a live edge dining room table

5 Live Edge Tables to Inspire Your Next Project

As just one of 8.7 million species on Earth, we humans share a deep connection with all life on our planet. Including trees. So, rather than see natural wood go to waste, most of us want to celebrate it. By transforming a log into a Live Edge Table, we preserve a tree’s natural beauty. We give it a second life and renewed purpose in our daily lives and in our homes. Which, in turn, gives something back to us — a reminder of Nature’s awesomeness, and a deeper appreciation for the tall, beautiful giants that play such a vital role in our lives.

As you walk through any forest, you’ll be surrounded by trees of different species, ages, sizes, and heights. You can expect the same of Live Edge Furniture, as designers and woodworkers turn amazing wood slabs into various pieces of different shapes, lengths, and types — a truly remarkable process that we never get tired of watching unfold.

Live Edge Furniture

As you’ll see in the following examples, today’s burgeoning Live Edge Furniture category can be defined by two design approaches: Traditional Live Edge designs and Live Edge Epoxy Resin designs.

The greatest example of a Traditional Live Edge design is the classic Live Edge Dining Table. Just one piece of furniture in our homes, the dining room table is arguably the most important. It’s where we gather with family and friends. Not just to eat, but to connect and share, laugh and cry, reflect and play. While any table is meaningful, a Live Edge Dining Table adds a timeless, durable, uniquely captivating twist on the common wood table. It introduces a way to showcase and celebrate the beauty of natural wood – and a particular tree’s natural look – beyond ordinary shapes and sizes. Every single Live Edge Dining Table is organically unlike any other table on earth. Making it both a one-of-a-kind piece of nature and a functional piece of art. One that transforms your dining room into an awe-inspiring room of connection. And ultimately an heirloom to be passed down for generations.

A newer approach, a Live Edge Epoxy Resin design opens up even more possibilities for Live Edge Furniture designers. It gives them the ability to infuse high character natural edge slabs with more utility, durability, and practicality than their sometimes impractical shapes and outlines could otherwise provide. By casting a live edge slab in clear or colored epoxy resin, or filling in open, “negative spaces” in the wood slab, the designer can evolve a traditional live edge style into a more modern design.

Using epoxy resin, the furniture designer instantly gains a range of new design options and techniques, including:

  • Incorporating a myriad of different color resins to complement the natural wood
  • Smoothing out sharp or awkward edges without cutting or sanding them off
  • Creating more conventional shapes out of unconventional logs
  • Integrating memorabilia or other objects into the table’s cast
  • Adding an extra protective layer to the wood slabs’s surface to make it even more resistant to chips, cracks, discoloration, and burns.

The beauty is that any of these approaches can be applied to create a new look, while retaining the original, organic appearance of the slab. In fact, when you choose a Live Edge Epoxy Resin Table, you’re picking an absolutely custom-designed work of art — even if someone else grabs a live edge slab from the same tree and picks the same resin, your finished table will be completely different.

1. Bastogne Walnut Dining Table

Part of the GL Reserve, our Bidwell Collection includes an assortment of elite wood slabs salvaged from two, historic 150-year-old Walnut trees — one Bastogne Walnut, the other Claro Walnut. An exemplary piece design by Kristopher Kirkpatrick, the exquisite Bastogne Walnut Dining Table featured here came from our Bastogne supply.

A rare hybrid species found in Northern California, Bastogne Walnut is a blend of California English Walnut and Claro Walnut, and the densest of the Walnut trees. Characterized by rich color and endless movement in the grain, it’s a piece you can stare at for hours. While the color of each Bidwell Bastogne Walnut slab varies greatly, you can expect deep, beautiful browns with marble-like variegation, and fiddleback figure throughout the grain.

Exactly what Kristopher Kirkpatrick masterfully dramatizes in this Traditional Live Edge Slab Table design. Granted, he’s quite familiar with the wood slabs, having created several dining tables from both of the Bidwell trees. Plus, Kristopher learned his craft from Jim Parodi, the Redwood Burl legend. Today, Kristopher is reaching legendary status himself, transforming natural edge slabs into gorgeous high-end tables – from coffee tables to conference tables – building a variety of pieces for his avid clients.

a live edge dining table
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2. Figured Redwood Epoxy Table

The largest living trees on Earth, Redwoods feature an equally awe-inspiring, deep reddish-brown wood, and handsomely figured grain — ranging from subtle, elegant patterns to the wild, curly figures and burl in the Live Edge Epoxy Resin Table featured here. Not only have woodworkers long admired the Redwood for its strength, beauty, and longevity, they’ve made the Pacific Coast species one of the top choices for Live Edge Furniture.

Among those woodworkers is Black Forest Wood Company. Originally, a company that produced high-quality exterior doors in Alberta, Canada, Black Forest Wood Company has grown into the world’s most renowned Live Edge Table producer — especially for their Live Edge Epoxy Resin designs. Looking closely at the Figured Redwood Epoxy Table featured here, it’s easy to see why. And easy to understand why GL Veneer has loved working with Black Forest Wood Company on numerous projects throughout the years. Including one of our favorites, the gigantic Maple Burl slab we milled for them.

redwood epoxy resin table
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3. Sycamore Base Dining Table

If trees steeped in rich history excite you, check out anything made with Sycamore. Dating back thousands of years, Sycamore was a preferred choice of the ancient Egyptians for making wood monuments and the bases of their army’s artillery units (??? Source?). A symbol of shelter in the era of the Pharaohs, the Sycamore was as revered then as it is now. Today, Sycamores produce stunningly beautiful wood slabs that would enhance any home décor. While the sapwood features a pristine white or sometimes tan color, the heartwood is a darker reddish-brown that emphasizes the spectacular interlocking grain.

It’s exactly this captivating look that’s highlighted in the high-impact Sycamore Base Dining Table featured here. An unexpectedly brilliant use of the Sycamore trunk topped by a clean glass tabletop, it was designed by Matt Clark of Matt’s Woodworks. A true inspiration for woodworkers around the world, Matt specializes in high-end, one-of-a-kind furniture that he handcrafts from live edge slabs and exotic, natural wood. For many years, on a variety of projects, GL Veneer has supplied quite a bit of the raw material for Matt’s creations. Including a variety of custom sunburst veneers, a unique Cypress cookie, a 1,500-year-old Redwood root, and, of course, the hollowed-out Sycamore tree seen here.

a sycamore live edge table with glass top
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4. Buckeye Burl Coffee Table

There are very few pieces that command as much attention – as uniquely and dramatically – as a Buckeye Burl Live Edge Table. Because of its incredible color that ranges from deep blues to golds and creamy whites, and amazing figure, Buckeye Burl is one of the most exciting woods for any project. There is truly nothing else like it on Earth — except other Buckeye Burl producing trees that grow among the foothills of the Central Valley in California, at elevations between 1,200 to 4,000 feet.

Exactly where GL Veneer sourced the material for the Buckeye Burl Coffee Table feature here. A masterpiece by Solido Furniture, this exemplary Traditional Live Edge design dramatizes the aesthetic command the Phoenix-based company is famous for — a graceful combination of elements, including wood, metal, stone, and upholstery. Solido specializes in both finely detailed, custom pieces and high-volume production orders. And they’re admired for how well they document their incredible process — sharing their step-by-step approach to creating furniture that belongs as much in a museum as it does a home. Always a pleasure to watch Solido work, it’s been an honor for GL Veneer to supply the wood slabs for some of their projects.

buckeye burl live edge coffee table
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5. Mappa Burl Live Edge Table

When you see Mappa Burl, you know it. Immediately. Nothing else comes close to it in appearance, color, or grain. Though to be clear, the species is European Poplar. It’s simply distinguished by the name “Mappa Burl” when the figure displays the exceptional burl character its famous for – like that in the Live Edge Slab Table featured here – a pattern that’s more like an ingrown bark than the typical burl seen in other species. And when Mappa Burl is cut into slabs, look out! — someone’s going to faint. It’s that gorgeous. Color wise, it features light brown heartwood with speckles of deep brown, and an open grain pattern. Simply stunning. And, yet, one of the more affordable Burl options available, making it a real opportunity if you want a truly custom piece with an attainable price tag.

Like the Mappa Burl Live Edge Table featured here. A Blacktail Studio piece, this Traditional Live Edge design was the vision of Cam @blacktailstudio, one of the most experienced and celebrated Live Edge Furniture makers in the business. Located in the Pacific Northwest, Blacktail Studio specializes in transforming salvaged lumber into breathtaking Live Edge Furniture. And Cam loves sharing his approach and techniques with everyone – educating anyone interested in the art – with the hope of it being handed down to future generations. At GL Veneer, it’s always our hope that reclaimed live edge slabs will end up in the right hands — like Cam’s. Which is why it’s always been a pleasure to work with him.

ebonized mappa burl live edge table
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Sourcing Your Live Edge Slabs from One of the World’s Most Elite Collections

We are connoisseurs, collectors, and problem solvers. At GL Veneer, collecting rare and exotic wood with a storied past isn’t just a hobby, it’s a way of life. Handed down from generation to generation. It’s a passion we share with people wherever we go. Or whenever they come to our warehouse — the home to one of the most elite collections of wood in the world, our inventory includes thousands of live edge slabs for sale.

From clean and classic to exotic and otherworldly, our slab inventory spans every style of wood for every type of design narrative — even the best slabs for outdoor applications. Among our stacks upon stacks of project-ready wood slabs, you’ll find dozens of species, from African Teak to Bastogne Walnut, Monkey Pod to White Oak. Each one a conversation starter in its own way. Especially, our most elite slabs in the GL Reserve — logs as historic as they are beautiful, infused with amazing backstories and biographies. Like our General John Bidwell Claro Walnut slabs. Our super rare, 1,500-year-old Sequoia slabs. Or the elegant Eucalyptus slabs sourced from the renowned Alderbrook Winery.

Rest assured, every single GL Veneer log is responsibly sourced. Carefully and respectfully. Cut into 2” to 3” wood slabs. Then expertly air- and kiln-dried a minimum 3 years to vintage perfection in our state-of-the-art, eco-friendly warehouse.

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