When I first began posting projects that incorporated live edge lumber four or more years ago, I knew from my own client base that there was a growing attraction for furniture that displayed natural edges. It has been more than two years since I last posted and in that time the demand for those wavy edged boards has only continued to grow. Now commercial manufacturers are producing live edge tables and hardwood sawmills are dedicating a greater portion of their inventory to live edge slabs and for good reason. Beautifully figured live edge slabs are bringing a much higher board foot price than conventionally milled lumber. I recently saw a figured bubinga slab at the Gilmer Lumber Company website going for $10,000. My friend, Brandon Berdoll, at Berdoll Saw Mill does a steady business selling his impressive live edge pecan and mesquite boards for thousands of dollars per slab.
This Texas mesquite and pecan coffee table I designed and made several years ago has enjoyed very positive reviews and brought in additional commissions for live edge projects. The lumber came from a friend of mine who has a tree removal business.
Some more recent projects have been on a larger scale and allowed me the opportunity to create furniture with live edge slabs of exceptional size and figure.
The top for this conference table is made up of two book matched Texas pecan slabs that together measure well over six feet in width (courtesy Berdoll Saw Mill).
One topic debated among custom furniture makers, woodworkers, and consumers is the kind of base that should be used with a live edge table top. An image search for “live edge table” yields dozens of tables with simple slab bases or rectalinear metal supports. The argument for these kinds of bases is that they don’t compete with or draw one’s attention away from the beauty of a spectacular top. They certainly don’t. My own view is that these simple bases are somewhere between boring and ugly. They are not a reflection of fine design or skilled craftsmanship. They are just a lot easier to make.
This is a view of the base for the conference table with the Texas pecan top shown above it. How does it take away from the top? It doesn’t. That top is worthy of a beautiful, visually interesting base.
This is another large live edge Texas pecan table with a more organic, sculptural base that I recently completed for an ad agency. I love this base. To me it seems very appropriate for the natural edge top, but I have communicated with people who do not share my approach and think this base is too busy.
Really? All I can say is,”Loosen up sweetheart, and enjoy the curves.” Of course, I say this all in fun. This is not a moral issue, just a matter of taste, and differences in taste make for a more interesting world.
This last piece does present a sharp contrast between the gnarly live edge mesquite top and a nicely detailed, sophisticated base in sipo mahogany and bird’s eye maple. This is a writing desk and I really like the juxtaposition of this top with this base.
I made this for a client’s home office.
I am back blogging and welcome your comments. Please visit my website to see more.