Live Edge Bench

For a number of years, “live edge” furniture has been very popular for some in the furniture-loving world. From my perspective, the term “live edge” usually refers to one of two design ideas: 1) the bark for a given piece (table, bench, etc) is completely left to be in its natural state. This style usual results in a fairly “rustic” or “cabin-like” quality. 2) The other design is a result of removing all the bark, but leaving the natural edge of the tree surface intact. This too, can be rustic in appearance, but more often, such pieces are finished beautifully as table tops.

My approach to “live edge” is somewhat different. I remove some of the bark (but not all), which exposes the internal structure of the bark. The result is what some furniture builders term “stacked coins” or “a handful of pennies.” I do not build many live edge pieces, but I am happy to say that clients seem to like this hybrid approach to the idea of “live edge.”

Below is a series of images of a bench, employing this process.

PS - One can see an earlier post of a live edge piece that I finished below, titled, “Joyce’s Counsel Table.”

Walnut plank in raw form.

Walnut plank in raw form.

Some of the bark has been removed.

Some of the bark has been removed.

Nearly ready for general sanding of the surface.

Nearly ready for general sanding of the surface.

A view from the opposite end. Here, one can more clearly observe the “stacked coins” idea.

A view from the opposite end. Here, one can more clearly observe the “stacked coins” idea.

Most “live edge” tables and benches tend to be equipped with black steel or wrought iron legs, adding to the rustic or industrial appeal. My approach to the design always includes lumber legs.

Most “live edge” tables and benches tend to be equipped with black steel or wrought iron legs, adding to the rustic or industrial appeal. My approach to the design always includes lumber legs.

Here is the bench with three coats of oil. Only seven or eight remain to be applied . . .

Here is the bench with three coats of oil. Only seven or eight remain to be applied . . .

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