Rough Around the Edges: Under-finished Wood Catches On

By Bill Esler | Posted: 11/03/2013 9:09AM


Rustic "live edge" wood surfaces with natural edges form an undercurrent in products that let the natural origins show through. The live edge has long been present as a design motif, and was seen on a number of new introductions at the High Point market.

What's new is seeing live edge in consumer catalog products, and seeing the sales copy emphasize things like FSC and reclaimed wood. That shows the concepts are filtering down to the consumer level. 

First we ran across custom cutting boards that designer Christina Kim had planed and sanded with the natural edges and contours left intact. The pieces "soften" the look of an otherwise austere European style cabinetry. A commercial version is available in Acacia from Architec, that lets the raw edge of the wood show through.

Then a pair of clocks - the Emmerson 12x12" FSC-certified pine - rough finished boards laid up and waxed, bolts instead of numbers. And the Diamond wall clock from BoConcept, which uses a block of wood planed at angles to create a facted surface. (Not a live edge, but definitely celebrating the wood material.)

Finally, a coffee table with glass top and pedestal made of a stack of natural edged planks of reclaimed wood. This one comes from Rotsen Furniture.  click image to zoom


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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