Wood Slab Characteristics
“Width x Length x Thickness” are the annoying figures customer frustrated by in buying furniture. In front of wood slab, these boring figures are secondary and less important. Sapwood, knots, and live edge become the key figures. Customers selecting slab is as if collectors appreciating a piece of jade. It is not only a purchase to serve furniture purpose, but also an art piece to let everyone envy.
Each slab is a crystallization of nature and craftsmanship. By nature, it contains some knots and marks which are the imperfect beauty of wood. People are fond of wood because it exhibits the harsh and persistence virtues in overcoming difficulties in growth.
Though there is imperfection, some customers particularly retain it and boost its distinctive appearance with proud. Some customers strive for excellence and it provides designers with a platform to exert creativity. A common method to adorn the slab features is either resin injection or joinery filling. There is no judge to utter beauty or ugliness. It is totally up to the customer to choose the appropriate mix of them to suit the ambiance.
Slabs are made by cutting a tree in parallel all the way through. An inherent aspect of slabs is that each is unique. Besides, trees are individuals. Each one grows differently from its near neighbors and all others of its species. And, even within the set of slabs cut from a single log, there will be variation in size and appearance. Slabs are cut in various thicknesses, from 30mm to 80mm or more. Generally, the thicker the cut, the more expensive the slab will be.
4. Rustic design and wild furniture have grown in popularity over the past couple of years. So, live edge or bark is intentionally untreated to get customer’s attention. Another special aspect of live edge timber is that each one is unique, as no tree in the world is the same. Coupled with these features, interior designers could render uniqueness to each project they work on.
5. Wood species grow in a variety of thickness and height from all around the world. Some species are colossal. Some are diminutive. Realization of woods supply and their sizes spectrum is another important factor in design stage. If there is insistence on certain species to exceed certain width, they could be extremely rare and are difficult to source. For some dimensional requirement, it cannot come by in the absence of slabs lamination. If you are budget-sensitive, the best way to materialize your design idea is a prior-understanding of wood species’ dimensional constraints.
6. As mentioned, thicker slabs have more material, so the thicker the cut, the more expensive the slab piece will be. It is worth mentioning that you should avoid another extreme thinking mentality. When using a very thin slab as the final product, they will not be stable and might break. The optimal thickness is between 50mm-80mm.
7. All slabs are kiln-dried, not air dried, unless customer specified otherwise.
8. Kiln drying is the indispensable method if you want to use the slabs to make furniture. All the logs are placed into a kiln and heat is applied by raising the temperature slowly to 170°F. At the end of this process, there will only be between 6-10% moisture content in the logs, and this is something we are monitoring carefully, to achieve the highest quality result.
9. Air Drying is a natural process of drying in an open space by stacking the slabs evenly. To have progress, it requires the wood to naturally dry in the well circulation space in the duration from 8 to 16 months depending on the species. Generally, air drying is suitable for thick slab of 80mm to 200mm. A slab with satisfactory performance requires years to undergo the process so that the price is normally more than Kiln drying equivalent. In species-wise and dimensional-wise provision, the choice of air-dried supply is less abundant.
10. Some advantages of the air drying over the kiln drying are that the slab is uniformly dried with minimal thermal harm. Some cases would cause fragile corner or break off due to uneven thermal effect. Also, it has retained most of its color and grain appearance. By comparison, high temperature possibly fades some of the subtler wood grain color. With circumstances and budget allowed, minor request is not necessary a foolish decision.