Live Edge Wood Countertop

by ziggy on March 5, 2017 -- 0 comments -- Follow

diy live edge wood countertop

The nearly completed live edge wood countertop

I’ve gotta admit, there’s something really visually appealing about “live edge” wood, that is wood with the natural outline of the tree left in place and not sawn square. Last year we bought a nice slab of cedar when deliberating about how to build a countertop between the two posts of our timber frame retrofit in the kitchen. This winter the cedar appeared dry enough to go ahead and make our own DIY live edge wood countertop. I’m glad we went this route. Here are the results.

DIY Live Edge Countertop

This is all very subjective, but I’m satisfied with this particular slab because the live edge isn’t TOO live… I guess I mean it’s not crazy wavy or gnarled. It’s got a nice moderate flow to it. Some slabs are just overkill. Anyway.

live edge wood countertop

A nice live edge, not too crazy wonky

The cedar is anywhere from 18-20″ wide along the length, which turned out to be the perfect width. In the winter, I imagine pulling up a stool to be close to the wood stove to eat breakfast. In the summer, it will be a really useful food serving space when we have workshops and other large events with lots of hungry people. Basically, it’s a big long surface to put stuff on and occasionally to sit at.

Why cedar? Well, it’s what we were able to find close to home, and for cheap. It was $75 for the piece. Highly reasonably, I’d say, especially given the high quality of the wood.

live edge cedar slab wood

Live edge cedar slabs fresh from the sawmill

The construction is pretty basic — there’s two pieces of framing spanning the posts, and then two smaller pieces attached to those which are used to actually fasten the countertop down with screws. We went with thin slats underneath the bar to allow warm air from the stove to pass under the counter. It also keeps Hazel out of the kitchen and harm’s way, too.

rubio monocoat wood countertop

Rubbing down the cedar slab with Rubio Monocoat

The cedar is finished with Rubio Monocoat, my new favorite wood finish. It’s what we used on our hardwood floors inside the house. I haven’t used the finish in an application like this yet, so I’m curious to see how it does. If you’re interested in learning about this natural linseed oil-based finish, be sure to read my overview.

On the kitchen side of the counter, we finally have a nice surface to hang our favorite cast iron pans from. That makes me happy.

live edge countertop pans

Finally, a place to hang our pans…

All in all, this live edge counter was a fun and rewarding winter project.

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