Live edge table dining is the use of timber that has been cut from the tree and then allowed to partially dry before being worked on. This practise allows for a natural variation in the grain, texture, color and translucency of each individual piece as well as the depth at which it was taken from the wood. Unlike many other methods, live edge table dining also allows for unique external qualities such as knots and curling grain patterns. The diverse highlights present in live edge table dining make it a popular choice among furniture designers and buyers who want something more than standard pieces with a “timeless” quality that even modern styles can mimic.
Benefits of live edge table dining
- Allowing for natural variations in each piece:
This is one of the main reasons why live edge table dining is considered beneficial to the design community. Rather than opting for a single grain pattern and color, designers can take advantage of multiple colors and patterns to create unique pieces, which is not possible when they are crafted from lumber that has been cut and crafted.
- Unique external qualities:
The knots, water marks and internal defects that occur during the cutting process all come into play when designing new pieces out of these imperfections instead of accepting a finished product.
- Unique texture to match the natural shape:
The texture of live edge table dining is also selected randomly, so that every piece can look different from the next. In addition to the tree rings, knots, and grain patterns in each piece, designers are able to design with the curves and other shapes that occur naturally in each piece.
The fact that live edge table dining is taken from a single tree allows for unique pieces to be created. Designers can match these unique textures and patterns to their own preferences as well as those of clients, creating custom pieces that are truly one-of-a kind.
Although live edge table dining does not make as great a use of the tree as other methods, such as veneers, it still makes a sustainable choice for designers who want to support environmental causes and easily create pieces that are unique in design.
Downsides of live edge table dining
- Process is more difficult:
While the process is not impossible, it’s more difficult to create a clean cut on the lumber without any cracks or splits. This can cause unevenness in the wood that may ruin the overall piece or require more work on a certain area to hide imperfections. The dryness of each individual piece can also increase the chance of chipping or cracking.
- Less uniform:
This is the biggest downside of live edge table dining. Although each piece may look different from the rest, they can also be too similar to each other. This makes it difficult to create unique pieces out of these irregular pieces and results in some pieces looking like copies of each other or plain identical pieces. This can be solved by using such methods as visual grading, which gives each piece a unique outlook by removing unwanted blank woods and filling in other parts with contrasting woods; or by adding small details to individual parts that give them a unique appearance while still keeping them distinct from one another.