Success With Large Slabs
From flattening to butterfly keys, how to handle one-of-a-kind pieces of wood
Synopsis: Chances are, you’re used to shaping wood to fit the project, whether you’re carving ball-and-claw feet or shaping molding on a router table. But when you work with a large slab, you have to turn that practice on its head. The slab shapes the project. The slab is the star. Turning these unique pieces of wood into furniture requires a special set of skills, from buying the slab to handling it safely to flattening it and shaping its edges.
From Fine Woodworking #206
Normally, when you build a piece of furniture, you shape the wood to fit the style—ball-and-claw feet, cove moldings, raised panels, and so on. But when you work with a slab, you have to shape your woodworking technique to fit the wood. The slab is the star, with all its seeming blemishes—swirly grain, knots, splits, and sapwood—adding to its character. You may think of a…