Creating wooden furniture that fits together without the need for glue is a longstanding tradition across all sorts of cultures and styles, requiring a high level of craftsmanship and skill. Traditional woodworking joinery, like dovetails, tongue-and-groove and mortise-and-tenon, can be even more durable than joints that rely on fasteners and adhesives.
Some modern furniture makers are returning to these traditions for beautiful, high-quality products that still have a fresh, contemporary feel. Designer Ania Wolowska named the ‘Ban Table‘ after famed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, known for his ingenious buildings and other structures that fit together using similar techniques.
The table is specifically designed to bring attention to these joints, highlighting their beauty. Says the designer, “In this method of construction, pieces are put together with a basic technique that uses wooden joints, producing a highly pleasing table with excellent stability.”
The table is collapsible for easy packing and transport, reducing its environmental impact. It’s handmade by master carpenters in Bacalar, Mexico.
All of the dramatic beauty of heavy timber construction using Eastern White Pine is on display at the Southeastern Vermont Welcome Center, along with all of the exhibits featuring the state’s history. Designed and constructed by Vermont Timber Works, this beautiful commercial building stuns with an open framework of hand-hewn white pine timbers finished and joined the traditional way. Click each picture to get a look at the beauty of these timbers up close.
While many other construction methods typically hide the frame of a building, enclosing it within walls and ceilings, timber frame construction makes it an integral visual part of the finished structure.
Vermont Timber Works believes that working the timber by hand, with manual tools, produces a higher-quality result with more character than using automated machinery. They use razor-sharp chisels to shape the custom joinery.
That doesn’t mean they don’t use any modern tools at all: sophisticated design software and precision mortising machines, along with drill stands, band saws and beam saws enable them to create building components that fit together perfectly for incredibly strong, durable structures. See more at the Vermont Timber Works website.