stabilizing live edges

So what's the trick to stabilizing a live edge (in this case, on maple) to prevent damage after a piece is finished?
tia,
jc
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Generally, cut a bead on the edge, so there's a multiplicity of sight lines in parallel; a ding only interrupts one of the lines, the visual effect is minimized. Fluting of legs, concave and convex beads, lots of scratch-plane decoration, is all an attempt to make it look good after the (inevitable) damage occurs.
Big expanses of softwood (fir or hemlock) flat trim is seen on home-improvement shows, but it ONLY looks good when new. Oldfashioned intricate mouldings will look good for centuries.
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:> So what's the trick to stabilizing a live edge (in this case, on maple) to :> prevent damage after a piece is finished? : Generally, cut a bead on the edge, so there's a multiplicity of : sight lines in parallel
That's hard to do on a live (aka waney, bark) edge -- it's the edge on a board that isn't trimmed from the original mill cut of the log.
    -- Andy Barss
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'Stabilizing a live edge'?? - never heard of it mate.
Tim w
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edge on a plank that still has the bark attached. I want to incorporate the bark/live edge into a coffee table design and I was looking for advice on how to make sure it (the bark) stays as intact as possible. To that end, the design puts the bark in the center of the table top, surrounding an opening that will be purely aesthetic. this way, it won't get banged into (like it would if it was on the perimeter of the top), but I still need to be sure that I take into account the possibility that it won't just fall off on its own for whatever reason. One reason I've thought of, without any experience, are degredation of the heartwood/sapwood/cambium layers. Any other advice would be appreciated.
I keep on forgetting folks can't read my mind when I'm posting.
jc
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Joe wrote: ...

As Lew said in another post, 'you're pushing a rope' there...
There's no way to ensure it'll stay there indefinitely on its own. You could try pinning it w/ small but even then it may well break/separate on its own as the piece dries. At that point you could try a cyanoacrylate and see if you get a decent bond.
Bruce Hoadley has a section on the futility of slabs/bark, etc., ...
--
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"the futility of slabs/bark" That made me chuckle out loud and also made me think I've bitten off quite a bit!
Thanks for the direction, and I'll look for the article from Hoadley.
jc
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Joe wrote:

Lew has already weighed in on this but I'll try something that his previous advice made me think of.
What happens if you dry the piece to the point where the bark simply falls off au complet? If the bark had been predrilled with a small bit (say brad sized bit) for re-alignment, then the bark reattached with epoxy, using the brad holes and/or brads for alignment, wouldn't that end up being the same thing?
Once the epoxy starts to set, the brads can be pulled out and you can call the holes worm infestation that you meticulously fumigated for prior to the project commencing.
Maybe this is impractical with maple. The bark is pretty thin. I think it might very well work with oak tho.
Tanus
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Tanus wrote:

I think you also want to cut the tree in October, November or December to have the best chance of success. Sap starts to run in Jan/Feb and that will not help any. It can be done though, I've owned old wood bowls with bark on them and have seen plenty of wood novelties, cutting boards and so on with bark on, and seemingly firmly attached.
I've cut enough fire wood to know some wood, probably cut in spring or summer, the bark falls off almost intact. Perhaps this is better if you are going to glue it back on after everything is dry.
--
Jack
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: So what's the trick to stabilizing a live edge (in this case, on maple) to : prevent damage after a piece is finished?
If there's bark attached, I'd recommend asking on rec.crafts.woodturning, or searching the Google archives (good luck!) for that group -- turners often leave such edges on natural edge bowls. (Search for that term).
What comes to mind is thin cyanoacrylate glue, but there may be other tricks.
If it's without bark, just finish like the rest fo the wood, I would think.
    -- Andy Barss
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