Materials and Craftsmanship

The Table Company crafts genuine solid hardwood furniture using only responsibly sourced 100% solid hardwood materials. We never use veneer, MDF, or other engineered synthetic materials. We don’t confuse plywood or softwoods with hardwoods, we make a promise and keep it.

In this article:


The Craft Experts

Our tables are individually hand-made in Northern Thailand – where a tradition of woodworking continues 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 sold in big box stores and produced in highly automated factories of China and Vietnam. We believe the result is more desirable and honorable. You can quickly see the difference in how our corners are sanded and our tops are hand finished; machines cannot replace hand-work.


Table Materials and Product Safety

We favor Thai/Burmese Teak, North American and European Oak, Siam Cham-Cha (a species of Acacia), and on a limited basis, Siam Rosewood – all directly sourced from local sustainable plantations.  The Table Company only uses 100% solid hardwood that is sustainably sourced, sawn to our custom specifications at our mill, meticulously dried in our kilns, and naturally treated by our FDA-approved and environmentally friendly multi-step finishing process; properly sealing each piece .  We never use chearper veneers, plywood, MDF, or other engineered synthetic materials that are increasingly being used by "fashion" retailers.  All adhesives and stains used by The Table Company are formaldehyde-free and are Prop 65 compliant. Importantly, we don’t confuse plywood or softwoods with hardwood. Hardness is measured with a Janka Rating – check it out if you are curious, you may be surprised at what some retailers refer to as “hard”.


Craftsmanship Techniques

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.  Because we use genuine lumber and do not “paint” our finishes, there will be variations in color and grain.  This is normal and, we believe, adds to the charm of each piece. We will not repair or use wood-filler on the tops of our tables.


Solid Wood vs 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. Much of the 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. Solid hardwood is expensive and high volume “fashion” manufacturers will seek and find ways to lower their costs and increase their margins. We don’t compromise on our raw materials, we make a promise and keep it.

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 plywood, 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. Often those products include formaldehyde or other toxic chemicals. In any case, they are not genuine, solid hardwood.

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 often 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.  We note that France and Italy have a history and tradition of using veneer on some of their most beautiful and intricate furniture. We do not believe that quality is coming from China and Vietnam.