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A Guide to Buying Your Table 

To choose a table or chairs that will fit your home and lifestyle perfectly, there are a few things to consider.  Here’s what’s helpful to know when deciding what table is right for you.

Size

How big is your space, and how many people do you want to seat?

Think about how many people are sitting around your table most days of the year. We like to allow 24” per person, which is a generous place setting. You will also want to consider the chairs that you will use with the table to ensure they will fit comfortably between the legs of the table.  Depending on style, our tables have different apron depths, overhangs, and space between the legs. Some people like the flexibility of trestle-style tables, which are better suited to squeezing more people around because the legs are centered underneath the table, instead of on the edges. Contact us to talk through dimensions to ensure you get a good fit!

Extensions

If you entertain frequently it’s likely worth it to go with a bigger table everyday, but if you only have a bigger crowd for the holidays, consider extensions.  Extensions can be built to insert into the center of the table, or on the ends.  We recommend end-extensions to avoid a split in the center of your table. A good size for extensions is between 18-24”, which is a standard place-setting.

Wood

When considering wood options, you may decide based on color preferences or on character.  We build with the best quality New American Hardwoods including Cherry, Maple and Walnut, and can source a wide variety of other options if you’re interested in a specific species you don’t see on the website.

We also specialize in Reclaimed Woods, including Pine, Oak, Heart Pine and Chestnut, which can be sourced from places like old barns, silos, train stations. Maybe use the word salvaged too...people tend to resonate with that better. The appeal of reclaimed wood is its depth of character and the beauty inherent in reusing materials with a past life.  Reclaimed wood will often include features such worm holes, nail holes, and deeper color variation.

If you like a lot of character in your wood, reclaimed may be a great choice for you.  If that makes you nervous, call us to talk through what to expect! Every source of reclaimed wood is different, so each batch can vary significantly from the last, ask us for photos or samples of our current batch!

Style

We have a talented team of woodworkers and designers who designed our table collection based on classic, timeless furniture designs, with modern influences.  The best place to see our styles is in the table collections page (here). If you have something else in mind, send us a picture to get the conversation started!

If you have a design in mind that you don’t see in our gallery, just send us a picture or sketch of what you would like to build and we’ll work with you to make it happen.

Finish

We believe in taking the natural route whenever possible.  We use a natural oil and wax blend finish on our tables, applied in multiple coats until it saturates the wood, creating a finish that is water and stain resistant.  This approach lets the natural beauty of the wood shine through, while creating a finish that is easy to care for over time.  Should a scratch or spot happen on the table (as it will!), it is easy to spot-refinish, unlike a lacquer or urethane finish which typically requires a complete refinish when compromised.  

Construction

Our tables are built by hand in our state of the art woodshop by a team of dedicated and talented craftspeople.   The combination of our team, the quality of our materials and process, and the way in which we build makes a Vermont Farm Table a better table.  

Your table starts with selecting the best wood for the job, and laying it out with an expert’s eye for balanced wood grain patterns and overall aesthetic.  Our tops are built with solid boards, typically 5-12 inches wide, which are precision edge-glued.  We a combination of the highest quality machinery and hand construction, including mortise-and-tenon joinery and hand finishing.

Our finishing process includes multiple coats of our oil-and-wax finish, hand-applied over the course of several days.  This gives the finish the chance to penetrate the wood and provide a finish that will wear beautifully over time and help protect the wood from daily wear and tear.

Our team is brilliant with wood, and we are constantly amazed by what they can pull off!  If you have any other questions about our process, please ask!  We love to talk "shop"!

Thickness

For all of our table designs, we build in a recommended thickness, but also offer the choice of thicker or thinner based on your preference.  When you choose one of our thickness options (Standard, Thicker, Thinner, Thinnest), it corresponds to a range or estimated final thickness after finishing.

Our team of craftspeople begin with raw materials and shape them into your final top based on an expert’s eye and touch for bringing the wood together in the most aesthetically balanced way possible. Wood is a natural material that expands and contracts over time.  For these reasons our tops finish down to an estimated thickness range.  If your project calls for exact measurements, please call us to discuss details and we are happy to make it happen!

Custom Finishes

We offer standard stain options, but can also always stain or paint a base to your specifications, whether its just a specific color, or exterior or commercial grade stains and finishes.  We do not warranty custom finishes outside our standard offering, but are happy to work with you to find the best finish solution for your project.

Edge

The edge offerings you'll see on our website are Standard, Square and Round, but are able to finish your edge in a number of custom ways, including beveled, with a radius, round-over, knife-edge, and ogee edge.  If you have a specific edge detail in mind, we are happy to build it into your design.

Breadboard Ends

Breadboard Ends are a classic table design feature, originally designed to help stabilize a top against cupping and warping.  Because wood moves across the grain seasonally, a breadboard end will either fall short of the panel edge or extend past it, depending on the season.  This changing condition is a sign of good craftsmanship and not a design flaw.  

Breadboard ends can be added for aesthetic reasons, but it’s important to understand these basic characteristics of the design.  

Everything Else

When it comes to other options for your table, there’s always room to share your ideas with us if there’s something you want but don’t see on our website.  We’ve got a team of talented craftspeople who can pull off a lot of amazing things with wood!

Common Questions

How long will it take to build my table?

Our entire model is built around “flow”, which  means that our lead-time is directly related to current demand. Our standard lead-time for custom tables and seating is 2-4 weeks for production + delivery (see "how will my table ship" below for delivery expectations). If you have a project that requires a quicker turnaround, or a specific delivery date we will do our best to meet your needs.

How will my table ship?

We are pleased to offer White Glove Shipping on our tables and larger bench and chair orders.  Our partners blanket wrap your fully-assembled furniture straight off our woodshop floor and deliver it right to your home.  Depending on the route of the truck and where you live, shipping can add 1-4 weeks to your total lead-time.  When your piece leaves Vermont Farm Table, we will let you know it’s on the way, and our partners will be in contact with you directly to schedule a delivery time that works best for you.  The team that delivers will carry your table into your home and help ensure it arrives in perfect condition.

How do I Care for my Table?

We strongly believe in the table as a place where life happens, and not a showpiece to be protected from signs of use!   We think the table is at its most beautiful when over time it shows signs of a life well-lived around it, and the markings of many meals shared. We do know that most of us want our table to look beautiful though, and we can give you some tips on keeping it looking fantastic along the way!

For everyday care we recommend using a clean, soft cloth and mild soap and water or a natural cleaner. For quick and easy repairs or maintenance, a quick buffing with a generic furniture wax (found at any hardware store) will help bring back the original shine. For more extensive repair please contact us - your table can almost always be returned to its original finish quality.