Custom-made Furniture Design Review

This table was crafted from a live edge slab of Big Leaf Maple. Big Leaf Maple grows in the Pacific Northwest, as opposed to the Eastern US (and Canada) where “Hard Maple” grows. Big Leaf produces a more intense grain pattern than other maples. It often has highly figured grain, burl (A) and curl (B) in various places throughout the wood.

We fashioned a low, round table from the slab to create a very contemporary coffee table that would look great in any modern space. It is in the truest sense of the word, a minimalist coffee table that has a very natural appeal.

When Distress Actually Produces Characteristics that One Desires

This piece was cut horizontally, known as a cookie or disc cut, as opposed to lengthwise. This cut allows one to see the history of the tree – and in this case – the mystery of the tree as well.  Once completely finished, the growth and death of this wood slab produce a unique and beautiful piece with highly figured grain.

Although it is unknown exactly where the tree came from it, just by looking at it one can tell this tree was highly distressed. Wood is a bit like people: it gains character and becomes more interesting as a result of such distress.

I believe the tree probably grew on a steep hillside or rocky crevice, based on the shape of the trunk. You can see one portion is clearly not as “circular” in shape (C) as the rest. In addition, the grain here (D) looks different than in the rest of the tree, which was likely the result of stress from the pressure of the tree leaning away from the hillside.

Big Maple Leaf Coffee Table Greenwood Bay Woodworking of Houston, Texas
Big Maple Leaf Coffee Table Greenwood Bay Woodworking of Houston, Texas
Big Maple Leaf Coffee Table Greenwood Bay Woodworking of Houston, Texas

It was rotted in the middle (E), which is another sign of stress: this tree had a tough life, but was beautiful inside! Rocks, gravel and dried weeds needed to be cleaned from the crevices. Some stabilizing was required, but I was able to maintain a completely natural look.

Big Leaf Maple is characterized by a very sort of unruly outer edge. One can say it has a significant amount of character to it. Gnarliness if you will (F).

There are three smooth Cherry legs fastened directly into the tabletop itself, which complete it’s contemporary styling.

In all, the distressed history of this tree makes for a magnificent end product.

For more Beautiful Designs, check out our Portfolio

This table measures roughly 45 by 50 inches across, and about 15 inches tall. It’s low, round shape produces a truly contemporary furniture piece that surely would be the focal point of any room.

Questions or comments? Leave them below or contact us directly by calling (281) 684-7102.

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