From Timber to Table
Appeal of timber
No material matches the appeal of timber for the way it brings nature into our homes. Unlike glass, stone, plastic or metal, timber is a living material. Elements of its life can be seen in the colour the texture of the surface and pattern of the grain.
As a result no two pieces of timber are the same, and therefore, no two Berrydesign dining tables even if they are made exactly the same way in the same design are the same. Thus every single dining table produced by Berrydesign is truly a unique one-off.
Of course, the inherent variability in timber also poses numerous challenges. Choosing only the best timber from well managed forests is essential to the final quality of all our dining tables, dining chairs, extending dining tables, cabinets, sideboards, mirrors and bookcases.
That skill takes many years to acquire and with over 30 years of timber sourcing and selection experience, it is what sets us apart from our competitors.
Timber to table control
As owners of the timber drying and wood planing facilities we are in a strong position within the furniture making industry, as this gives us greater control over the quality of the timber we use and reduces the risk that it is compromised along the way.
This means that we are involved in all stages, literally from “timber to table” including the initial timber selection, processing and ultimate design and making. Making Berrydesign unique furniture makers and designers.
We reject 80-95% of the timber in order to produce our very exacting solid oak and solid walnut quality standards. The average rejection rate of raw material solid oak for making an extending dining table with matched grain, for example is over 90 %.
Any defects such as black knots, loose knots splits, dark stains, twisted grain, ingrowing bark, pest damage and “thunder shakes” all have to be rejected in order to give the strength to the final dining table, so that it can withstand the daily rigours of family life, many years of dining and last a lifetime. This is especially important for our extending dining tables where the timber has to be strong enough to be frequently extended and closed with the smoothest of actions.
After selection from carefully managed, sustainable forests, all our timber is then dried to a within a 2% tolerance range of our relative humidity requirements to ensure that it doesn’t change shape or split later in life.
Each piece of timber is cut for each furniture design and is checked again for quality defects. Any tension in the timber will cause distortion, splits and warps, as the wood always wants to get back to the tree shape, with its natural curves caused by wind and weather patterns during its life.
Poor quality furniture is often cut on only two surfaces to save money. However, we cut our timber on all four surfaces to within 1/100th mm , and use less mechanical energy to ensure the timber doesn’t spring back under force.
This can be a huge problem for furniture makers who buy their timber ready-cut, as they can’t control the tensions already within the timber at that stage. At Berrydesign, we check everything ourselves and insist that all our timber is cut by hand to reduce the forces associated within the sawing process. This allows us to control the pressure we put the timber under and if we feel it is too much we can stop. This practice requires years of craftsmanship to accomplish.
Your piece of timber
Each piece of timber is then labelled with our customers individual code and later cut to the exact template of the design you have selected.
Our timber is then sanded in 4 careful stages with knives removing only 3mm at a time to avoid the build up of heat, which would cause the timber to release water and bend.
Using sandpaper during this stage would create much too much heat. The next stage of our making process involves using specialized sandpaper to produce the finest finish and reduce the heat build up. It is done very slowly to avoid burning.
All the joints on our dining tables, chairs and cabinets are carefully cut by hand and hand glued traditionally to create perfect joints that are both incredibly beautiful and strong.
This can only be achieved with hand made joints and truly experienced craftsmanship.
Engineered steel extension mechanisms
Uniquely we are the only furniture making company that also makes its own in-house steel mechanisms for its extending dining table extensions. This allows us to use the highest tensile steel in the exact sizes we need with little wastage. We are able to create new innovative designs and cut our steel to whatever shapes and strengths we need to create each bespoke dining table design.
Every time we design a new extending table shape, we need to change the mechanics of the steel we use. We are extremely proud of our innovative and complex engineering skills.
Our strict standards and control over the whole furniture making process ensure that every piece of furniture we make will stand the test of time. When you choose any solid wood dining table, dining chair or cabinet from us, you can be sure you will always get the finest quality furniture possible made form the best solid timber available.
At Berrydesign, each piece of furniture is created and made to order especially for you from initial design to final hand polishing. We even write your name on your planks of timber at the start of production!
To certify that you have bought a true Berrydesign piece of furniture we carve or signature stainless steel Berrydesign logo gracefully concealed under each dining table or cabinet we make.