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Live Edge

Claro walnut live edge wood slab table top.

Live edged furniture is made by woodworkers who incorporate the natural edge of the wood into the design of their furniture. Live edge (also known as natural edge) wood is created by retaining the raw edge of the tree and allowing the natural shape to show through. The contour of the edge can range from wavy and undulating curves to sharp spikes. Woodworkers using the natural edge often feel it preserves the character of the original tree and is a physical reminder of the natural source of the product and the furniture’s deeper connection with nature. Because trees are a product of the natural world, each edge is completely unique. With only it’s logmates sharing similar, but still not exact characteristics.

Mantles have usually been the primary use of natural edged wood, but in recent years have we seen a big rise in applications of the material. Bars, benches, beds and bookshelves are only a few of the furniture pieces we have seen our clients using natural edges in. The more spectacular slabs of natural edge wood are often made into large tops for dining, boardroom, or grand entrance tables. Woodworkers remove the bark (by either sandblasting or hand), and then sand the face of the table with multiple grits, often finishing as high as 1500. A time consuming, but rewarding, hand rubbed finish brings out the face grain and highlights the transition between the edge and the top. A dining or conference room table will often be produced using a single or book matched slab with the live edges running the length of each side.

Although this style of furniture has been around for a while, there is an increasing appreciation and market for it. The most famous natural edge furniture was created by the renowned master woodworker, George Nakashima. His live edge table tops with simple butterfly joints and exquisite hand-rubbed finishes are now inspiration for new generations of woodworkers and designers alike. Nakashima worked with air dried wood, which took years to reach a workable moisture content. In the past, CSWoods also air dried a majority of our natural edge lumber, but our recent addition of both a Dehumidification Kiln and a Vacuum Kiln have allowed us to cut that time into mere months. We have perfected drying hundreds of 2.5 inch thick walnut, natural edge, boule cut slabs. We are confident about the quality and turnaround time.

If you are interested in working with natural edges and are looking for a special piece of wood to fit your project, call Kyle or Jacob. They would be happy to answer your questions and suggest material as well as discuss finishing techniques and care. We also have a great group of craftsman we would be happy to suggest if you are looking to have that special live edge piece built for you.

We specialize in large orders of live edged wood for restaurants, offices, hotels, and stores. Our staff has extensive experience in working with hospitality corporations and large design firms working in retail installation.

Close-up of the live edge of a Claro walnut live edge table top.

The look of live edge with more symmetry

Sometimes a space calls for the beauty of a slab top but requires uniformity. CSWoods has full width slabs!

Walnut wood slab dining table.

 

Harmony with Nature

Natural materials provide a feeling of connectivity to the living world.

Claro walnut crotch live edge wood table top.

 

Slab Species Available:

Walnut:
Black
Claro
English
Bastogne

Graft Trees

Elm

Pecan

Sycamore

Bubinga

Maple

Pine

Eucalyptus

Palm

Ash

Mesquite

Redwood

Cottonwood


Get inspired by
George Nakashima

George Nakashima is one of the most influential woodworkers of all time. A Japanese-American architect and furniture maker, he has inspired generations of woodworkers. His signature work celebrates the organic, individualist nature of wood. His large live edge table tops embrace the rough wild nature of natural edges, crevices and cracks, highlighting the figure of the wood with simple, beautiful finishing and expert butterfly joinery.