Paired Walnut Live-edge Table and Bench

We really love this table because it does something that all woodworkers appreciate: it uses material efficiently. Our clients for this project were a young couple who had just moved to  Boston’s North End, and they wanted a show stopping dining table that could serve as a center for hosting friends and family. When they saw the inventory of walnut slabs from our friends out at Berkshire Products they fell in love with the one you see in this tabletop. There was just one problem: it was too big to make any sense in their home. In situations like this, we’ll typically determine a cut pattern for the slab that gives us usable off-cut chunks without compromising the main area of the tabletop.

In some cases, we’ll simply return these chunks to our clients for later use. In others, we’ll turn them into furniture of their own. As I type this, there’s a slab sitting here in the workshop that is laid out to be cut into a large dining table, a desk, a console table, and at least one end table. All of which to say: that a slab is larger than your project needs is no reason to reject it. We’ll always work to maximize the usable area of a piece of material.

In this case, we determined that the best use of those off-cuts was actually to turn around and put them right back into the same project as the table legs, no need to wait for later use. We’ve done a fair few projects in this style, with chunky, live-edge bases that serve as a continuation of the tabletop’s aesthetic. They aren’t necessarily the look that every client wants, but the people who like them - us, for example - love them.

An oil finish like the one we used here is an excellent choice for any project that will receive standard wear and tear. We use a product called Rubio Monocoat, which we’ve found to be extraordinarily resistant to spills and water rings so long as they’re attended to reasonably. Perhaps just as importantly, it allows for extremely easy touch-up if and when a client decides it’s time. A well-used, well-loved piece of furniture is bound to take on character that reflects the home it inhabits over the years; Rubio allows for touch-up and refinishing in-place with a minimum of fuss.

The styling you see in these pieces certainly isn’t the only option. Check out the link below to see another dining table and bench set, still in live-edge walnut, that has a totally different look and feel.


If you’re interested in the full range of the work we’ve done so far, browse the rest of our projects, and if you’re interested in finding out what we can build together, fill out the “Contact” form here on the site, email, or give us a call at 857-567-2089.