Western Dining Table

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This is a western style dining table made from reclaimed untreated spruce planks and finished in our Country rustic and polyurethane for easy care. We used a water-based stain on this piece to ensure food safe use. The poly top coat dries to a durable finish.

The table is 4.5′ x 5′ with four 6″ thick corner posts. The table is 28 7/8″ tall, allowing for a floor protector which makes the table exactly 29″.

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The table surface planks are offset slightly to give a real rustic feel and touch. We also used a hand planer to add texture before sanding smooth. The post and beam design allows the table to be taken apart and moved. Also, the posts are inset to allow lots of leg room and easy access. The table surface is two pieces which buckle together in the middle and lock down at the edges. When installed onsite, there are four bolts which hold the beams to the posts. It’s big and heavy and will easily host eight people sitting comfortably around.

#11-6-14-BL designed in spruce and finished in Prairie Bench Country Rustic and polyurethane. 54″x60″x 29″ tall. This custom table is on its way to a new home  and we wish the owners lots of happy feasting.

Click the pictures to enlarge.

Hemlock Bistro Bar

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A traditional 36″ counter bar (background right) is dwarfed by the massive Hemlock slab.

It’s big.

The piece:
Local Hemlock slab 3″ thick 60″x 20″ live edge
Local rough cut Fir timbers 4″ thick hand chiseled
Hazelnut dowels on frame
Hemlock dowels to moor slab
42″ tall
Rubber skid pads
Finished in polyurethane for easy polishing and durability

The hemlock slab was our work bench until we flipped it over and saw it had nice grain. So we polished it up with a hand planer and some high grit sand paper,  and the result was stunning.


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This piece is a fine example of West Coast Hemlock, and very strong. It is a soft wood, an evergreen, so the surface may get nicked and bumped—but that’s part of its story. We even left some of the original mill saw marks, and there is a compression mark from early in the tree’s history. It’s a wain cut so the slab does have a slight twist, compensated by the custom frame. Belly up to the bar, we estimate the load bearing for this unit to be about eight tons, however we only recommend the table for lattes and a few brews.


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One side has a nice arc that invites patrons to sit around the server and bartender side has a convenient knot hole for tips. Each post of the fir frame is hand chiseled and joins in a locking pattern on three sides, then pinned with sturdy hazelnut hardwood dowels. Sanded smooth, the blunt dowels and over cut edges give the piece a sturdy wild west look and in the category Country Collection.

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For matching chairs, we’ll shop for some nice iron ones to complement the piece.

Size: 42″ tall x 60″ long x 20″ wide
Finished in polyurethane



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Frame of the Hemlock Bistro Bar being built on the new work bench, a huge cedar slab. Looking forward making something with that monolith.

Glass and Spruce Sand Table

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This project all started with a large sheet of beveled glass we found at a garage sale. The vision was a glass topped bistro table that would become a fun entertainment area on a patio or in a lounge.

Four randomly sized moon footstools complete the arrangement.

The table is approximately 32″ x 32″ and just over coffee table height, about 25″ tall. The frame and wood slats are all reclaimed spruce and stained in our Storybook dark walnut. The main box contains an interior shelf and a trap door. The glass top and frame are hinged to lift up and expose the display inside.

Sand, collectibles, flower arrangements, dishes, or memorabilia display beneath the glass surface. The framed glass lifts on a piano hinge to arrange the display. This is a prototype design and we are quite pleased with the result.

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Cedar Scrying Bowl

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We estimate this burl to be about 200 years old.


A local tug operator claimed an ancient cedar burl from the Fraser River. He passed it on to Prairie Bench with the wish that we “do something creative.” That’s a fun request.

The cedar burl was marred with saw cuts and completely waterlogged.  Immediately we sanded the cut edge smooth and soaked it in poly, leaving the bark and outside exposed. Then it sat under cover in a big plant stand for a year. This week was the time when the stars aligned to create a scrying bowl. Nostradamus is purported to have used one making predictions.

The goal for us was to create a large, shallow basin supported by a cauldron style tripod. An ash tree dropped us a ‘rowan’ branch and we dried this as well. The legs were a complex puzzle. Three legs, interwoven that would support the weight of the large burl. We added a cedar leg which conformed to the bends of the two rowan legs.

The base was cinched in an arrangement which locked together naturally, then we drilled holes and tacked the legs together with hazelnut dowel.

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Rowan limbs interwoven with a cedar limb create a tripod

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We’re after that goblet shape that has the natural look of a bird’s nest or antlers. With three legs it should look like a cauldron.

Meanwhile, the dry cedar burl was resanded (during this sanding, the bowl was ground out to its final shape and depth), any slivers whittled off, and the entire burl was soaked in poly. This wrapped and preserved the wood in an airtight shell for future generations. If someone doesn’t like polyurethane, it can easily be sanded off and natural oils can be applied. For now, the wood is saved.

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We were able to unlock some of the beautiful quilting effect within the burl.

The burl was suspended by a crane on the back of our trusty bush truck and the limbs were ground down to receive the large basin. After the scrying bowl was leveled by our Royal Leveler, we made final adjustments to the position and any rough edges were whittled down.

The large burl is lowered by crane and eased into its cradle

The large burl is lowered by crane and eased into its cradle

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Ready to receive

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Royal leveler approves

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The scrying bowl has landed

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The dogwood tree in the background demonstrates balance in design. Hopefully our cedar scrying bowl comes close.


The result is a 200 year old cedar burl that floated down river suspended by rowan branches that dropped from a tree. No nails or screws were used, just glue, dowels and pressure. This was a complex project but the finished piece is beautiful and unique. It has a home, but will make the rounds for show and tell.

How does a scrying bowl work? Pour spring water into the basin outdoors at night and behold the reflection of the stars as you gaze into the bowl. Some say you can see the future. Check back we’ll post some pics of the bowl in use and provide the final measurements.