Live Edge Class at Peters Valley Part 3: Christina’s Butterflies

Reside edge boards,
like so many different organisms, may also endure from stress. And
whereas stress in people could be mitigated with a average
consumption of alcohol or a go to to the shrink (or each),
inner-stresses in wooden, which manifests themselves amongst
different methods (cracks or splitting), want a mechanical treatment from
a woodworker.

My pupil Christina’s reside edge board was no
stranger to splits or cracks, and because it was a fantastic reside
edge slab, we determined to arrest the splits through the tried and
true software of a butterfly key.


Christina planing her reside edge slab. Discover the crack on the

Making the keys
The butterfly secret is the best technique to stop a
cut up from additional opening. Should you want one or two butterflies,
simply minimize them with a handsaw or with a band noticed. Should you want
many extra, contemplate chopping them utilizing a desk noticed.

Butterfly keys could be created in lots of shapes
and types. They are often constructed from contrasting colour woods, they
could be symmetrical or asymmetrical, stocky or skinny. You, the
maker, have to asses every scenario and make an knowledgeable
resolution per the form and measurement, the space from the sting and
the pacing of the keys from one another in case the cut up is

Embedding the keys
There are skilled routing jigs to assist in excavating a
recess for the keys, however I want the drill and chisel technique.
After outlining the perimeter of the excavation with a marking
knife handed towards the important thing, I choose up a drill mounted with a
Forstner bit and drill a lot of the excavation. Then, with
a pointy chisel, I progressively clear the remaining wooden out.

Outlining the parameter of the excavation with a marking knife.

Outlining the parameter of the excavation with a marking


After forming the keys on the band noticed she traced their
perimeter on her slab and excavated the recess.


Gluing the keys
If you’re new to this method or to woodworking, don’t be
too laborious on your self if on the primary or second time you strive it,
your keys or excavations will prove lower than excellent.
Fortunately with the assistance of epoxy adhesive it is possible for you to to
fill any imperfections very simply. When utilizing epoxy as a
filler, I are likely to advocate coloring the adhesive with some
daring colour somewhat then making an attempt to camouflage the error by
doctoring the adhesive with wooden tone pigments, and even leaving
the epoxy in its translucent state. I consider that almost all efforts
to cover a mistake will fall brief and as a substitute present up clearly.
My beneficial method is to make a decisive “design”
assertion in order that individuals who will have a look at the important thing will conclude
that you simply, the maker, reached a aware resolution to spotlight
the border of the important thing. To paint the epoxy I exploit both a powder
pigment or die suspended in alcohol.

We sealed the under side of the crack with duct tape to prevent the epoxy from dripping to the floor. 

We sealed the below aspect of the crack with duct tape to
forestall the epoxy from dripping to the ground.

Mixing the epoxy and gluing in the keys

Mixing the epoxy and gluing within the keys

Pouring epoxy into the seam.

Pouring epoxy into the seam.

Ending up
After the epoxy cured, Christina sawed off the protruding half
of the butterfly keys and sanded the slab. The slab is meant
to be a espresso desk sitting on two metallic legs. I can’t
wait to see the completed desk.

Christina's Butterflies 8

The slab the its butterflies after a couple of coats of wipe on

Christina's Butterflies 9

— Yoav

If you’re
interested by designing and dealing with reside edge lumber,
try this beforehand recorded webinar from Yoav,
“Urban Woodworking: Designing One-of-a-Kind Furniture” at

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: