Building Big Tables
A Union of Traditional Woodworking and Modern Technology
The most significant projects are born through collaboration and a willingness to push the limits. At Thos. Moser, we are generally recognized for our collection of residential furniture. But, we have had the great honor of collaborating with architects, contractors, facility managers, and interior designers to furnish spaces of every scale. We balance the fine art of handwork, traditional joinery, and skill while employing the most advanced technology to create one-off custom designs and efficiencies to scale larger projects. We have constructed tables within our 80,000 square-foot shop that spans the traditional six-foot dining table to a nine-foot wide and thirty-six-foot long conference table. Over the years, we have developed an extensive portfolio of clients and capabilities to produce a table as unique as the room it will inhabit.
Sourcing Raw Materials and our Commitment to Sustainability
We take pride in giving trees a second life, and that commitment begins in the soil. Through selective harvesting and working closely with small family woodlots, we are committed to the sustainability of the raw material— that’s why we take particular care in sourcing premium North American hardwoods that inspire our design approach and final product. Sourcing lumber for large projects is a consideration that happens very early on in the process. Due to the lasting relationships we’ve cultivated with our suppliers, we can source premium materials in a timely fashion.
We do not use paints or stains to conceal or color our furniture. The wood for every piece we make is carefully selected for optimal grain and color match. When a design has been finalized, our highly skilled craftspeople in the rough mill comb through stacks of boards from the same wood lot to ensure each board will age uniformly, creating a visually stunning and cohesive table.
In our Auburn, Maine workshop, we have embraced modern machinery, including CNC, ‘computer numerical control’ technology. We have one 5-axis CNC machine in addition to a 3-axis CNC. These tools have enabled us to enhance our craft by allowing for exact precision, increased quality, and expansion of our design capabilities. Crafting large conference tables is a union of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. Once the intricate pieces of the table have been created on the CNC, they are then in the hands of our skilled craftspeople. Every square inch of the table is then formed, assembled, sanded, and finished by hand. There are multiple checks and balances throughout the process to ensure the conference table will meet our clients’ expectations and last for generations to come.
Building with solid wood takes patience and a deep appreciation of its ever-changing nature. With the understanding of wood movement, grain patterns, and joinery, we create furniture that will last a lifetime. Each wood species has its own unique personality and tendencies to react to the elements in different ways. A conference or special collection table is a collaboration between the client, the wood, and our team of engineers and woodworkers. We have honed the ability to craft furniture that reflects our client’s aesthetic and meets their unique functional requirements.
How do we build a table that spans more than twelve feet long, can expand and contract more than two inches annually, and weigh over one-thousand pounds? Craft and refine every element by hand so it can be moved and assembled in place. One way we help to mitigate seasonal fluctuation and accommodate assembly is through concealed fittings. Recessed hardware, like steel plates, keep the table from cupping, and galvanized panel connectors join each section using tension to keep the tabletop panels in place. If the table needs to be refinished or moved, a connecting panel joint can be easily loosened to disassemble the table.
In addition to crafting and designing within the fundamentals of wood movement, we must also consider the room’s needs. A twenty-foot table may not be a realistic solution; however, a smaller, adjustable table that can be separated, stored, and quickly moved to fit within that room’s multifaceted needs may offer a beautiful and practical solution.
Design Collaboration and Customized Solutions
When working with architects, designers, and project managers, we often find subtle ways of bringing unique design moments into an individualized piece. A custom chair can be designed to complement a conference table’s curvature. The laser engraving of a school emblem or company logo makes a memorable and lasting piece of furniture. Our furniture and designs are flexible, allowing tables and chairs to accommodate ADA requirements while maintaining structural integrity and building an inclusive design that fits the clients’ every need.
Technology Integration and Alternate Materials
As technology continues to be an integral part of our daily lives, a key differentiator in our large-scale tables is the ability to adapt to advances in technology. As the collaboration between the client and our design team takes shape, we consider every aspect of the table’s needs and purpose. Will the large conference table require microphone integration, or is the main focus to serve as a large community study table or special collections table?
Our engineers begin by constructing a table that respects the materials while making concessions for technology, use, and aesthetics. Often, these needs are best served by incorporating alternative materials into solid wood construction. We have masterfully worked with materials like Marmoleum, Corian, marble, and glass to create durable and easy-to-clean surfaces that accentuate the overall design.
Handcrafted to Last
When we begin work on a large conference table or unique design, we go into it with an understanding that we are creating a piece of furniture that will part of our client’s legacy. Each piece we design helps tell the individual story of that company, institution, museum, library, or public space. Our furniture is a showcase of what makes that space unique while being the most personal vehicle of the room’s architecture. When creative minds come together, companies and partners collaborate, students gather to experience a moment in history, our furniture will be there to support their work and their legacy.
This twenty-six-foot-long by six-foot-wide conference table crafted in the 1980s is now back in our shop and available to purchase. Marked with a commemorative plaque, this piece honors the legacy of craftsmanship at Thos. Moser.
We value every partnership and care deeply about our furniture’s ongoing aesthetic, quality, and longevity. When you work with Thos. Moser, we continue to be an active partner to ensure your furniture withstands the test of time. Each installation comes with our personal guarantee of complete satisfaction of every piece. If you are interested in a custom design, conference table, or unique workstation for your legacy space, we invite you to explore our designs. We look forward to crafting you a table that defines your space.
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