What to Expect: Fine Craftsman Lumber’s Live Edge Slabs

Most people love a beautiful live edge slab. It’s one of the easiest ways to bring a natural look into a home. Just as any fine craftsman knows, not all lumber is created equal, and slabs are no exception. Because slabs can be quite an investment and are often used for signature projects, it’s important you understand just what you are getting when you purchase one. That said, what can you expect when you order one of Fine Craftsman Lumber’s slabs? Let’s break it down:


A log is cut one way for lumber and a completely different way for live edge slabs. When a log is cut for lumber, the sawyer makes cuts on the outside of the log first because the outside of the log contains the highest grade lumber. After all the high grade lumber is cut, the center of the log is cut for lower grade material. But when a log is cut into slabs, there aren’t really a whole lot of options to choose from. The log is placed on the sawmill and the sawyer saws slab after slab. This means there isn’t much control over the grade, or in this case character.

It is possible to find slabs that do not have any knots, rot, bark inclusions, or other sorts of character, but they are harder to come by. Character isn’t always a bad thing either as your eyes are drawn to the different color and grain patterns in the slab.

Kiln Dried 

It can be difficult to get your hands on a kiln dried slab. If you have read any of our other blogs, you know that we are huge fans of kiln drying. Kiln dried lumber is fairly stable and free from any pests and bacteria. Because of these reasons, we only sell kiln dried lumber. Our slabs are consistently dried to 6-8% moisture content. We want to make sure we are supplying you with material that will withstand the test of time.

Surfaced Two Sides

We know it takes a ton of time to flatten a slab with a router sled. We are fortunate enough to have a very large industrial sander, so we take it on ourselves to surface both sides of all of our slabs. And for an additional charge, we are even able to sand the slab to your desired thickness. This is a huge benefit and time savings to anyone who purchases our slabs. 

Economical Shipping throughout the US

Shipping anything is expensive, but shipping lumber is another beast. We know this and strive to find the best shipping rates possible. We can ship our slabs anywhere in the continental US. Most of our slabs are shipped via LTL freight, but occasionally we can ship through UPS, and in those cases, shipping is included in the cost of the slab.

How We Match Up

Our slabs are not comparable to a rough air dried slab that you might find someone selling out of their garage on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. We live and breathe American hardwoods and are acutely tuned in to how our lumber products will best benefit our customers. We might be a little more expensive than the guy next door, but our product is superior. 

And when it comes to slabs, ensuring you are working with a quality product is critical. Imaging how you’d feel if your slab split in half after you completed the project because it was too wet and not dried properly? Or can you imagine finding bugs crawling out of your tabletop a couple months down the road? With the amount of time and effort you put into your projects, we think the extra cost is worth the peace of mind knowing you are working with a superior product.

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