The 'Cappuccino' Dining Table, layers of beautiful technical innovation.
The name for this Dining Table came in the workshop, as we reflected on the contrasting layered milk & coffee coloured grain of light English Ash and dark Black American Walnut. The design for this piece started, however, with a desire to make the aesthetic case for its structural jointing rather than hiding it away – to show off the beauty of traditional woodworking as much as to challenge ourselves with the greater levels of accuracy and tolerance now needed.
In our choice of woods, the marriage of English Ash & Black American Walnut seemed obvious: both woods with similar density & growth rings that would therefore move & age together, both contemporary, contrasting timbers perfect for showcasing the stylised joints & sculptural form of the table.
Our first point of inspiration was the traditional 'through dovetail joint', which we developed through experimentation, exaggerating & rounding its corners to increase the faying surfaces so that once glued the joint would be stronger – and now a design feature; we renamed it the 'fishtail' joint. The leg set joints were fitted at final assembly, the Ash legs & Black American Walnut splines all faying together in pleasing harmony – a highly rewarding moment!
We were keen to keep this style flowing throughout the piece, so when it came to the tabletop we paid attention to developing the traditional Butterfly joint, also known as the 'Butterfly Patch' – often used to check and hold timbers when edge jointing, nowadays commonly seen to check splits & faults in green timber, and equally extensively used in ship building. The table top is connected to the leg set via traditional Galleried Gantry Cleats, to allow it to swell & contract seasonally without the top's trueness distorting.
Our ambitious design required a painstaking process. We started our work by selecting and machining our wood, then developing & carefully testing the tooling to cut the joints. As these joints would be visible, the need for high levels of accuracy dictated lots of time working on the tolerances needed to create a perfect fit between legs & stretcher components, that each of the assembled parts sat fair to each other at the correct angles.
Our 'Cappuccino' Dining Table showcases the beauty of structural technique, making it an aesthetic focal point. We wished to create a piece that revealed rather than concealed the level of craftsmanship, whilst displaying the great quality of the wood. We are very proud of this uniquely elegant & structurally sophisticated piece, a meeting place of sculptural form and attention to detail.
Should you be interested in a bespoke variation of 'Cappuccino' for your interior space, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
This piece is sold in our SHOP.
- Peter Meredith