How should I finish the sides of this wood? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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How should I finish the sides of this wood?

I got these pieces of maple, which were each 40" long, and I thought I would finally make myself a cutting board/butcher block and leave the sides of this maple as is. I'm not sure if you would refer to these pieces as live edge, since they don't have any bark on them, but maybe live edge just refers to an unfinished edge. Hopefully someone can clarify this for me too.

I thought about just gluing up these pieces, but I'd like a little more surface area, so I might add a 4" wide piece of Walnut between these two pieces. If I wanted to keep the edges as is, would I just use mineral oil like the rest of it or should I finish these edges a different way?

Thank you for any suggestions!

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post #2 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 01:22 PM
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I appreciate your confusion ....

The term "live edge" is a misnomer since the tree/wood is dead or no longer living.
Don't mix finishes, it will lead to trouble. A food safe mineral oil would be best for a cutting board:
https://www.amazon.com/Mineral-Cutti.../dp/B01B5ECU3O

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Would someone consider this a "live edge" since the edge is part of the outside edge of the tree? Since I cut the 2 pieces in half, I could make 2 similar boards and sell one. I'm just wondering if that's a term I would use to describe it, since the edges won't be a finished cut. I think keeping the edges as is would look good and unique from most other cutting boards.

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post #4 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roldogg View Post
I got these pieces of maple, which were each 40" long, and I thought I would finally make myself a cutting board/butcher block and leave the sides of this maple as is. I'm not sure if you would refer to these pieces as live edge, since they don't have any bark on them, but maybe live edge just refers to an unfinished edge. Hopefully someone can clarify this for me too.
k
Live edge refers to the natural edge under the bark, the wood has not been trimmed so it retains the profile of the tree trunk from which it has been cut.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 02:15 PM
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Not Really

Quote:
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The term "live edge" is a misnomer since the tree/wood is dead or no longer living.
Don't mix finishes, it will lead to trouble. A food safe mineral oil would be best for a cutting board:
https://www.amazon.com/Mineral-Cutti.../dp/B01B5ECU3O
It refers to the outer edge of the tree when it was alive.

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post #6 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 02:55 PM
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Maybe so.....

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It refers to the outer edge of the tree when it was alive.

But the whole entire tree was alive at some point in the past. This is now, not then. Shouldn't we call it all "live" wood ..... edges, bark, cambium, heartwood? OR is it all deadwood? Harvested wood? Firewood? Does a live tree bark before it's cut down? If a board has no bark, can it still make a noise, or has it lost it's bark?



https://www.ncforestry.org/teachers/parts-of-a-tree/

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post #7 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 03:00 PM
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You could use a poly cut 50% with mineral spirts, (wood whisper) did it on cutting boards. Suppose to be very durable and last longer than mi eral oil.

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post #8 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
But the whole entire tree was alive at some point in the past. This is now, not then. Shouldn't we call it all "live" wood ..... edges, bark, cambium, heartwood? OR is it all deadwood? Harvested wood? Firewood? Does a live tree bark before it's cut down? If a board has no bark, can it still make a noise, or has it lost it's bark?



https://www.ncforestry.org/teachers/parts-of-a-tree/
In every trade or industry there are common terms and best practices that have been developed over years, sometimes centuries. The simple answer to the OP was, yes, it can be referred to as "live edge" as that is the common term for it.

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post #9 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
................... Does a live tree bark before it's cut down? If a board has no bark, can it still make a noise, or has it lost it's bark?.............
Even an untrained ear can tell a Dogwood by its bark.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-01-2019, 01:17 PM
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You bet!

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Even an untrained ear can tell a Dogwood by its bark.

Then there's Canary wood, Zebra wood, Tiger maple, ....... Can heart wood have a broken heart?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-01-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, so confusing. Why not call it a wood slab with an unfinished edge, or edges. Whoever coined the term "live edge" should have been laughed at since it makes no sense to call the wood live

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post #12 of 17 Old 10-01-2019, 05:18 PM
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Add insult to injury
Beat around the bush
Cut the mustard
Don’t cry over spilled milk
Elbow grease
Final nail in the coffin
Get you ducks in a row
Head over heals
It takes two to tango
Live edge
...
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-08-2019, 09:00 AM
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I've seen folks stain the edges of these sort of "naked" live edges a darker color to give more of the illusion of bark - that might be a nice way to finish it? Personally, I love monochromatic so would leave it as is thought!
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-08-2019, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roldogg View Post
....................Whoever coined the term "live edge" should have been laughed at since it makes no sense to call the wood live

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I agree. Another alternative would be to call it a "natural edge".

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post #15 of 17 Old 10-08-2019, 08:18 PM
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“What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By Any Other Name would smell as sweet.” - Shakespeare

If only some of you had been born sooner you could have determined the definition, unfortunately you are late to the party.

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post #16 of 17 Old 10-10-2019, 04:03 PM
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Butcher's block oil
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-10-2019, 06:53 PM
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I don't like mineral oil because it never dries and at a later time you might want to put another finish on it and you will not be able too. I like Danish Oil and Walnut Oil. When they are dry and cured both are food safe. There is a lot of finishes that are food safe when they are dried and cured.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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