I have new, hand made, solid wood tables in my living room.
One day when I was biking south of town, I noticed some guys out in front of a shop making wooden furniture. The waved and greeted me as I rode past, so I stopped to talk with them on my return trip. I’ve seen other furniture and woodworking shops around town but I hadn’t seen the carving and details that I saw here, and I also liked these guys.
They told me that yes indeed, they make furniture and could make anything I wanted. We had tables in the living room… well sort of. These are actually parts of plastic shelves that did the job, but it wasn’t exactly what we dreamed of for the long term.
I came home, we talked, decided on dimensions, and I returned to the shop to put in an order. They asked for half down so they could buy wood, and told me they should be ready in a week.
I passed by again only a few days later. They had one table almost done, and another built but waiting for finish.
There is quite a large shop area beyond the door, but the guys seem to prefer working outside and that is where you will usually find them unless it is raining.
It’s really interesting to go by the shop because they always seem to be working on something different. I’ve seen dressers, tables of all sorts including big dining room tables, mirror frames, chairs, and even an entire set of kitchen cabinets which were being sprayed with a beautiful red finish. They use hand power tools for some things but everything is individually cut, carved, assembled, and finished, and much of it is done totally by hand.
I thought I made it very clear that we wanted one bigger table and two other smaller tables but something got lost in translation, so I had to order the second smaller table when we picked up the others. When it was ready though it was also exactly what we were expecting so the important things were understood. If you want to be very picky you could complain that the putty over the nail heads doesn’t exactly match the wood, and there are some pencil marks left from the construction, but the tables are very solid and well built. The finish is what I asked for, and I like how they routed and smoothed the edges and corners. The price for all three tables – $160, $50 for the smaller ones and $60 for the larger.
I think I have new friends now. If they see me riding by and I don’t stop, they whistle and shout until I turn around. I like supporting a local business of hard working guys. I think the price is more than fair (furniture here is as expensive if not more so than in the US). I like wood (probably related to my love of trees). I’m happy with the quality. Every time I use the tables I will think of the hands of these nice guys who made them especially for us.