Ultimate Guide To Buying And Maintaining A Table

Measure the space

There is nothing worse than buying a piece of furniture only to find it won't fit in your beautiful new space. As the woodworking proverb goes, "measure twice, cut once". However, we are in the "board shortening department". It is a good rule of thumb to leave at least 3 feet all the way around the table. This gives plenty of room for chairs to slide in and out without hitting the walls. For example, If I have a dining room that is 15' long x 10' wide I would be looking at a maximum of 9' long x 4' wide for my table (assuming there is not major walkways/other furniture). While it is nice to always see your table, you don't want to be bumping into or walking around it constantly. 

When it comes to shapes, you have options

Depending on the size of your room, a certain shape table may be more suitable to your space. Here are the options:

Family size = (+/-) Table size

In general you want to allow 24"/person at the table. Chairs are typically 18-20" wide (its always good to check your chair size). Think about the way you entertain. If you serve family style think about adding some width to your overall table (remember to use trivets/potholders under hot pans). 

Table Base Options

You can really change the look and feel of any table by choosing the right base. It is also important to remember that the base of your table is functional and not just for looks.

  • Pedestal base - Recommended for round tables. Turnings are Made from 100% solid wood of your choice
  • Trestle Base - A classic design that is visually appealing while providing the necessary strength. This style also allows you to place chairs/benches around the table without hitting your knees. 
  • Four Legs and Aprons - A traditional farmtable base. Legs and aprons are mortise and tenoned together for strength and longevity.
  • Cast Iron - Hands down one of the best solutions for slab tables. I don't think there is a better look in the industry right now (but im biased). This is our most popular base. 

Design and Style

We suggest working with an interior designer if you are unsure about which direction to go. It is important to remember you are investing into your home, family and life. A designer can lead you in a direction you never thought could be achieved in your space. Crafting a balanced and truly one of a kind space that fits you and your family's lifestyle. If you would like to work with our list of designers please contact us.

Material options

This is where Hopes Woodshop stands on its own. Because we own and operate our own sawmill we control the flow of materials in our shop. We like to stay true to the natural characteristics of our material. Celebrating the colors, knots, cracks, voids, inclusions, live (natural) edges, etc... The majority of our inventory is slabs that are sawn in sequential order. This gives you the ability to match pieces together for perfect symmetry and grain patterns. We stock dimensional lumber in the same fashion. We specialize in the following Live edge slabs and boards:

Single slab, Book-match, Glue-up etc... 

We specialize in live edge slabs. Not every table needs to be live edge though. For example if you wanted a single slab (tree slice) but wanted it to have a square edge that is possible. Here are some of the options we offer:

Details (Butterflies, Voids, Knots)

Some things are going to be a given when dealing with big live edge slabs. They are more susceptible to cracking during drying and they are not graded. Therefore they are going to have some cracks, knots, voids, etc... This is where we sharpen our tools and get busy. It is in these details we are able to make truly one of a kind pieces of furniture. Nothing fake about it, we roll with whatever the tree throws at us. If you want us to simulate a live edge, you might need to go somewhere else. We stay as natural to the process as possible. Hand flattening each board so we can study the life of the tree. Here are a few details we love to showcase in our furniture:

The Finish

Every table we make we finish. Lately we have been using Rubio Monocoat on all of our pieces and we have been very pleased. This is an extremely safe product for us and your family. It is durable and will stand up to the daily wear and tear. If you would like a different finish we can also do a urethane upon request. 

Closing Remarks

We hope this post has pointed you in the right direction. If you have any further questions in regards to your custom project please feel free to contact us here:

Also watch this quick video on the story of Hopes Woodshop