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ButterfliesLive edge boards, like so many other organisms, can also suffer from stress. And while stress in humans can be mitigated with a moderate consumption of alcohol or a visit to the shrink (or both), inner-stresses in wood, which manifests themselves among other ways (cracks or splitting), need a mechanical remedy from a woodworker.

My student Christina’s live edge board was no stranger to splits or cracks, and since it was a beautiful live edge slab, we decided to arrest the splits via the tried and true application of a butterfly key.


Christina planing her live edge slab. Notice the crack at the corner

Making the keys
The butterfly key is the most effective method to prevent a split from further opening. If you need one or two butterflies, just cut them with a handsaw or with a band saw. If you need many more, consider cutting them using a table saw.

Butterfly keys can be created in many shapes and forms.


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Marc Spagnuolo