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Designing Custom Burl Wood Furniture

Designing anything that’s custom-made can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help. We provide both raw wood and finished custom tables, mantels, and more, built to your specifications. If you’re interested in a new piece of custom burl wood furniture, here’s what you need to know.

Choosing the Raw Material

First, figure out the dimensions and characteristics of the wood you’re looking for. Is this going to be a small end table? A twenty-foot-long conference table? What material are you looking for? We carry mainly redwood, but occasionally have maple, elm, or walnut slabs available; if this is something you’re interested in, ask us! Are you looking for straight or curly grain? Do you have a preference between old growth and new growth redwood? These are all good things to ask yourself in the early stages of your project. Browse our listings of burl wood slabs, dining tables, mantelsburl wood art pieces, and more to get an idea of what’s available. For tables, you might want to consider selecting a rustic wood base to go with your chosen slab. We also have a number of options for dining table bases, including metal legs and wood slab legs.

Custom Burl Furniture

Designing Your Custom Burl Wood Furniture

Everything we do is completely custom. We can provide the raw, unfinished wood for you to work with, build and finish a piece for you in our shop, or any stage in between. Many of our clients like to have our shop surface and sandblast our live edge slabs and stump bases, then send them out to be finished on-site.

When working with us to design your custom burl wood furniture, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Reference images and diagrams can help make sure we’re on the same page.
  • Make sure the measurements you give us are as accurate as possible. We all know that it’s best to measure twice and cut once.
  • Custom work may take some time; we’re a small business with a lot of orders to fill and we want to ensure that all our work is top quality. If you’re working on a deadline, let us know and we’ll do our best to expedite the process.
  • There are limits to what we can do. Due to California state regulations, we are limited in our finishing options. There are also some limitations to the cuts we can make, burl wood often isn’t stable when cut too thin. When a client contacts us about a project that we aren’t equipped to complete, we will offer alternative options or recommend finding a local woodworker or contractor who can finish the project on-site.


We can cut down any of our slabs to the dimensions you need, and custom shape the edges to keep a natural, live-edge look. The kitchen island below is a great example of a slab we cut and shaped for one of our clients. We can build burl wood furniture with a natural live edge, a custom-shaped edge like the one shown below, or a straight-cut edge – whatever you prefer.

Burl dining table finished in conversion varnish

Finishing Options

We offer several finishing options for our burl furniture, including:

  • Natural tung oil for a matte finish
  • Conversion varnish for a more durable, glossy finish
  • Danish oil for a satin finish on mantels
  • Epoxy for a thick, high-gloss finish for burl table tops and bar tops.

We discussed the pros and cons of these finishing options in a previous blog post. The right finish for your burl furniture will be a matter of personal preference and the specific needs of your project. The cost to finish a piece will vary depending on the finish you select and the size of the project. If this is something you’re interested in, let us know your preference and we can get you a quote.

Once we’ve discussed the design and finishing for your project and chosen the perfect raw materials, it’s time to move on to the next step. Stay tuned for part two of this post, where we’ll go over what to expect when placing an order. Not seeing what you’re looking for on our site? Contact us with some information about your project and we’ll find you some options from our unlisted inventory. To help us find the best pieces for your project, please let us know the dimensions you need, as well as any other preferences you have for the wood.

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