At Renovation Warehouse, we regularly stock Totara and Macrocarpa slabs as well as Macrocarpa planks, starting at 50mm thick. Slabs can be joined and sanded to create immaculate table tops, benches, countertops, sculptures, chopping boards, bathroom vanity, wood panels and features or even a Cape Cod chair. There are also 62 or 65mm slabs which sometimes come through.
How to start building something amazing from a slab
You don’t have to have a plan for your slab when you pick it up. It’s perfectly okay to take a couple of slabs home then look around your house for ideas about where the wood would look best.
When picking up a slab, choose one with plenty of imperfections for character (unless you’re using it for a kitchen bench.) Choose a slab with curves in its edges and knots in the grain. Soon enough those imperfections will be filled in with resin or liquid glass and a few coats of sealant will make the diversity of colour in the wood a real asset.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to buy two matching slabs of wood at the same time, meaning the pieces can be joined as an expansive tabletop and the smaller pieces of wood can become legs and trusses.
A few tips on how to prepare the wood:
- Sand out any grooves left by the chainsaw or bandsaw or drum sanders
- Round any sharp corners of the slab with a skillsaw or sabre and sand any 90 degrees angles until they’re soft.
- Any large enough chips of wood from the corner can be turned into pegs with which to attach legs
- Beeswax makes a great finish on the wood, as does linseed oil or any wood-friendly oil which should bring out the wood’s colour and smell.
- If you’re building a kitchen benchtop with a slab of wood, you’ll want one with very few knots. Imperfections are not usually welcome in a benchtop.