Making beautiful and functional live edge furniture is a unique form of woodworking, requiring expert skill with traditional hand tools, as well as an artistic vision in order to bring out the best the wood has to offer. Their large size and many unique characteristics (such as cracks & crevices), mean that we cannot use larger stationary tools such as table saws and planers to cut and flatten the wood.
The process begins even before we purchase the wood. We seek wood from a variety of independent mills across the country to assure the widest possible selection for our clients. Size, shape and color tones obviously must be considered. Beyond those basics, we also look for the right type of “character” in the wood, including the “live edge” of the wood, any cracks & crevices, as well as the type of grain the wood has. Each piece is unique, so a careful review of all of the various factors is critical, and our many years of experience help assure the right piece is selected.
MAKING LUXURY LIVE EDGE FURNITURE IS A PLEASURE FOR US
AND A SOURCE OF BEAUTY & JOY FOR OUR CLIENTS
In Our Shop
Upon arrival to the shop, we look more closely at the wood to confirm dimensions and other important details. Some slabs arrive perfectly flat, while others must be flattened. This is typically done with a traditional hand plane, a powered version of a plane, or with a router riding on a “sled”.
After flattening we debark the wood and begin cleaning out cracks and crevices. We work hard to clean out, and sand all cracks and crevices until they are silky smooth. We use a variety of special tools, sandpapers, and even dental picks to turn these “defects” into eye-catching beautiful features. It is laborious and time-consuming, but these details are what sets our work apart.
Some cracks require special attention to stabilize them. In this case, we often make “butterfly keys” to hold them steady. In most cases, we make them by hand in our shop, although we also can use a CNC router to create unique keys. Either way, these add both beauty and strength to the final product.
Transforming Wood Slabs to Heirlooms
We then sand the wood until it is silky smooth. We also “raise the grain” after sanding, by flooding it with water, and then sand it back to smooth. This extra step (rarely used by mass-produced furniture makers) helps protect the wood in the even water is ever spilled on it in the future. Finally, the piece is finished with several coats of hand-rubbed oil that has no toxic vapors. Our oil is a plant-based German-made product that has a high solid content to give outstanding protection, and it has the added bonus of being easy to spot treat if any damage ever occurs in the future. We have successfully used it on commercial bar tops, kitchen islands and bars, bath vanities and dining tables with great results.
FOR THE LOVE OF
Create Your Own
Our local clients often visit during the fabrication process, and that is always a special treat! We also work with clients across the country, and we keep them informed along the way, even sending photos of the piece while in process.