Welcome to the world of solid wood slab furniture!
One of the most distinctive features of wood slabs is their natural shapes, known as live edges. When deciding between an organic live edge or a trimmed straight edge for your furniture, there are several considerations to keep in mind.
Live edges can be very dramatic, with unique curves and bends that make them less versatile for future use compared to a trimmed straight edge that can easily blend into any space. However, if you still want to enjoy the organic flow of nature, consider selecting a live edge that is relatively straighter, such as Suar slabs that tend to grow straight and wide.
Ease of Maintenance
Live edges can vary in smoothness, with some being relatively smooth while others are twisty and gnarled. If keeping the sides clean is a priority for you, consider pieces with smoother sides or a straight edge, as dust and debris can accumulate in the crevices of a twisty live edge. Using a duster can be more effective in cleaning a live edge compared to a cloth.
Seating and Spatial Fit
Seating and spatial fit are important considerations, especially if you have limited space. Straight-shaped tables are easier to fit into a standard interior layout without any protruding wild bits, and they make it easier to determine your preferred seating arrangement. Consider panelled walnut pieces that are specifically selected for practicality and come with a gentle live edge, allowing you to enjoy the natural flow of wood while still offering functional value.
Unique character is a significant advantage of natural live edges. Each piece of wood is unique, shaped by the tree's lifetime of environmental pressures, resulting in a statement centrepiece with unparalleled character. On the other hand, trimmed straight edges may not have the same level of uniqueness.
Some people may not like the contrasting border of sapwood on the slab, so if you're looking to minimize sapwood, straight edges may be a better option. Trimming away the live edges can also reveal the heartwood grain on the sides, which can be a bonus. Alternatively, you can consider staining your slab with a uniform color or selecting wood types with weaker sapwood demarcation, such as Mahogany or Ash, to retain the live edges without the high contrast borders.
Whether you choose a straight edge or a live edge, The Table Guy's carpentry support can help you achieve the edge you love while still enjoying the durability and stunning grain features of real wood. Visit our showroom and speak to an adviser today to explore your options!