Woodgenius Tells All

Here are explanations of the terms we use, straight from our Woodgenius:

Slab: A slab results from cutting all the way down through the length of a log, edge to edge.  This is completely different from commercial milling which cuts the clear grades of lumber from the outside edge of a log.  Instead of straight boards, a slab is a slice of the tree, with a natural edgeSee some of our available Slabs.


Live Edge and Natural Edge are inter-changeable terms referring to the outside edge of the log after the bark has been removed.  See some of our Live Edge or Natural Edge tables. Our Live Edge Tables, Foyer or Console Tables can be viewed here.


We tend to use the term live edge when the edge has a great deal of movement formed by twists in the tree trunk, burls, knots or damage to the tree when it was younger.


Sometimes our tables will have a square edge where a limb was cut off the log.  Our Woodgenius loves to use all of the log rather than waste beautiful slabs; where there was a limb, interesting swirls in the grain pattern result.


The grain pattern can include swirls, curly grain, burls, and crotch grain, which occurs, well, in the crotch of the tree where a major branch forks off the main part of the tree.  The more highly-figured the grain pattern, the more prized the slab.


Bookmatched: Because we use local hardwoods, and these trees rarely reach diameters needed to create a single-slab dining table, our Woodgenius uses bookmatched slabs. As the log is sliced, the slabs are numbered in sequence so the grains match-- slice 1 will match slice 2; slice 3 will match slice 4, in sequential order.  When slice 1 is joined to slice 2, or bookmatched, the grain will match down the center of the table.  In other words, like opening a book, with the center of the table as the seam, the right side will mirror the left side.  The result is often fantastic highly-figured grain patterns times two that can be achieved no other way.


A single-slab table top is created from one slab; both long sides have natural edges.  You might have seen photos of large single-slab dining tables built from Western cedars. Single-slab tables from the Eastern hardwoods we use are rare.


Inlays and Bow-ties: Slabs cut from a log are going to split, and there may be holes and knots; this is just part of nature.  Bow-ties are inlaid to keep the wood from splitting further, sort of like stitching it up.  Some clients prefer the bow-ties to show; others prefer they be hidden on the underside of the table. Our creative Woodgenius fills these splits, holes and knots with inlays, such as turquoise or lapis. At times, he’ll leave holes open, to add interest.


Thickness: Our Woodgenius chooses to create tables with 1 ½ to 1 ¾”- thick tops.  He begins with slabs that are 2 ½” in thickness.  After having dried properly, the slabs always have a little twist, which he mills perfectly flat.  This produces a good, heavy top; anything thicker, he says, is a waste of valuable wood.


Care – precatylized lacquer 5 – 10 sheen. Dull.  Allows grain to show, more natural, colors.  Wipe w/damp cloth, dry off immediately.  No pizza boxes.  Water. Heat.  Durable but won’t stand up to pots, moist heat.


See Take Care of Your Table for more information on table maintenance.

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