When a slab like this one comes through the door of our workshop, it’s pretty clear what our job is: get out of the way. And that’s not just because it was fully fourteen feet by four – it’s because when we see a live-edge slab as beautifully figured as this one, we want to make sure that the wood speaks for itself. Bubinga, the species of wood in this twelve-foot dining table, is prized and renowned for the figure – that is, those light and dark patterns on its face, which reflect light in different and striking ways – often seen in the wood.
For this table, and in the interest of letting the wood speak for itself, the clients decided on a very clean-looking style of steel “X-base” with a wood beam running through the center of each leg. Especially on big tables like this one, with heavy, live-edge slabs, one of the risks inherent in using multiple independent bases is “racking,” or leaning. Unless the bases are tied together somehow, there’s a risk of the table top wanting to move forwards and backwards along its long dimension. Our solution is a square wooden beam that matches the tabletop and passes through each base, locking them together and preventing racking entirely.
The type of finish is an important question on any table, but it’s especially crucial when a live-edge wood slab commands as much attention as this one does. The last thing we want to do is hide any of the natural characteristics of the material. Furthermore, we want to do what we can to minimize the effects of those things – like spills or dropped silverware – that invariably happen on well-loved and well-used furniture. There’s no such thing as a bulletproof finish, but a spray-on lacquer of the sort one we used here does darn good work. Super clear and smooth, with a matte appearance, a spray finish offers great protection while allowing the natural qualities of the wood to shine through.
Custom-built, live-edge dining tables are a specialty of ours here at Cannon Hill, and we work with a wide variety of wood species, both highly-figured and not. For an example of another live-edge table with metal bases and a figured face, take a look at this bookmatched walnut piece: https://www.cannonhillwood.com/photos/book-match-live-edge-bowties-walnut.
If these tables are giving you any ideas – or if you’d like to try something completely different – give us a call at 857-576-2089 or send an email to email@example.com. We’ll get right back to you, and together we can design a table you’ll love forever.