I remember the first time I saw a piece of live-edge furniture. It was heavily shellacked and not entirely my taste, but the bits of bark around the edge intrigued me. Even though someone went too heavy on the gloss, in my opinion, it still looked like nothing else I’d ever seen. Someone found the beauty in the rough, unfinished parts that told you about the tabletop’s roots – pun intended.
Since then, we’ve kept our eyes peeled for live-edge pieces that wouldn’t break the bank. You can pay thousands for certain hardwoods, but a piece of reasonably-priced poplar caught my eye at a flea market/antique store and I grabbed it. It sat for a while, waiting for inspiration, and perspiration, but when it hit, my in-house furniture builder was off and running.
The wood was sanded and varnished with a matte finish (my choice) and he bought 1/2-inch steel pipe, fittings, flanges and a pipe threader. All of this was cut and threaded and assembled by hand, before getting a nice coating of flat black.
The size is perfect to use as a side table to our couch, so that’s where it lives! I can’t keep doing this, of course. The idea is to sell them and we’ve had lots of inquiries about finding custom pieces to make for people.