Lovers of live edge furniture usually see the beauty in each piece’s “flaws”, but have you ever wondered how those blemishes can be accentuated? When reclaimed wood is harvested and cut into slabs, it must then be preserved and dried. As these slabs or rounds dry, cracks and blemishes of various kinds will most likely develop. Some pieces are hollow or have areas of hollowing when they are harvested also. So what can be done to preserve your piece from further cracking and maintain the structural integrity?
Depending on the size of the crack and its impact on the structural ability to the piece, butterfly inlay tenons can be placed over the crack. This helps tie and bond the sides of the crack and therefore reinforcing the piece. These butterfly inlays can be made from the same wood or contrasting wood to accentuate the crack.
For a more subtle and aged effect, the majority of people place black epoxy resin into the cracks.This method generally blends in more with the wood and can be sanded to create a smooth, even finish on the surface of the live edge slab.
As a beautiful and unique effect, resin can be filled with many types of rocks, granite, or even be tinted to your desired color. The rocks and granite flow with the earthy feel of the piece while the colored resin can add a pop of color.
Sometimes, there is too much hollowing to fill. With these pieces, they are simply left as is and make great floor pieces, mirrors and even coffee tables when fitted with a piece of glass on top! KY Outback Woodworking LLC also uses larger hollowed out pieces to make “grandparent” tables with built in small chairs.