Some months back, a client sent me a picture if a platform bed with a wild live-edged Walnut slab and asked if I had any access to slabs with interesting outlines. I said “not very likely” way out here in the desert! Usually the best place to get large slabs of wood that are intact with their natural edges and bark is from backyard lumberjocks in densely forested areas. Oregon for example. While we have worked with quite a few street trees, having them milled and kiln-dried, Walnut is not overly plentiful. Not to mention really interestingly shaped walnut. The forecast for this type of Dream Bed was not looking good.
Unbelievably, I was able to locate an interesting slab. The very next day, I raced out of town an hour or so south and found this incredible redwood cross section. The outline was spectacular. There was a lot of interesting figure from flame to burl.
After a considerable amount of flattening with a very patient old router, the final thicness landed at just over 3 1/2 inches. Next came a few bowties to stabilize some of the defects in the slab. I then applied the same oil-rubbed treatment to the slab and the color instantly turned to a dark mahogany.
For the other half of the bed, the client wanted a neutral lighter wood for contrast. She chose clear Alder for the platform and base. The whole thing floats about 9 inches off of the ground, putting the mattress just above chair height. I probably say this more than I realize, but I wish this bed were mine…
The likelihood of finding another slab like this one is 100 to 1!