the end product, because the slabs need to be kiln dried to a certain point. This will insure no warping, cupping, twisting or shrinking in the slabs. We plan on offering raw untouched slabs, so you can finish them in any way your imagination sees fit. If the interest is there we are also looking into doing some finished products and custom work isn’t out of the question.
If you have been thinking about adding the rustic beauty of natural wood to your decor, then in the coming months we may have the solution. These can be the essential accent piece your home has been needing or just a great conversation piece. Either way we feel these new creative products will turn into something that everyone will enjoy admiring.
By Joey Dyer, GF Hardwoods