How Does a Log Turn into a Live Edge Slab: From Our Doorstep to Yours

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “How does a log turn into a live edge slab?” If so, then today is the day you find out! We have spent a LOT of time doing just that, so here are the steps to turn a log into a live edge slab!
How does a Log turn into a live edge slab

How Does a Log Turn into a Live Edge Slab?

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “How does a log turn into a live edge slab?” If so, then today is the day you find out! We have spent a LOT of time doing just that, so here are the steps to turn a log into a live edge slab!

The 5 Steps of a Log Turning into a Live Edge Slab

Step One: Acquire a Log

The first and most obvious step is to find yourself a log. While there are a few methods of sourcing logs, we like to use reclaimed logs for our live edge slabs. Most of the trees from residential takedowns, storm damage, and urban development end up as firewood or woodchips. Using reclaimed wood helps keep useful wood out of the waste stream and allows people like you to keep enjoying and appreciating a tree even after it has fallen. 


To get the best live edge slabs, you will want a large tree that has little to no rot. If you are looking for a slab with a lot of character and figure, try to find a log with a crotch or a burl! A crotch is where the main trunk splits or branches off into two or more branches and a burl is made from tissue that did not sprout into foliage or grow into a branch. Logs with these features (and many others) tend to produce really interesting slabs due to the unique figure caused by what many call imperfections. Spalted wood is yet another good resource for a beautiful live edge slab!

Black Walnut Logs
Black Walnut Logs

Step Two: Slice it Up into Live Edge Slabs

The second step is the most strategic step: cutting the log into slabs. We at The Lumber Shack operate a Woodmizer LT70. Careful thought and strategy is planned out to make sure the log goes on the saw in the right position so that you can have all kinds of cuts like rounds, ovals, and bookmatched slabs! As much as we would like to say that the process is a quick and easy one, it is important to use the right strategies so that each piece ends up the best it can be. When the log is ready to saw, good lumber handling ensures you get the highest quality lumber for your projects.

Live Edge Slab
Live Edge Slab

Step Three: Dry the Wood

The third step to turn a log into a live edge slab is to dry the cut slabs. Working with a dry live edge slab is vital to ensure that your finished project stays very close to what it started as. Wood is a living and breathing object and tends to move around with changes in moisture. Starting with a dry slab is the best way to avoid as much movement as possible in your finished project. 


We at The Lumber Shack all of our slabs to a moisture content of 6-8%. While you can air dry wood, we like to kiln dry and heat sterilize the wood because it helps to ensure an even moisture content in the end and will kill any insects that remain in the wood after it has been cut down. In a kiln, drying can usually  take around 6-8 weeks while air drying often takes between 8-16 months. A good rule of thumb for air drying is to let it dry one year per inch of thickness.

Step Four: Clean the Live Edge Slab

Step four is to clean the live edge slab up and get it ready to send to your door! Once our slabs come out of the kiln, they head to the shop for processing. The live edge slabs are planned to take away the rough sawn texture and and then sent over to our listing room where we individually photograph each live edge slab to be listed on our website. Getting photos of each slab ensures that you can see every detail of the slab so that you can easily tell if it will be perfect for your project! 

When you eventually place your order, you can select between several finishing options – from no work done to a fully finished piece. If you want to add epoxy to the live edge slab to fill in any cracks or inclusions or stabilize soft or punky wood, we are happy to do that for you too!

Step Five: Sending the Live Edge Slab to You

The final (and most exciting) step is for us to ship the live edge slab to you at your home or residential address! We are proud to offer free shipping to the lower 48 states and reduced shipping to Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada! Our shipping department takes great care in packaging your slabs safely and securely so that they make it to your door in the same condition as it left our shop.


This wouldn’t be a true “How Does a Log Turn into a Live Edge Slab” guide without a few suggestions regarding what to do with the wood after you’ve received it! Once the live edge slabs are in your hands, you are free to work on whatever project was meant to be! If you don’t yet have a plan for the slab, you can find a few project ideas here or we have TONS of inspiration on our Facebook and Instagram.

How Does a Log Turn into a Live Edge Slab: The Next Steps

Since we have now answered the question, “How Does a Log Turn into a Live Edge Slab,” you are probably wondering what comes next? Once your project has been completed, we would LOVE for you to send us photos! Whether you choose to share them with us via email ( or via a tag on social media, you can be entered to win a monthly $100 gift card giveaway for your efforts! Nothing makes us happier than to see our slabs put to good use, so don’t be shy! 


As always, our Wood Experts are always willing and happy to help with any questions about our live edge slabs. If anything comes up, feel free to chat in, email, or give us a call!