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Live Edge Wood: The Top 7 Questions We Are Asked About
Live Edge Wood

Live Edge Wood: The Top 7 Questions We Are Asked About

What is live edge wood?

Live edge slabs are cuts of wood that have the natural edge of the tree left on one or more sides of the slab. Live edge slabs are much different than the typical dimensional lumber you might find at a hardware store or lumber supplier as they usually do not come in any set shapes or sizes and typically vary in size throughout the slab.

Why is it called live edge wood?

The name “live edge” comes from the fact that the edge is where the tree grows from. The Cambium layer can be found near the edge of the slab just below the bark. The Cambium is one cell thick and is responsible for all of the tree’s diameter growth.

How is live edge wood priced?

Live edge is priced based on a lot of variables that add value to the individual slabs. A few examples of factors that might affect the cost of live edge are figure, size, and exclusivity. 

If a slab has a lot of figure and character to it, it will likely be priced higher than one with traditional straight grain because it is less common. The size affects the price as well because you are paying for more wood. Exclusivity can bring the cost up or down since less common wood types are usually more highly sought after than the more common ones. 

Is live edge wood environmentally friendly?

Yes! Live edge wood is oftentimes sourced from residential takedowns or urban clearings. This is wood that might have been tossed into the waste stream, but is instead given a new life. Not only that, but when milling live edge wood, there is a lot less waste than the traditional milling used to cut dimensional lumber!

Should I remove the bark on live edge wood?

Removing the bark on a live edge slab is up to you! During the drying process, it is normal for some or all of the bark to fall off, but there are occasions where the bark has a good enough grip and stays on. In this case, you would have the choice to leave it on and finish the piece as is, or you can remove the bark to expose the natural edge underneath.

Many times this decision is based on the style you are trying to achieve. If the rustic look is more your speed, try leaving the bark on! If you are looking for something more modern or clean looking, taking the bark off might be a better option for you.

What is the best wood for live edge? 

Most woods are able to be used for live edge projects! Depending on your project, some wood types might be better suited for their durability. A good example of this might be a dining table. This is typically a very high-use surface, so using a hardwood or a more solid softwood could be a good idea. Check out the list below for some examples of hard and soft woods.

Live edge wood hardness chart
Janka wood hardness chart from Highland Hardwoods

Where can I buy live edge wood?

You can find a great and ever-changing selection of live edge wood at The Lumber Shack! We would be more than happy to help you find the perfect live edge slab for your next project! 

Call, email, or chat in to talk to a Wood Expert today!

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