Seating can be tricky as it relates to table design. Check out our useful seating guide to get started, and please contact us directly to learn how the base of your table will affect seating as well. Remember, we build to the inch, so there are no "standard" sizes coming out of our workshop. We can do a spec rendering to make sure you'll have all the clearances you need for chairs and legs, or come to your home to help you make the decision. Our tables are typically 29.5" tall.
OUR PRIMARY FURNITURE FINISHES
Furniture Oil: Rubio Monocoat
We finish many of our tables with a plant-based oil sealer due to its durability and classic matte aesthetic. It is chemical free, food safe, and easy to refinish. We can highlight the natural color of the wood with a pure finish, or select from a variety of colors and tints from whitewashes to greys to browns to reds. Our tables are smooth to the touch and accent the natural grain patterns of the wood.
Oil brings out a brilliant, warm, and rich color in the wood. We buff the oil in, and then on top of that we buff a universal maintenance oil to ensure that the finish stays fresh for as long as possible. It should be noted that a re-application of the maintenance oil is recommended every three to seven years. It is a simple, sweet-smelling, and enjoyable wipe on, wipe off process, and you don't even need to wear gloves. This isn't necessary, but it will restore the brilliance of the finish, especially in humidity controlled and dry homes, and will re-seal the table from moisture and humidity changes.
Furniture oils create a moisture seal around your table, and are resistant to hot and cold beverages and spills. It's akin to a wax seal. Imagine if you poured some of the oil onto the table top and left it there. The oil wouldn't soak in, it would harden there like candle wax. Our independent testing has shown stain resistance from highly acidic food stains for up to around 4-8 hours on the surface, and about 1-1.5 hours for ice water rings… but that doesn’t mean placemats and coasters aren’t your friends, and timely cleaning and wiping of stains and spills is encouraged.
It is recommended to use placemats and coasters in general. The arch nemeses of furniture oils are highly acidic food stains that are left for hours. Food like mustard, vinegar, and hot sauce can leave a minor stain if a spill is not attended to in a timely manner. We find the four to ten hour mark as the time when stains set in. A very subtle water ring will also form if a wet cup is left on the surface for over an hour and a half without being removed. Not to worry though, oil finishes are really easy to buff, sand, and re-apply in place.
These tables should only be cleaned with soap and water. No chemical cleaners or wood oil soaps. Nothing will look or feel more natural that an oil finish. Your fingertips can really feel the grain of the wood.
For information on caring for a Rubio finish, check this Rubio care guide.
Spray finish: Milesi 2K Urethane spray finishes
At Cannon Hill Woodworking, we do our own 2k urethane sprays on our custom furniture. Milesi is a food-safe matte clear finish that is very smooth to the touch and looks beautiful on residential dining tables. It creates a strong barrier between your table and the world of stains. Our independent testing has shown stain resistance from highly acidic food stains for up to around 10-20 hours on the surface, and about 8 hours for ice water rings… but that doesn’t mean placemats and coasters aren’t your friends, and timely cleaning and wiping of stains and spills is encouraged. What you gain in stain proofing makes Milesi the choice for many of our clients. If you are a commercial client, like a restaurant, or you don't like to clean often, or you just don't want to worry about your real wood furniture when hosting, a spray finish is the most set-it-and-forget-it finish we offer.
The main thing to keep off 2k urethane is scalding hot pans or coffee cups, as they can discolor the finish. Our spray finishes have a non-yellowing component. Milesi 2k Urethane finishes can be cleaned with chemical cleaners, like pine-sol and bleach cleaners, but it’s not necessary and over decades, chemical cleaners will wear at a finish more than natural cleaners. Refinshing a spray finish is an expensive process and will require the table go out to a professional shop. But you should only be thinking of refinishing as a once-in-a-generation or less endeavor.
For information on caring for a Milesi finish, check this Milesi care guide.
Important consideration: Stains, Water Rings, and Scratches
We've done extensive stain testing on our finishes and some of the most acidic foods. On spray finishes, there is virtually no staining with foods like hot sauce, wine, and lemon juice within 24 hrs left on a surface. With the Rubio oil, the acidic foods tend to eat into the surface of the finish and dull the sheen at around the 4 to 12 hr mark. Most normal non-acidic foods will not stain these finishes.
With iced coffees for example, the spray finishes show no water rings after 8 hours (the extent of our testing), whereas after about an hour and a half the Rubio oil shows a faint water mark that remains. Placemats and coasters are your friends. Never put a scalding pot or stove pan on any finish. Use a trivet.
Stains are one thing, a scratch is a different thing altogether. Wood tables don't scratch easily, but ultimately wood can be scratched. It happens. If a cat decides the table is a scratching post, or a toddler decides to make a drawing with a butter knife, or an inebriated houseguest cuts limes for margaritas right on your table top, or someone with a sharp ring on their finger decides to run their hand across the top to feel how smooth it is... you get the idea. If the damage is light and surface level, oil finishes can be refinished in your home, so if you see wear on the table top over the years you can rest easy knowing whenever you want to bring them back to new, it can be done easily. If a spray finish ever needs to be refinished, it will have to go out to a professional.
Oil finishes: Our food-safe oil comes in many colors and shades. The oils are pre-tinted, so it's usually a single application. In some cases, a Rubio pre-color goes down underneath an oil. Untinted and tinted oil finishes are priced accordingly. We have a list of standard tints, and then we are willing to create custom tints when a client enters our custom finish program.
Spray finishes: Under our Milesi spray finishes, we wipe on ML Campbell pre-colors. ML Campbell has a wide variety of pre-colors specially formulated for spray on finish products. They can even match Minwax stain colors. We have a list of standard tints, and then we are willing to create custom tints when a client enters our custom finish program. Spray finishes can be done over oil finishes. So in some cases, if the best color match can be achieved with oil, but the client wants the extra protection of the 2k urethane spray, we do both. We do this quite often.
Note: Staining and tinting works best on oak, reclaimed oak, and to a lesser degree, ash. We do not recommend staining or tinting other wood types. It can be done, but it normally has to be outsourced to our friends in Gloucester.
At Cannon Hill, we source all of our wood from sawyers and lumber distributors in the Berkshires, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine. Our tables are primarily made of, though certainly not limited to, walnut, reclaimed oak, new growth white oak, mahogany, elm, cherry, ash, maple, and live edge slabs of many different species. Each type of wood has its own unique characteristics, and we can guide you through the decision process. You can always come see them for yourself at our Seaport Showroom.
Completed projects with descriptions of wood type can be seen in the Projects section of our website
LEGS AND BASES
We build custom trestle and pedestal bases of all kinds for our tables, as well as any kind of square, turned, cabriole or tapered leg you desire. Our turned legs are almost always machine made from a large variety of designs that are available because they look really nice and are about one third the cost of having us turning them custom ourselves.
If metal legs or a metal base is what you prefer, our metal work is all done custom to your exact specifications from various dimensions of steel tube. All of our steel bases are powder coated, never spray painted, for longevity. Any color on the Prismatic Powders website is available for the metal bases.
Most typically, corner legs assemblies have a skirt or apron, whereas trestle, metal, and pedestal bases do not. These images are examples. If you look at our website or instagram, you'll see we're capable of all kinds of designs.
TABLE EXTENDERS: OUR PROPRIETARY SYSTEMS CAN'T BE BEAT
You have the option to fit more guests by ultilizing removable table extenders. Our table extension systems are the best in the industry and they are both completely proprietary. We have patents pending on both systems. There are two distinct systems for rectangular tables: one for tables with skirts, and one for tables with inset metal, pedestal, or trestle bases (no skirt). We've come up with the designs and mechanisms ourselves so we won't be showing them to you here on our website. You can be sure they never sag the way they do when you have wooden rails that pull out from the skirt. They are easy to use, rock solid, and every client has loved using them. When we extend a round or oval table, the seam is in the middle of the table, and we use Osborne Wood Products extension slides.
We are the only company around doing a fully removable extension rail system on live edge tables and table with trestles. You don't ever want to put a skirt or apron on a live edge table to cover up a bulky rail system that is fixed to your table. People love our "Same Slab" extension tables. They are beyond cool!
Extending the table with boards on the ends avoids that annoying seam you are accustomed to seeing across the middle of a pull-apart slide extension table. This way, you can size your table comfortably in your space for every day living, but still add up to four feet to its length (24 inches on either side) for hosting larger gatherings. When not in use, the extender boards can either be stored in a nearby closet, depending on the type of table and leg configuration. In some cases they will fit under the table and we can build a shelf. We are the only company around offering 24" extensions because our system is so much better, and we have in fact gone up to 30" several times. 24" is a full place setting, so especially for tables with corner legs, you have plenty of room to add another two people on the outside of the legs, and you can get four more people at the table.
Here is an example of extension boards on a table with no skirt and metal legs:
Here are examples of live edge slabs with removable extenders that are the extension of the slab itself. We call these "same slab extensions" and we're the only company doing them because we're the only company who can.
We want you to enjoy collaborating with us. We encourage you to share with us photographs of furniture that you like, photographs of the space you have, and measurements. Once you’ve contacted us we will reach out to you, typically within 2 business days, with questions or ballpark pricing. After a preliminary pricing exercise, we are happy to discuss your project over the phone or in person in our showroom. At the showroom you can feel the different wood types and see the different finishes. We’ll guide you through design, seating, and pricing, and give you an estimated timeline for the delivery of your table. During the build process, we’re here to answer any necessary questions. The guys who make your furniture also deliver it to your home. For us, delivering your piece gives us a sense of gratification and completion, and allows us to get out of the shop and see the finished product in its intended home.
Click here to see our seating chart. The chart illustrates how many people could typically fit around tables of various shapes and lengths. In choosing the right size table for your space, remember it is ideal to maintain a clearance minimum of 30 inches to the wall or other fixed objects in no traffic zones (like a back wall), 36 inches in mid traffic zones (people need to walk past other dining at the table), and 42 inches in high traffic zones (thoroughfare of house, kids can be running by).
For further reading, please also check out our blog.
We look forward to working with you!