Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 96

Thread: "Live edge lumber" musings

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    454

    "Live edge lumber" musings

    First, I do not wish to offend anyone, but I very well may and I apologize in advance if you are offended by my post.

    First rant is that I'm way over the "live edge furniture" movement. It floods the on line and Etsy/Pinterest type market and much of it imo cheapens the artistic, functional, and intrinsic value of George Nakashima's work. It seems anyone with four pipe flanges,caps, 3/4" pipe sections and a slab of "live edge" wood views themselves as a creative genius for slapping together a hall table. Yes, I do love the beauty of a slab of figured or even character grade wood and in Georges view, the piece of wood should tell you what it wants to be; that doesn't let the craftsman off the hook as far as designing and building a base or other type component worthy of displaying that slab.

    I buy much of my lumber from area small mill operators and a local on line auction which brings up my second and admittedly selfish rant. For me, the demand for "live edge" lumber has created price increases, lowered the quality, and generally made it tougher to find lumber that has the wane and bark removed. There are bidding wars on "live edge" full of knots, splits, checks, and insects that imo is most suitable for the fireplace. Around here, the lumber that is SLR has a large premium on a service that was for the most part standard a few years ago.

    Apparently there must be a market for this rustic furniture as there is so much of it out there. I just wish this fad would pass. Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Interesting, and I agree. The pipe flanges kill me...

    My lumber supplier (a 1-man operation who specializes in high-quality slabs) had a good run with live edge slabs, but recently told me that he thinks this "fad" is almost over and is re-tooling in expectation of a shift to something else.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    US Virgin Islands
    Posts
    3,300
    Blog Entries
    6
    Totally agree. I have been asked to do a live edge table and may do so, but I’m not keen on it. My partner at the shop does them, and in fact I just left there and he was building a slab table that was quite beautiful, but it is hard to decorate around one in the home.

    I am amazed that a slab actually sells for more than finished lumber. That is what has happened to the market. Also, while we are ranting, pen blanks have destroyed the chance to get decent sized exotic woods at any sort of reasonable price.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,525
    I also think the live edge Bs has gone too far.
    Itís become comical hereís a example of a live edge river table.
    I really do not make fun of others work I think this was built for fun.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Aj

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    51,483
    No matter what the build style is, someone can find a way to "cheapen it". It's the "Biggie Mart" world we live in. Sadly.

    I'm in no way tired of live edge and often do pieces this way, but I like "well executed" over everything. After all, I live about ten minutes from the Nakashima compound and George is one of my "idols" when it comes to woodworking design and philosophy. (and it is a compound!) What I think that so many forget is that furniture design (or design of anything for that matter) is more than just the materials and hardware. When folks don't think the whole thing through, what comes out of it can often be ordinary rather than extraordinary. Sometimes that's just a little thing and sometimes it's a bunch of big things.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    273
    I sell a fair amount of live edge as well as squared lumber from our little sawmill here. From my perspective I get a lot more value cutting a crotch log into slices and selling it as live edge than I would making it into firewood, so that's what I do. Some are so curved or crooked that if I edged them I would have very little left. Some customers make them into tables, some cut them up into shorter lengths and use them for chair seats, or whatever. I have never seen a picture of a river table that I liked, and doubt that I ever will, but I listen politely to customers when they come to buy lumber and tell me about them. i charge $1-$1.50 per board foot for hardwood lumber depending on species, and when I sell live edge I don't charge for the wane, just for the area of the smaller face. I see people trying to sell single "slabs" (what I would call flitches, but anyway) for hundreds of dollars and I wonder if they sell any. It's a weird market for sure.
    Zach

  7. #7
    While I have come to appreciate a nice live edge table, I feel it is overdone, over rated and the slabs are way overpriced.

  8. #8
    This may screw up the market further, but do you have any idea what Claro Walnut slabs go for?

    https://cswoods.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Beantown
    Posts
    2,404
    Love love love Claro

    But man I have come to loath walnut in general. It’s so in gauge right now. Everybody whom can afford a $150k plus kitchen renovation or or 3 million dollar home just has to have walnut floor and or counters cabs island something. It can be very beautiful but it’s so overused. Then the stain generally slathered all over it to even it out just takes everything I love about wood right out of it.

    But claro is beautiful. I live near Berkshire products and man o man is that stuff expensive. I’m about to purchase some black and white ebony for a project if you wanna talk expensive though. Holly smokes best sit down..

    Quote Originally Posted by John Makar View Post
    This may screw up the market further, but do you have any idea what Claro Walnut slabs go for?

    https://cswoods.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,582
    Maybe its just me, but I don't think a table with large holes in it is very practical. Love the beauty of the wood though.

  11. #11
    I am renovating my kitchen and doing a walnut island. Oh yes, and one edge will be live.

    The worst of all worlds

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    N. Texas
    Posts
    1,490
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    I am renovating my kitchen and doing a walnut island. Oh yes, and one edge will be live.

    The worst of all worlds
    No worries! Kitchens are dated and worn in 7-10 yrs anyway, so just re-purpose the slab when you demo the whole enchilada.
    Molann an obair an saor.

    If Heaven ain't alot like Texas, I don't wanna go. - Hank Jr.

  13. #13
    Or, sell it to itinerant kitchen refurbishers. They are a noble breed, certain to make good social use of it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    51,483
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    I am renovating my kitchen and doing a walnut island. Oh yes, and one edge will be live.

    The worst of all worlds
    Great choice, IMHO!!! If I were going to stay at this property for longer than is likely going to happen at this point (once the younger graduates from PSU and the older ... hopefully ... gets more independent, Professor Dr. SWMBO and I will likely consider down-sizing) I'd cheerfully re-do our kitchen island with a natural edge top, one-side like you describe with the straight edge on the "work" side which is galley-like. Honestly, I may still do that.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    9,110
    What's this "live edge". All the edges are dead by the time we get to them. Maybe "natural edge"?
    Edges with bark are very popular in woodturning.

    Tis is my unatural edge bowl - I left the chain saw marks on the rim.

    unnatural_edge.jpg

    I have never understood the attraction of "river" tables

    JKJ

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •