Quality of raw edge slabs

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Forum topic by Takenforafool posted 02-26-2018 01:33 PM 559 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 864 days

02-26-2018 01:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: slabs bow ties cracks live edge desk wood

I’m doing some research on some live slabs for a desk. Debating between purchasing it ready, having it custom made, or trying my hand at it myself.
Before I delve into the world of woodworking, I’d greatly appreciate some professional artist insight;
I saw some slabs that have a lot of bow ties. Should I assume that it’s a lesser quality slab? Would a better quality slab not have so many cracks that needed to be repaired?
Also, if a relatively narrow 3 foot depth, is 2 slabs combined- with a mismatched seam, should I also assume that not much dedication went into that project and it was rushed and hapless and of lesser quality?
Generally speaking, a mid quality L shaped desk with a couple of drawers made from slabs, should run how much retail?
Would so appreciate the professionals input!

5 replies so far

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600 posts in 2394 days

#1 posted 02-28-2018 12:26 AM

Because slabs are essentially unique they are a) more expensive than you suspect and b) hard to comparison shop. There probably is no such thing as a “retail” desk you describe. You aren’t going to be able to pick one up in a box store no matter what you were willing to pay. It’s going to be at a furniture gallery or online that you would find something like that.

You can look at the live edge slab desk I built in my projects. That slab is fairly large and no cracks and cost $900-$1000 (I don’t remember exactly) from someone here on LJ. It is maple and had nice figure.

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674 posts in 1393 days

#2 posted 02-28-2018 01:49 PM

Bow ties in slabs are not necessarily a sign of poor quality. Neither is the mis-matched joint between slabs. Bow tie placement, coloration, orientation are largely artistic choices of the craftsman.

I would expect the desk you are describing to be $3-5,000 or more depending on the craftsman, materials, and quality.

-- Sawdust Maker

View jonah's profile


2121 posts in 4072 days

#3 posted 02-28-2018 02:11 PM

It’s not uncommon to pay four figures for nice looking live edge slabs. As the first poster said, there’s no retail market for them aside from specialty hardwood lumber suppliers and sawyers.

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1013 posts in 1549 days

#4 posted 02-28-2018 02:14 PM

Don’t try to make it yourself. If you have no woodworking skillz, this is too difficult and costly a project to start with.

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642 posts in 1459 days

#5 posted 02-28-2018 02:22 PM

Respectfully, I don’t think there is anywhere near enough info here to be much help. Prices vary GREATLY by region, species, and design. For example, in Cali a 3’ wide walnut slab that was air dried for 2yrs then finished in a kiln, built into an L shape desk with wooden supports and drawers is going to run a pretty penny. A simple KD pine “slab” made of 3 boards with hairpin legs selling in rural Ohio is something very different.

I know you mentioned a couple drawers but if you give us more info on specifically what you’re after (pics?) we should be able to help (you may even find someone local who would be interested in the work)

I’m not sure by what you mean by mismatched joint, but I agree with the prior comments on not being turned off by bowties.

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