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Guide to Choosing Wood Slab

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Whether it’s a live-edge table or wood bowl, all woodworking projects start with live-edge lumber.

For the construction of tables, it begins with the live-edge wood slab. These pieces are cuts of wood that do not have finished edges. Unlike traditional lumber that comes with a straight side, the contour on a live-edge slab mimics that of the original tree.

Slabs can come in thicknesses of 1” to 3” depending upon the intended use. 1-2” thicknesses are typically geared to specialty woodworking and 3” is more common for making dining or conference tables.

Each slab is unique and filled with character. Slabs most often contain wood defects such as checks, knots, and holes that contribute to the unique look in each slab. When treated skillfully, these flaws do not pose a problem but add to the overall beauty.

Slabs are usually custom ordered as the sizes are typically determined by what is available from mills. You usually first decide what the intended use is and then choose the type of wood species.

There are a few different categories when it comes to wood furniture. Knowing the difference between hardwood, softwood, and manufactured wood will help you choose a quality piece for any project.


Hardwood is denser, higher quality solid wood that typically comes from slower growing decidious trees with broad leaves. The most common hardwoods include oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, and walnut.

What is Hardwood Used For?

The structure of different hardwoods varies greatly depending on the species. Therefore hardwood can be used in a huge range of different applications. Hardwood is used for tools, construction, boat, furniture, instruments, flooring, cooking, fuel, wood carving, art, and decking with many more.


Softwood is a dense solid wood that typically comes from evergreen trees that grow more quickly. The most common softwoods include cedar and pine.

What is Softwood Used For?

The different species of softwoods are similar in grain structure, softwoods also grow faster resulting in more availability and cheaper prices. This means that softwood has more of a general application since it will have many of the same qualities in the wood. Softwood is mainly used for construction, windows, indoor framing, panels, and plywoods. If softwood is used outdoors it is usually treated to extend its durability.

In conclusion, a wood slab is a great piece to have at your home, office or restaurant. It comes in various types of woods and textures and adds a rustic yet modern style that will impress users and guests alike.

We've got options of different slabs in our facility. Check it out at Signet Slabs!

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