Live edge slabs are plainsawn from a tree to include the outer sap wood, or live section of the tree, and the internal heartwood. Cutting a log in this manner typically reveals the best graining and figuring as apposed to quartersawn planks that reveal a ribbon grain. The sap wood provides an interesting contrast to the finished heartwood. Species such as walnut offer a bright sapwood in contrast to the dark heartwood.
Live edge furniture features the slab as a table top or island top. The wood is finished with oils or a wiping varnish to bring out the natural beauty of the wood grain. The top may consist of a single slab or two slabs cut from the same tree that are book matched together forming a mirror image of the grain.