George Vondriska

Working with Live Edge Slabs

George Vondriska
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  • In-depth Instruction; over 139 mins
  • On-demand video access anytime
  • Bonus downloadable PDF resources
  • Access to class Q&A
  • Available for purchase: $19.99
Look at the gallery of project images we’ve provided for you to get ideas about the great projects you can make from live edge slabs. You’ll find tables, desks, charcuterie boards and more. Use our gallery to five friends, family, and customers ideas about what you could make from them.
Where do slabs come from? Trees, of course, but there’s more to it than that. Let’s look at sawmills and how they’re used to turn logs into lumber. Sealing end grain, stickering, stacking and waiting are next.
Even if you don’t own a sawmill you can convert logs to lumber. Grab your chainsaw (no need for a special chain) and get cutting. You can also use your bandsaw like a sawmill.
No matter how carefully a slab was dried it most likely won’t be perfectly flat. A slab mill, shop-made or commercially made, along with the right router bit, makes short work of flattening slabs.
Bark on, or bark off? Well. It depends. You’ll need to double-check the bark to make sure it’s capable of staying on. You can then use a draw knife to remove the bark, if you want to, or a variety of tools to soften the sharp edges on the bark.
Waterfall edges are beautiful, allowing the grain on the horizontal surface to flow into the grain on the leg. This creates some layout and cutting challenges. Layout is done working from a center axis. The miter cut is done using a saw and guide.
Bowties can be used for aesthetics, to add visual interest, or as a structural aspect of your work to add strength. With a few tips and tricks, it’s easy to cut bowties, and a variety of other shapes, using templates and your router equipped with a guide bushing.
You can work with live edge slabs that are long grain, meaning the grain direction is parallel to the edge, or slabs that are cookies. Cookies, also called log rounds, are cross-sections of a tree. Working with cookies, and reducing cracking, is a different process than how we deal with long grain slabs.
There are MANY options for putting legs under your live edge slab projects. Waterfall legs, slab legs, mortise and tenon bases, hair pin legs... This gallery provides you with ideas you can take to your shop and show the people you’re making projects for.
11 Lessons
2  hrs 19  mins

Live edge slabs provide a very unique look, and frequently change the way you create your projects. With slabs we commonly let the slab dictate the final appearance and size, creating an organic look. This class, and the companion book Woodworker’s Guide to Live Edge Slabs, will give you the information you need to work with slabs.

Right from the Start

It’s important to have an understanding of how slabs are cut and dried, so we start with a visit to a sawmill to learn about cutting, stacking, and drying lumber. On a smaller scale you can use your bandsaw or chainsaw to convert logs to lumber using techniques learned in this class.

Let your Creative Juices Flow

We’ve provided you with two galleries. One shows you a number of different live edge projects, from charcuterie boards to dining room tables. The other shows you a variety of ways you can put legs on your projects; from hairpin legs to wooden leg and rail assemblies. Use these galleries to enhance your own ideas, or to show possibilities to people you’re building for.

Working with Slabs

How do you get a huge slab that won’t fit through your planer flat? How can you tell if the bark will stay stuck? If there are voids or cracks in the slabs, what’s the best way to fill them? All these questions will be answered, and the class will also take you through:

-Adding bowties and other inlays
-Laying out and cutting waterfall edges

George Vondriska

George Vondriska is the Editor in Chief here at Woodworkers Guild of America and has been sharing his woodworking expertise since 1986. Apart from conducting classes at his renowned Vondriska Woodworks School, George's passion for teaching has taken him to woodworking shows nationwide and has led him to teach woodworking for prestigious organizations such as Peace Corps/Swaziland, Andersen Window, Northwest Airlines, and the Pentagon. With a wealth of published magazine articles under his belt, encompassing tool reviews and shop improvement projects, George's knowledge and skills continue to inspire woodworkers every day. To discover more about him and his school, visit

George Vondriska

Bonus materials available after purchase

Working with Live Edge Slabs Purchase this class for $19.99.