Sunday, March 3, 2013

how much does a claro walnut slab table cost?

""  BTW did you make the pool table attached to this email?  One more question, I suspect I will lean towards 10 feet (need to confirm with decorator).  About how much would the table run me? ""

The above question typically arrives with the first or second email inquiring about a slab top table ... It is kinda like 'how much is a house?' or 'how much is a new car?'  The answer, obviously, is, 'it depends' .... on what? ... here's a list. 

Size:  The most popular size request I get is for a table 'about 4' wide and 8-10' long'.  Obviously, that requires a pretty big tree, something on the order of 5 to 6 feet in diameter, as the slabs in the immediate center of the tree contain the pith, an unstable area prone to checking and humping the centers of the slabs from that part of the log.  The best and widest slabs come from about 6-10" on either side of the dead center of the tree.  Since 'about 4' wide' is the 'most popular' requested size, that also puts pressure on the supply end for slabs of that size, making them more expensive than something in the 36" wide range, before they even arrive here at the shop.  Once we agree on which particular slab you like, then we can start discussing the finial price

Thickness:  The next item on the list is table top thickness.  Think about it;  3" thick?  twice as much wood as 1.5" thick .. 1/2 as many slabs from the log; twice as long to kiln dry them ... You do the math.

Finish:  How rough/smooth, twisted, humped, etc. is the actual slab when it arrives.  That's something that is difficult to tell from my supplier's website, though I'm learning what to look for.  Goodhope (and i only shop at Goodhope) is VERY good at drying these things, so usually I expect them to be fairly flat, but it's still a process to get the big ones ready to finish.  Does the slab require butterflies to decorate and/or stabilize the cracks?  Are you insisting on no cracks? (good luck), or would you like the cracks filled smooth and even with the rest of the slab?  These are all things that add to the cost of smoothing and finishing the rough slab.

The Base:  In our shop, we offer many different designs with many different prices and we are always open to new concepts.  Our waterjet cut 'Shaker style' bases are our most popular and typically range in price from $3500. per set in natural steel finish to $3900. per set with a rainbow or blackened patina shown below.  for a brief tour of possible bases we have already done, check this blog post.

summing up quickly, our claro walnut tables range in price from (very occasionally) as low as $5000. (smallish, thin top table, 32-35" wide x 72" long, simple welded base) to $20,000. or so for really big ones.  most of the tables we make fall into the $12,500., to $17,500. range.   the details above, plus shipping and set up in your home, invariably determine the final, fixed price.  just as every day's different, every table's different too.  

and, every maker is different too.  granted, i don't have a fancy storefront in a big city, or a huge inventory of finished tables to pick from, but the prices listed below in an article in this week's new york times home section (which actually prompted this blog post) made feel a little bit like a chump from the sticks up here in vermont.  we do what we do, and try to give our clients a fair price for a product that's the best we can produce.  here is a link to some testimonials from our recent clients the photos below to enlarge them ...

gold leafed bases anyone?  we can do that ..
too rich for your budget?  we also do reclaimed wood tops with steel bases (much less), and we also can use other woods like elm and cherry, ( different supplier here) and glued up narrower slabs of new wood, like this big ash table.  i can't say we can always make your dream table fit your budget, but we're usually willing to at least give it a shot ... email's fine, a phone call is good too ... 802 867 5541

we also make quite a few claro walnut slab coffee tables ($2750. - $5000.) and some claro walnut slab desks, typically from about $7000. to $12,000.

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