Custom Maple Dining Table and Wood Countertop
Every once and awhile we get to partner in a really great project for wonderful clients. When we first picked up the request for this dining table we thought the client had lost their mind or maybe they were unfamiliar with reading a tape measure. This custom maple dining table and wood countertop was exactly one of the sorts. One for the books, as we call it.
Either way, we knew we had to go and see the project, first hand to verify the massive size and sheer scope of work!
This family had a flood in their kitchen and as a result, the insurance company was paying for new cabinets to be installed. The clients decided to take this opportunity and get a whole new kitchen. A new layout. Knocking a wall down and opening the space from the kitchen to the dining room was in order.
The job was to build a custom dining table big enough to also double as a wood countertop over the new cabinets.
When we reviewed the clients existing furniture, they mentioned how their 4 older children would need something buff and strong. A buff dining table and a custom countertop. However, we didn’t want to just make something thicker. A thicker table often distracts from the overall look and aesthetic. A chunky table is no fun!
But we still needed a wood strong enough to hold up to the demands of a busy and active family. We got a hold of some rock maple and knew this would be the ticket.
Rock maple is hard and very durable. It has been used for centuries on projects like floors and high wearing tables.
However, rock maple has very closed grain and can be very difficult to stain, with any product out there. It takes a lot of skill, practice, and mostly a lot of patience to get just right. We wanted to use a finish that we knew would be easy to maintain for its life. A finish that could be spot repaired if ever needed but strong enough to hold up to whatever the family threw at it.
We often like to use finishes that take little extra care.
We opted for a hard wax finish. One that is often used on flooring.
We made a custom steel base- powder coated to match the existing designs in the home. The overall table top was 88 inches by 96 inches. At close to 9 feet in rectangle, this custom maple dining table top needed some care around how we moved it through the shop. It was SOOO heavy.
We built this in 4 sections. Slowly working through each board to get the joints just right. And then after planing these 4 maple sections, we glued them into 2 larger slabs. This is when the project got not just a little bit bigger but a MASSIVE amount of weight. Think 2+2 equals 4? Not the case here. It required 2 people to begin moving the custom maple wood countertops anytime they needed flipped or rotated. They just were so big.
The steel frame and custom stain color on the maple dining table was so cool once we got it in the home. The color was exactly what the kitchen needed. It was warm but matched everything already in place.
The wood was clean and so smooth. We worked for hours getting the maple wood to the right grit for accepting the right amount of color. Too high of a grit and we run the risk of less color. Too low of a grit and we lose the beauty of the wood altogether as it gets hidden under too much stain. Its always nerve racking but always worth the extra work and attention to detail.
We would have it no other way!
We had the steel ready in about a month, which was a surprise in the midst of this awful COVID season. The wood took nearly 3 times longer to work and get done.
Overall, we weren’t too far behind schedule. But, as you can imagine- living without a dining table can be stressful on the family. We hurried but took the time where we needed to.
The steel frame had tabs that are slotted to allow for wood movement over the life of the custom maple dining table.
Every job becomes a part of us. The good ones and the bad ones. We become a part of the wood through the struggles and the setbacks. The victories and the struggles. Somehow, we always end up right where we intended, all along. This makes the build that more rewarding for us. It provides work but then it provides a new purpose. The one it was originally always intended for.
And, as always, the best part of any job we finish is the one where we get repeat work. We dropped this custom maple dining table off and installed it then to find out this client loved the table so much they want us to make their countertops in the kitchen!
We are thrilled obviously. But the best part for this home is that the counters and the table will all feel like from the same shop. They will have the DNA of the same maker. This will make this kitchen and home feel like a great place to stay and linger. A place to enjoy family. To have drinks and make a mess. The kinds of messes that are better cleaned up the following day.
When you are ready for your custom piece of furniture to be built, reach out. We would be honored to add you to our mix of work.
Check out our other work and get a glimpse into our shop: