Best way to finish live edge

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Forum topic by sawedoff posted 02-14-2016 10:45 PM 734 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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155 posts in 2595 days

02-14-2016 10:45 PM

I have about a 3” thick piece of mesquite that was cut out of a tree. It is cut to be end grain and is about 18” around with bark still on.

I am wanting to turn it into a lazy Susan for a friend. What I cant decide is if it would look better keeping the bark on it or peeling it off. Also, what would be the best way to finish this. I initially was thinking tung and teak oil or a salad bowl finish. If I decide to keep the bark on what would be the best thing to do to make sure it gives it the best shot at staying on (assuming it will)?

Forgive my ignorance on this I have never dealt with finishing anything live edge



-- still wet behind the ears.....

2 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2865 days

#1 posted 02-15-2016 01:50 AM

First, I would remove the bark as I have never had much luck getting it to stay on (and you may be surprised at the creatures living under that mesquite bark). Second, I would wait for this piece to dry thoroughly (praying it stays together with minimal cracks) (good luck). Then I would worry about finishing it. Poly would probably be your best bet for a durable, waterproof finish.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View AZWoody's profile


1411 posts in 1399 days

#2 posted 02-15-2016 02:04 AM

Definitely take the bark off. Mesquite bark will start to peel off on it’s own as it’s drying and what does stay on, in my opinion would be rather unattractive and things could easily get caught on it.

The good thing with mesquite is that it’s one of the most stable woods you will find so hopefully cracking will be to a minimum.

One thing I do recommend though, is putting it in the oven if you can at around 150-180 degrees. I think all the mesquite I have come across has beetles in it that will chew holes in the sapwood and will make a mess. You want to kill them as soon as possible. I’ve tried borax based treatments to no avail. I think heat is really the only option.

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