Book Matched English Elm Table

As much fun as it is to work with someone new and to get to know their particular goals and desires, we really value our repeat clients. Here at Cannon Hill we like to say that we don’t just sell a product, we offer a process, and when clients return to us and our process we see that as a validation of the way we do things. We were accordingly thrilled when an interior designer we’d worked with a few times before got in touch to say that she was working on a home on Boston’s North Shore, and was looking for a big, live-edge table. We didn’t quite know at that point what a special project this would turn into, but it’s one we’re very proud of.

The slab for this table is English elm, a species that’s making its way into more and more of our furniture all the time. We and our clients love the ruddy brown tones, but it’s the distinctive grain patterns, characterized by swirling and figure of the sort we might expect on species like Claro walnut. The elm slabs allow our clients to get those striking grain patterns on furniture that looks better in their homes, given that they’re much lighter in hue than their walnut counterparts.

This table features what’s known as a “book matched” slab, a process by which two slices are cut lengthwise from the same felled tree, flipped open just like the pages of a book, and then glued together along one common, straight-cut edge. Because the visible faces were only separated by the thickness of a saw blade in the living tree, the effect is much like a mirror image. Book matches are fantastic not just because of the nearly symmetrical visual it produces, but also because it allows us to turn slabs that would otherwise be too narrow into dining tables. As always, we love to maximize the utility of the material available to us, and a book match is a great technique to that end.

The book match on this elm table is relatively subtle, but to see one that used sapwood to a more dramatic effect, check out this table that we made from walnut:


Whether you’re in the market for a book matched table our something completely different, get in touch by filling out the “Contact” form here on the site, email, or call us at 857-567-2089.