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Preserving the Live Edge

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Forum topic by WoodshopJoe posted 1669 days ago 2174 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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WoodshopJoe

99 posts in 1865 days


1669 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: walnut live edge drying

A friend harvested a black walnut in his yard and had it sawed into boards and two 3” thick slabs and wants to preserve the live edge. The slabs are currently stickered in an open-sided shed for drying and i don’t know if he has to treat the live edge now in order not to lose it. I have never tried to dry lumber for live edge work so I have no experience in this area. Is there a certain process to maintaining this edge so it doesn’t separate from the wood itself. Are there any tips for drying the thicker slabs to reduce cracking?

-- Joe Truehart - The Craftsmans Woodshop


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Jeff Heath

54 posts in 1674 days


#1 posted 1669 days ago

The live edge staying attached to the wood slab is a product of when the tree was harvested, not something you do after you harvest it. Tree’s that are harvested in the winter (cold, tree is dormant) will keep their bark on much, much, much better than any other time of the year. Not to say that you can’t get lucky, but all of my live edge boards that have successfully kept their bark were from trees that were cut down in the winter.

If you harvest the tree during the growth season, the trees nutrients, water, etc…....are flowing through the cambium layer, and this dries out, causing the bark to detach.

You can read all about it in a book called “Understanding Wood”.

-- Jeff Heath Heath Toolworks planes

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