The customer wanted a minimum width in Doug Fir on this project. 44" Doug Fir slabs are not easy to find, so we built the top from two sequential slags joined by a Bubinga strip in the center. We incorporated Bubinga strips into the Dining Chair crests to tie them in visually. The wood trestle base had to be engineered out and joined to support the 400 lb slab top. A good example of the flexibility needed in slab projects.
Starting a LE Slab project with rigid ideas of dimensions and color and patterning is usually an exercise in disappointment. The slabs are somewhat available, but each slab has its own character and shape. They are not a commodity. Trees are full of what we often call blemishes and flaws. When we bring lumber in the boards are mostly clear because they have been graded out for their clear qualities. With a slice of a tree generally the sourness is an integral part of the whole slab and there is no cutting around unwanted portions. Its an adventure and I prefer to get to know the final owner with their leanings and likes.
Also large slabs are usually not entirely dry, if not actually dripping green. This can delay the project for months or years depending on the situation. Two of the mills I work with have kilns, which still takes a few months. They need a full charge to start the kiln up also. Some of the mills I work with are true backwoods operations and everything must be air dried for up to 18 months. One of those mills doesn't even have a forklift and we move the slabs with pry bars and rollers.
Slab costs are dependent on quality and size. A large, relatively clean premium slab (there is no such thing as a clear entirely unblemished slab grown on the west coast) can easily run 2-3 times the cost of a more typical slab. The days of uneducated and isolated sawmills is long past, and everyone understands the intricacies of live edge slab quality and value.
Still interested? Lets have a meeting!