As most items will be made to order and the characteristics of the wood will tend to vary it is often useful for us to receive an idea of the following detail when receiving a request to quote on a project-
Length tends to be key when considering how many people you wish to seat. The rule of thumb is to allow 60cm of edge per person. A 240cm long table would therefore be expected to seat 4 people on each edge and one at either end, so 10 people in total
We can source wood up to nearly 7m long in a single length if required, although it would significantly reduce the available options. below 3.5m we can source oak, elm and walnut relatively easily.
As we will be cutting each end with almost all tables length rarely provides a constraint on options.
With live edge tables there is naturally a degree of variation in the width of the table top. We therefore tend to request that width be expressed as a targeted average width and that you indicate to us if there are key dimensions such as a minimum and maximum width dictated by the space or function of the table.
With bookmatched table tops we have more control over the width of the table as the joint along the centre enables us to adjust the width to suit the brief, bookmatching also means that we can choose from a wider set of logs as a lower diameter of log is required.
For single width tables there is a smaller pool of available options due to the large width which makes sourcing these large pieces more difficult. We often can source oak and elm up to 110cm wide and for walnut we can get boards up to 120cm in a single width.
Generally speaking with woods such as Oak, Elm and walnut (hardwoods) the textbooks will say that you can only truly kiln dry a piece of wood which is at most 80mm thick. Therefore depending on how flat the boards have stayed in the initial air drying process and the width / length we would typically finish a board which was initially sawn at 80mm thick to 50mm-60mm
We prefer not to go much below 50mm with bookmatched tables and this would particularly be the case with single slab tables.
It is occasionally possible to push the thickness over 50-60mm for particular projects if we have a long lead time. In the above example we found some very well airdried 110mm thick oak, flattened the boards, very slowly kiln dried and then flattened again to finish at 85mm.
Tables can be produced with cut straight edges such as the image above in oak, elm and walnut.
Live edge - Irregular
The most irregular edges will tend to be found on burr woods such as the burr oak above.
Live edge - Regular
Oak, elm and walnut will tend to have some degree of curvature to the edge as shown in the claro walnut example above but can occasionally be found very near straight.
American Black Walnut
It is common when dealing with such large piece of timber that there will be a split present at some point on the board.
Most clients tend to find the idea of an open split in the table to be quite unpractical and therefore we will for most project fill such cracks with resin, the resin will then be sanded flush with the tables surface and will take on a matt translucent appearance once finish is applied to the wood and resin.
Butterflies, butterfly keys or bowties are a joint, popularised by the work of George Nakashima, which is made across a crack and the intention is to strengthen the wood. Whilst this is not particularly necessary when the split is being filled with resin it appeals to many clients on aesthetic grounds and they will choose to have the joints fitted in a matching or contracting timber
The above example shows a European walnut desk with walnut butterflies from the same board of walnut fitted across the split.
We produce table bases in wood but also have steel fabrictors who can produce items for us, a foundry which we work with for cast items and we can produce bases in cast acrylic also. Below are some exampled of past work-
Quoting and placing and order
We will supply an initial quote based upon any of the above mentioned characteristics the client is able to provide.
It will not be possible to find boards to suit every specification. However, once we have an ideal in mind, we can find ways to incorporate as many desired features as possible. Once the specification for the slab has been finalised, we will work through the other details such as the base design and the height of the table. These details will be recorded in a draft proforma, so that information is not lost in the chain of emails and phone calls; on average, the final design will emerge after two or three redrafts.
Once the specification has been finalised – or is close to finalisation – we will begin to look for suitable pieces of timber. We will send images of proposed board(s) to the client for approval, although some clients prefer to visit so that they can inspect the timber in person. While the boards are being prepared, we may send images of specific details or figuring to the client, so that they can offer their thoughts on how they would like the design to incorporate (or disguise) these features.
We can often complete a project in eight weeks, from finalisation of the proforma to delivery. However, the time taken to create a piece depends to a large extent on the rarity of the timber used and some projects will take far longer. For example, we can have timber milled to our specification and kiln dried; this is a very long process but will be necessary in order to meet certain design requirements.
We accept orders by email and post. We will draft a proforma invoice in English which describes the product you would like us to produce and send the proforma back to you. Clients should read the proforma invoice thoroughly and we can redraft the description if it does not adequately describe the product they would like to receive. Your proforma should also detail any delivery / shipping / export packaging and customs document charges that may be incurred. We may decline to accept an order at out discretion. We accept the order when a deposit as specified by the proforma invoice is received as cleared funds in our account