We get this question all the time, or someone asks for a quote on a project and gets a bit of sticker shock after I've worked up some pricing based on their needs. There are many factors that contribute to the pricing I provide my customers especially on a live edge table project. Here's a little background on what goes into these tables and how the pricing is figured.
As you might imagine, large slabs tend to be more expensive then smaller ones. This is because larger trees are becoming increasingly rare, especially salvaged trees(sick, overturned, etc.), which we use exclusively. This rarity drives up price. The difference in a trees age from a 12" wide main trunk to a 36"+ trunk can be a hundred years or more, so these slabs are certainly once in a lifetime pieces.
The wood species has an enormous effect on the price of your table. Some tree species grow more abundantly, and some are very hard to find. Some have the proclivity to grow larger and straighter versus other species that stay smaller and tend to not be very usable.
Another factor that contributes greatly to price is drying time and slab flatness, a dining room table sized slab that is roughly 2" thick can take 2-3 years to dry completely, and only then can it be turned into a beautiful table for your family. Once the slab is dry, it must be brought in to the shop to acclimate for months, only then can we begin to flatten the slab properly. With a combination of hand planes, sanders, and routers we get your table to final flatness during this process we either fill in or leave natural any knots or defects, depending on the clients requests.
We like to take photos of each project throughout it's entire process and keep our customers up to date with how their heirloom table is coming together.
Once the table is flattened, we begin on the leg construction, we have a variety of leg styles so this process varies greatly from project to project. If the legs are made from wood we try to use lumber from the same tree as the top to really match the grain and character of the top. Once all the woodworking is finished we move the project over to the finishing area, here we apply our special formula varnish to protect and show off your piece, this is where all the hard work pays off! The varnish build we use emphasizes the amazing figure of the slabs and provides a natural luster that requires minimal maintenance.
This is just a brief overview of what goes into quoting a table for my clients, please feel free to get in touch for your very own quote!