Custom Maple Breakfast Bar Wood Countertop in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Live Edge Vail sources the absolute finest logs mother nature can provide.  We then mill our lumber into live edge slabs that get created into custom tables and wood countertops for our Colorado clients in the Vail Valley and beyond.   By sourcing what we feel are the most interesting and rare logs on the East Coast of the United States, we can guarantee our clients the best hardwood products anywhere.  For this particular project, our client in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, wanted to warm up their kitchen by replacing a stone granite bar countertop with a live edge slab wood countertop.

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For their kitchen, they choose two highly figured Maple live edge slabs to compliment their rustic modern mountain decor.  Even though Maple is a beautiful choice, Ash, Honey Locust, Black Walnut, Hickory, White Oak, Red Elm, Sycamore, Poplar, Box Elder, Mahogany and various other hardwood species would have been excellent choices as well.  The chosen Maple bookmatch slabs used for this minor kitchen remodel have tons of character and are loaded with figure.  This Maple wood countertop turned out to be an exceptional show stopper focal point piece for their luxury home kitchen upgrade.  We used a tung oil / resin based finish and epoxy filled in all cracks and crevices to bring out the beautiful character in the wood.  It will also provide a long lasting finish that will provide a gorgeous look and years of protection.

Wood Countertops are an excellent way to balance any room overloaded with stone.  Live Edge Vail offers a variety of species can be used such as Maple, Ash, Honey Locust, Black Walnut, Hickory, White Oak, Red Elm, etc to become the focal point of a kitchen or bath remodel.  Wood countertops will naturally warm up any room with their unique earthy tones, contrast and interesting figure that offers the client a one-off piece that nobody else has.

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Call us today at 970-471-2492 or email us Bruce@LiveEdgeVail.com to purchase a live edge slab for your project or to give you a quote on a kitchen or bath remodel project for a custom wood countertop or a live edge table build.

Historic Red Elm Re-purposed in Vail, Colorado

It’s refreshing in today’s world knowing that re-purposing and recycling takes place on a large scale despite its ongoing work and continuous education.  Those that practice it, we often don’t see it’s benefits.  As woodworkers, we feel we have the obligation to re-purpose trees other than see it being burned for firewood or being thrown in the chipper for mulch.  At Live Edge Vail, we see an immediate impact and the enjoyment it brings from the sawyers to woodworkers to the client.  In the woodworking world, we speak for most that when a tree needs to be brought down, it has an opportunity to become a functional yet beautiful part of our world in some shape or form.  In this example, a live edge slab from Maryland gets turned into a massive dining table in Vail, Colorado.

Most logs that get milled and used for furniture have an unknown history however this one is very different.  This 175+ year old tree once stood at the Rising Sun Inn which is a historic home in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  It is a ​1 12-story frame house built in the mid- and late-18th-century. The earlier section dates to about 1753.  The home has been used as the headquarters of the Anne Arundel Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution since 1916.  In 1985, The Rising Sun Inn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Enjoy its journey through the pics below.

Install :: Live Edge Vail – Vail, Colorado 2018
Measurements – 120″ x 36″-39″ x 2″

Preparing the table ::

 

Milling in Fall of 2016 by OE Custom in Arbutus, Maryland – using only sustainable harvested lumber for your commercial, residential or furniture needs ::

Historic Photo of Rising Sun Inn, Anne Arundel County, Maryland ::  Red Elm tree standing on right.  Early 1900’s Photo.

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It’s All in the Prep!

As with any job, preparation seems like 90% of the work involved.  I’m going to make the assumption that most people have used a dishwasher before.  Cleaning, rinsing, putting detergent pods in and loading the dishwasher is more than half the battle.  Pushing the start button never comes too soon.  The same holds true for woodworking.  From shaping and planing the wood to smoothing to finishing, 3/4 of the work is in the prep.  Applying the finish is when you really start to see what you’ve done right or wrong in the prep.  Next project you have, see if your prep work pays off!

In the images above, we are making a Red Elm dining table which shows the table cut to its final dimensions, planed and sanded smooth before applying finish.

 

Black Walnut Live Edge Slab Coffee Table

A beautiful Black Walnut live edge slab coffee table getting spiffed up with some bow ties. This is one of many fine art wood furniture pieces Live Edge Vail will feature this year at “Art On The Rockies.” This is a 3 day event from July 13-15, 2018 held at Colorado Mountain College in the gorgeous Vail Valley of Edwards, Colorado.  Come out, say hi and checkout our stuff!

 

Wood Countertop: The Premier Choice for a mountain modern Bathroom Remodel in Colorado.

Can wood really be a functional counter top material for your bathroom or powder room remodel?

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You betcha!  Wood is the most versatile countertop material available in the world and has been used for centuries.  We source the finest urban lumber in the United States that is sustainable and use environmentally friendly methods to obtain it.  North American hardwoods are some of the most durable and beautiful woods found anywhere in the world.  In addition, they are anti-microbial and can withstand the test of time if prepared and finished properly.  It’s extremely important to use a finish that will lock out moisture which is why we use a tung oil/resin blend that does just that.  Several coats penetrate deeply into the surface while we also finish every side and the bottom to ensure thorough protection.

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Select a hardwood that is right for you: one that not only fits your decor, but compliments your space.  Live Edge Vail has many choices to exceed your standards such as Walnut, Maple, Elm, Ash, Honey Locust to name a few and limited quantities of rare and exotic reclaimed lumber from century old barns.  Enjoy the art of selecting your lumber, species and style.  Then sit back, relax and watch our expert craftsmanship and attention to detail come to life during your remodel project and have a one-off piece nobody else has.

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Upgrade your kitchen or bathroom with a unique design from Live Edge Vail and make an investment that will last a lifetime.  Allow us to create a piece of functional art for your home or business that it deserves which also adds value, character, and warmth.  Our wood tops create stunning solutions for any room and application.  We guarantee our client’s custom handcrafted heirloom-grade wood products, complete with an artisan hand-rubbed finish that showcases the beauty and warmth of our products.  Let us surpass your expectations with our custom design, fabrication, and installation.  Call Live Edge Vail today at 970-471-2492.

 

End Grain Cutting Boards for a Cause.

Here are a few custom end-grain cutting boards we built recently for a local school silent auction fundraiser.  These are a great way to utilize off-cuts while exploring creativity and practicing basic design fundamentals.  Black Walnut and Elm hardwood end grain finished with Howard’s Butcher Block Oil.  Chop away!

 

Handmade Dowels and Breadboard Ends

There’s no question that breadboard ends on a dining table add a nice finished and framed in look to the completed table.

First, what is a breadboard end?  It’s a narrow piece of wood that is mechanically joined to the end of a larger panel.  In this case the table top.  It also adds a function of providing support of the panel while allowing it to shrink or expand across the grain.

Check out how we at Live Edge Vail make our own dowels made of black Walnut to match the wood species of the table.

Walnut Wood Countertop in progress video

What is there not to like about the beauty of Black Walnut?  Walnut wood countertops and hardwood tables built custom by Live Edge Vail are extremely stable and durable. Our custom wood tops are a stunning solution to any new kitchen or bathroom.

Concerned about a wood top going into a bathroom or other area of your house where there is exposure to moisture? Not to worry.  All of our wood tops are kiln-dried for stability and have multiple coats of our Oil / Resin blend finish which locks out moisture. Our finish not only brings out the natural beauty of the wood but offers the deepest protection possible on every side of the piece surpassing your expectations and industry standards.

The figure, unique grain pattern and an array of warm brown hues of black walnut could be the focal point and stunning solution to your room of choice.

Above is a recent example of a wood countertop island in progress made of Black Walnut measuring 82.5″x27″x2″.  A little clean up, splash time and almost ready for finish!

We invite you to the modern world of live edge and wood countertops. Choose the perfect touch for your home or residential project and let us do the rest.

Call Live Edge Vail today at 970-471-2492 and tell us more about your project. Currently taking on custom orders for 2018.

Live Edge Vail and Spalted Maple Tables and Wood Countertops

IMG_7832Spalted wood is a bit of a mystery to anyone looking at a tree and trying to imagine what lies beneath.  It’s sort of looking for buried treasure in the ocean without state of the art technology.  There’s really no way to tell what’s inside a tree until it’s opened up.  Even then, the wood may be soft and rotten to be able to use except for some compost use in the spring…. and the bugs may enjoy it too.

Spalting is the result of fungi in wood which causes discoloration.  It can be found in living trees in stressful conditions although it is primarily found in dead trees.  Many woodworkers, interior designers and architects working on homes and commercial spaces around the globe are attracted to its unique figure, color and pattern.  A Live Edge countertop, coffee table, dining table, end table, or mantel are just a few of many fine art furniture pieces we make at Live Edge Vail.

Finding spalted wood at just the right point is critical because if the wood decays too long it will be rotten, unworkable, and even useless as firewood.  If the wood is found too early, it can lack character and seems bland like conventional wood.  Once you’ve seen spalted wood, there is no comparison.

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The absolute unpredictability, inconsistency of wood and its structure, the spalting, and the patterns and shapes throughout are what make it interesting.  Each piece is completely different from the next, even six inches down the same tree.  That too is part of the challenge of the material.  One tree may have good workable spalted wood while the next slab appearing the same can be useless.  So working with this particular wood requires patience, faith, stamina and above all else, experience.  With each piece of spalted wood comes a program of rules and problems that need to be worked out.  Only by working the wood from milling to the final functional piece, can one gain the knowledge, experience and understanding necessary to appreciate and succeed with the material.

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One beauty of spalted wood is that it has been allowed to age.  It is no longer green and needs only to dry out.  For some reason, spalted wood caught in the right stage is stable enough to resist checking.  This is attributed to the relaxation of tension within the wood that ordinarily causes splitting, thus making it a very stable wood to use as a fine art wood top or furniture.

The pictures within such wood seem to be a record of the tree’s history – the storms, the sunny days, cool moonlit nights, the wars that happened during its time, sunsets, pain and cold of the ever changing East Coast weather.  There is mystery locked inside and infinite beauty making its last attempt to display its glory.

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*Above pictures are recent photos of Spalted Maple that’s being worked on for a project or air drying in the current inventory of Live Edge Vail, in the Vail Valley of Colorado.

Fine Art: Live Edge Hard Maple End Table by Live Edge Vail – Colorado

Character and figure of this funky-spalted-curly-burly maple live edge hard wood slab immediately stands out.  However it’s the overall shape, which is a crucial fine art element that dictates the mood and appearance.  Circles, Triangles, rectangles, stars, and squares saturate the precise and prevalent movement of shapes throughout.  As artists, we love to use all types of shapes no matter what we are creating.

Mother nature has an amazing way of creating biomorphic (life/form) shapes in wood, especially spalted Maple.  While most of the shape is natural, the ends were initially cut flush/square, then re-shaped to replicate the long, curvy edges mirroring a windy coastal road.  Unlike most geometric shapes, biomorphic shapes are frequently irregular and rounded.  Careful attention to detail is placed on working the general shape followed by honing in on the details of the finish work.  More progress updates to come and additional info on spalted Maple…

 

 

 

 

Why Wood Countertops for your Kitchen or Bath?

Why is Wood the Best Choice for Functional Countertops for your kitchen or bath remodel?

Wood is the most customizable countertop material. When you choose Live Edge Vail to fabricate your countertops, we bring your ideas to life with expert craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Wood Countertops are extremely durable and anti-microbial. Upgrade your kitchen or bathroom with a unique design from Live Edge Vail and make an investment that will last a lifetime.  We will create a piece of functional art for your home or business that it deserves which also adds value, character, and warmth.  Our wood tops create stunning solutions for any room and application.

Popular extras for countertops include built-in cutting boards, waste holes and drain slots.   A large cutting board is a great alternative if you don’t want a full butcher block top.   A waste hole is a real timesaver when you’re preparing a big meal. It also keeps your trash out of sight.  Drain slots are great for runoff into the sink to prevent pooling and water settling around the sink in your kitchen.

A full butcher block countertop is a functional luxury. It adds artistic appeal to your kitchen, and dedicated chefs will love the convenience.

We guarantee our client’s custom handcrafted heirloom-grade wood products, complete with an artisan hand-rubbed finish that showcases the beauty and warmth of our products.  Let us surpass your expectations with our custom design, fabrication, and installation.  Call Live Edge Vail today at 970-471-2492.

Live Edge Slab Architectural Elements

Does your built-in Fireplace seem to lack something important?  You could use a modern mantel that will add warmth, character and value to your space.  A live edge slab for a mantel perfectly combines traditional and modern style while looking great without any clutter.  If you want to display photos and art without bulky furnishings, you’ll love live edge slab shelving.  Live edge shelving is the trendy new way to organize and display your books, media and devices.  Live Edge Vail offers a wide range of species and slabs that are an excellent way to add character to your home.

Contact us today to learn about the endless design options available to you when you choose a live edge slab.  Pictured above is a recent delivery and install to a happy Vail, Colorado customer with this Live Edge Honey Locust Mantel.   Our client loves how the mantel compliments the fireplace and creates a warm focal point to give her new remodeled bedroom enhanced character and style.

In the Woodshop – Dovetail Keys

IMG_8764.JPGHi there – It’s crazy only a few days left here in August.  Kids are back in school and into the groove we go.  Here’s what’s going on in the shop this week.   We’re addressing some cracks on a live edge slab of Honey Locust mantel that we’re working on for a client in Vail, Colorado.  Even though our wood makes its way from a kiln to dry Colorado, there is often separation or slight splitting in the wood that needs to be dealt with before further damage is done.  One way of stopping a crack in progress, is to install a custom dovetail key, also known as a butterfly joint or bowtie, across that area.  Dovetail keys not only add strength but offer an intricate design element that should not take away from the rest of the piece.  Contrast was added with a sliver of Black Walnut.  They are fun to build and rewarding at the same time!  Until next time – Happy Woodworking!

 

From the Mill to the Shop – Hardwood Slabs make their journey to Vail, Colorado

A new arrival of kiln-dried specialty hardwood slabs have recently made their way from our nation’s capitol, Washington DC to Vail, Colorado.  Each unique and different piece offers a variety of options for your home or commercial space as a table, island or wood countertop for your kitchen.  Our beautiful, hierloom-grade live edge slabs also make functional shelves, desks, mantels, built-ins, and more that will last a lifetime.  Stay tuned for stories, logs being milled, featured pieces and current projects being worked on.  Here are a few pics of our recent journey – Enjoy and happy woodworking, custom building, interior designing or whatever draws you to the beauty of wood.  What project do you have in mind?