The grain of a maple tree slab swirls fluidly, creating unique eye-catching patterns. No two slabs are exactly alike which is why some people feel strongly that they want to see the grain pattern of their slab before they buy it. This is only truly possible if you buy your slab from a large distributor like Berkshire Product.
Most of the things we build here at Cannon Hill are large dining tables, meant to accommodate large gatherings of family and friends around a showstopping piece of furniture. They’re beautiful, often mesmerizing, and they’re worthy, impressive anchors to dining rooms around New England. But custom furniture is a capacious category, and there are many more ways that Cannon Hill can bring the beauty of solid hardwoods into your home than just large dining tables.
Most of the work that we do here at Cannon Hill is on dining tables — pieces that are meant to be the gathering place for family and friends, a centerpiece around which meals are shared and memories made. They’re deeply personal to us and our clients. Sometimes, though, we receive inquiries from businesses, interested in conference tables.
We love to build a big dining table. They’re inherently dramatic, and there’s something special about knowing that they’ll be the gathering place for friends and family on the nights that mean the most. This table measures out at eleven-and-a-half feet, and more than four feet wide. There aren’t very many dinner parties it can’t accommodate.
When we work with live-edge slabs, they often have sizable cracks — known as “checks” — at the ends. These checks aren’t any sign of quality issues, and they don’t create any problems in the finished project. We use inlays called “bowties” to keep the cracks from widening over time as the wood expands and contracts with environmental changes.
For whatever reason, we don't make as many slab tables out of white oak as we do in other species. True, the deep, rich chocolates and intense figure of the various walnuts might be more immediately arresting, but the piece of wood that makes up this tabletop is, quite simply, a stunner. With distinct ray figure throughout and clean, straight grain, this material — never mind the table — would be the envy of any woodwoorker. We know we’re lucky to work with materials and clients like these, and we never take it for granted.
One of the unavoidable facts of furnituremaking is that there will be waste in the process. Whether it’s off-cuts from our tables, shavings from our planes, or sawdust from our sanders, we spend our days turning pieces of wood into smaller ones. We feel a responsibility to make the most of every piece of wood that enters our shop, and we’re loathe to throw any out. In fact, we run a program under which we give off-cuts that aren’t going to make it into our projects to other local woodworkers.
We like to say that here at Cannon Hill we specialize in showstopping furniture that can command attention in a room — pieces like this one are the proof positive of that capability. This table measures out at over 16 feet long, and required almost the whole Cannon Hill team to deliver. As proud as we are of the table itself — quite a bit, it should be said — this project also points to our abilities after the build itself is over.
Sometimes, a client will come in with a very specific design idea in mind, and it’s up to us to turn that idea into a custom piece of furniture that can anchor a room in their home for decades, or generations. This live edge walnut dining table is the product of exactly that process. Our client wanted to see a square steel beam pass through a chunky walnut plate to create an “X” base of a type very different than what we often build.
This table is a fantastic example of the sort of handmade custom furniture we spend our days making here at Cannon Hill. Our clients approached us with a number of inspiration images, and we worked together to unify those images into a single table design. This project obviously draws heavily from the work of famous 20th-century furniture makers, but we endeavor to put our own twist on everything that goes out our door.