In this guide, we’re going to breakdown the 5 most important things to ask when buying live edge slabs.
1 – How was it dried?
The most important thing to ask when buying live edge is how it was dried. If the slab was not properly dried, you’ll have issues with warping as your finished piece ages.
The rule of thumb for slabs is to air dry them for 1 year for every inch thick they’re cut. Then, they will be ready to kiln dry.
If you’re interested in learning more about drying live edge slabs, we’ve put together a guide that’s found here.
2 – What’s it cost?
Obviously price is a factor with any purchase. Live edge slabs will vary in cost depending on species, width and total board feet of wood. For narrow live edge slabs of cheaper species, you’re likely to spend $5 or less per board foot.
3 – Is it flattened?
A live edge slab must be flattened before it’s sanded and finished. A slab flattener simply removes the high points of the wood so the slab sits flat when it’s used for a project.
Without the proper equipment, the process of flattening a slab can take hours even days. For larger slabs, we typically spend about 3 hours on the flattening process, and that is with a slab flattener.
4 – Is it finished?
If it’s finished, it will cost more than an unfinished slab. A good finish will help seal the wood, make it food safe, and protect the slab from normal wear.
If you’re buying the slab for a project and want to finish it yourself, you won’t want a finished slab. If it does have a finish that you’d like to change, you’ll have a lot of work in sanding off the old finish and replacing it with your desired one.
5 – Is it one piece?
Slabs that are one piece are more structurally sound, harder to find, and ultimately worth more money.
Since wide slabs are harder to find, many will take multiple slabs and glue them together. This process is known as “bookmatching”. If you are buying live edge slabs, you can usually tell if they’re bookmatched by each side being a mirror of the other.
Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions about live edge slabs, we can help! Click here to view our FAQ page which breaks down the most frequent questions we get from customers. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us online!
Nolan is the Marketing Manager for Lancaster Live Edge. When he isn’t working on our marketing initiatives, he’s in the shop building tables and furniture with the team. Prior to working with Lancaster Live Edge, he worked for a digital marketing agency for nearly 4 years. His family owns a custom building company and he’s helped build everything from custom furniture to home additions. Nolan has been woodworking for nearly 20 years.
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