Many people are in the market for wood slabs in order to undertake a DIY projects. We are certainly big fans of people wanting to work with live edge wood slabs. In fact, we sell local to Rochester, New York and western New York wood slabs for just these type of projects. We do want to caution those in the market for wood slabs though about some of the things that you need to avoid when purchasing wood for any kind of project. If you get the wrong slab, if you get a slab that’s not optimal, your DIY project could end in disaster. Below are some things that you need to keep your eye on when purchasing any type of wood slab for any variety of project you have in mind.
This is important. The primary thing that you want to avoid in a wood slab is to purchase wood that is wet. This is also known as green wood. As wood dries, it twists, it can warp, it can change shape on you. When you buy a green slab, the wood hasn’t undergone its natural drying process; therefore, once you’ve built your table or shelf or bench, overtime the wood is going to move and twist on you. This not only undermines the integrity of your piece but could completely ruin it. Even if a wood slab has been sitting for a year, there’s a very good chance it is still not at the optimal humidity level. Checking any wood slab with a moisture meter is one way to determine if it’s at the right humidity. Purchasing wood slabs from a company or individual who has access to a kiln drying apparatus is one way to ensure that you get a piece of wood that has been dried professionally and is thus ready for any type of project or installation.
While of course, as wood is a natural product, it is going to have some defects and some soft spots, too many soft spots or too many defects make for a wood slab that is not ideal for any kind of project use. You can address soft spots in wood, but you need to have and know-how in order to do so. Ideally, for the DIY enthusiast, a piece of wood will be ready to go without numerous rotted areas or soft spots.
Again, wood is a natural product. It is taken from the outdoor world. It is therefore going to have some bugs and insects in it. However, too many bugs and too much of an infestation can compromise the integrity of the wood slab. This is also why finding wood slabs that have been kiln-dried is a good idea as this serves as a treatment for getting rid of any bugs that might still be inside of the slab.