Materials & Craftsmanship
The Table Company traditionally crafts genuine solid hardwood furniture using only responsibly sourced 100% solid hardwood materials. We never use veneer, MDF, or other engineered synthetic materials.
In this article:
- The Craft Experts
- Table Materials & Product Safety
- Craftsmanship Techniques
- Solid Hardwood Versus Veneer/Engineered Wood & Laminate
The Craft Experts
Our tables are individually hand-made in Northern Thailand – where an old tradition of woodwork is carried on. Our furniture is made, much as it has been made for many decades. While power tools assist, we do not use machines or automated mass production (CNC or robotics). Our craft requires substantially more handwork and careful attention than the fashion-furniture products produced in highly automated factories of China and Vietnam. We believe the result is more desirable and honorable.
Table Materials & Product Safety
We favor Thai/Burmese Teak, Siam Cham-Cha (a species of Acacia), and on a limited basis, Siam Rosewood – all directly sourced from local sustainable plantations. We also use North American Red and White Oak.
The Table Company only uses 100% solid hardwood that is sustainably sourced, sawn to custom specifications at our mill, meticulously dried in our kiln, and naturally treated by our FDA-approved and environmentally friendly 12-step finishing process; properly sealing each piece – we never use veneer, MDF, or other engineered synthetic materials, that are increasingly being used by sought-after retailers. All adhesives and stains used by The Table Company are formaldehyde-free and are Prop 65 compliant.
Whether it be the use of traditional techniques or the attention to detail, the skill of our craftsman is highlighted by "old school" joinery, detailed edging, finishing procedures, and special attention to sustainability. We go to great lengths to ensure that each table does not split, warp or twist and in some cases, we even embed a hidden steel bar to mitigate movement.
At The Table Company, we honor the potential of each piece by respecting the process. The grain of each piece represents a unique narrative of its organic life. It is our duty to recognize, reveal, and sustain the story of each piece so that it can be appreciated, shared, and passed on for generations.
Solid Hardwood Versus Veneer/Engineered Wood & Laminate
Genuine solid hardwood furniture is 100% hardwood and considered the highest quality wood for furniture making – The Table Company's solid hardwood tables are completely natural, durable, long-lasting, timeless, unique, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.
The majority of other fine wood furniture produced today is not genuine 100% solid hardwood, although it is often creatively promoted as such. Many furniture retailers are increasingly using veneer and laminate overlays over composite or substandard wood, rarely producing 100% solid hardwood furniture.
What does it mean when furniture is made with veneer, laminate, or other engineered wood and/or synthetics?
Veener is a method that refers to taking thin slices of hardwood, usually less than 1/8 inch thick, and gluing them to a low-quality wood or a panel of engineered wood – such as medium density fiberboard (MDF) or particleboard. These panels of composite materials, such as MDF and particleboard are engineered by taking tiny pieces of wood and wood fibers, adhering them together with the use of resin and/or wax, while simultaneously applying heat, and pressure.
Laminate furniture construction is similar to veneered furniture in that they both have an engineered core. Laminate "wood" furniture consists of synthetic materials that are meant to mimic the appearance of wood. Because laminate "wood" furniture is not made from actual wood, it looks and feels manufactured. Laminate "wood" furniture is constructed by gluing grain printed synthetic laminate sheets to a composite base.
Quality 100% solid hardwood furniture is designed to last – it is completely natural, unique, and of heirloom quality. Both veneer and laminate furniture have a short shelf-life and never can be refinished or easily repaired. In addition, the core composite used in both veneer and laminate furniture is hard to regulate and commonly contains formaldehyde and/or other toxic materials and this is why many furniture pieces sold in California are labeled with a warning of possible contaminants.