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The Three Types of Live Edge

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Burl live edge lumber

Flaws are beautiful—that is what burl wood slab craftsmanship has proven, often fetching hundreds and thousands of dollars more than typical woodcraft.

What is burl wood? Burl wood is wood with significant defects, such as knots and asymmetrical growth. It makes a very unusual frontispiece on furniture and decor, capturing a high price—even inspiring theft

Even more fascinating is the use of live edge burl wood, slabs cut from cross-sections of trees with serious burls. In the interior design world, live edge burl wood slabs have become a staple of natural design.

is found in several species of trees, but only in about 5 or 10 percent of them. It’s this rarity that makes this a sought after item for home design and household items. It’s also useful in making furniture and used in gun stocks, and music wood, too.

Live edge table

Live edge table designs are also top-rated options. In this design, a tree round, a horizontally cut piece of the tree trunk, is used. It shows the inner rings of the tree, but the outside bark is not touched. These make popular coffee tables and end tables.

The third type is live edge slabs made into tables, desks, shelves, benches, and limited only by your imagination. A slab is a long piece of a tree fashioned into different shapes for different uses. It helps keep the forest in its natural state by preserving the tree as much as possible by keeping it alive and not touching the edges of the tree.

Just a word about timing. Slabs are in high demand, and rightfully so because they’re so unique. Depending on your source for acquiring a live edge slab, below is a typical timeline to receive your slab.

Assuming a typical 2.25-inch thick slab, it may require three to six months of air-drying, but in some instances, expect 12 months, or three months in a kiln for drying. These numbers are estimates, and depend on the timeline of your producer.

When it comes to maintaining the moisture levels of our live edge wood slabs, here at Signets Slabs we do more than just throwing them in our high-frequency wood dryer and hitting the start button. Instead, we follow a systematic approach to choosing the proper settings and closely monitoring the drying process to ensure that the slabs we supply reach optimum moisture levels. When you buy live edge wood slabs from us, you can rest assured knowing we never cut corners.

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