Woodworking can be a rewarding and satisfying hobby, and one way to start is by working with live edge wood slabs. In this blog post, we’ll provide a guide to live edge DIY, offering tips and resources for those who are just getting into woodworking.
What is Live Edge Wood?
Live edge wood is wood that has been cut from a tree in a way that preserves the natural edge of the wood, including the bark and irregularities in the shape of the tree. This creates a unique, natural look that can be used for a variety of DIY projects.
Tools Needed for Live Edge DIY
To get started with live edge DIY, you’ll need a few basic tools:
Circular saw or jigsaw: A circular saw or jigsaw is necessary for cutting the live edge wood to the desired size and shape. You can also use other types of saws such as table saws or chop saws if you have them available to you.
Sander or hand planer: A belt or rotary sander or hand planer can be used to smooth out the rough edges and surfaces of the live edge wood.
Clamps: Clamps are necessary for securing the live edge wood to a work surface during cutting and sanding. Clamps can also be helpful if you need to glue any pieces together.
Safety gear: Safety gear, including safety glasses and a dust mask, should be worn at all times when working with power tools and wood. Hearing protection is also a great idea if you are working with loud equipment like power tools for your DIY project.
Choosing the Right Live Edge Wood
When choosing live edge wood for a DIY project, there are a few things to consider:
Species: Different tree species have different characteristics and appearances, so choose a species that fits the look and feel of your project.
Size and shape: Consider the size and shape of the live edge wood slab, and whether it can be cut to the desired size and shape for your project.
Quality: Look for live edge wood slabs that are free from major defects or cracks, but keep in mind that minor imperfections can add character and uniqueness to the finished product. If you are hoping for an epoxy project, the opposite is true. Cracks and voids make a DIY epoxy project shine since they allow for pops of color throughout.
Live Edge DIY Project Ideas
A live edge coffee table is a simple yet stunning DIY project that can be completed with just a few tools. Cut a live edge wood slab to the desired size and shape, and sand the surface smooth. Add legs or a base for support, and finish with a protective finish.
Pine River Table by Joe Llama
A DIY live edge serving tray is a functional and stylish addition to any kitchen. Cut a live edge wood slab to the desired size and shape, and sand the surface smooth. Add handles or knobs for carrying, and finish with a food-safe sealant.
Walnut Serving Tray by The Foundry Design Studio
A live edge wood slab can be mounted on the wall as a piece of art. Choose a unique shape or pattern, and sand the surface smooth. Add a hanger on the back, and finish with a protective finish.
Spalted Maple Shadow Boxes by Jim and Rose Prestigiacomo
Live Edge Headboard
A DIY live edge headboard is a rustic and stylish addition to any bedroom. Cut a live edge wood slab to the desired size and shape, and sand the surface smooth. Attach to the wall behind the bed with a cleat, and finish with a protective finish.
Resources for Live Edge DIY
If you’re new to woodworking, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started with live edge DIY:
Online tutorials: There are countless online DIY tutorials and videos available that can walk you through the process of working with live edge wood slabs. We post a lot of the work that goes on in our shop on our social media.
Woodworking classes: Many local woodworking stores and community centers offer classes and workshops on woodworking.
Woodworking forums: Joining a woodworking forum can be a great way to connect with other woodworkers and get advice and tips.
Still Looking for More DIY Inspiration?
Keep an eye out on our social media accounts for plenty of DIY live edge project ideas! If you have questions that you would prefer to discuss with us directly, feel free to chat in on our website, give us a call, or send us an email! One of our Wood Experts will be happy to help!