Material & Finishes

What is solid wood? 

Here at HOG we only use solid wood planks for our harvest tables. When it comes to sideboards and hutches or dressers we will use ply wood with veneer for an application but we only use the best grade. No mdf, particle or chip board. The below Wikipedia article outlines the difference between solid wood and solid wood products and how to know the difference.

Rough wood or not?

When it comes to selecting the look for your table top there are going to be several things that you maybe didn't think that you had to decide... things like do want broken edges or not, bread boards or no, wider boards or narrower boards... and one of those questions will be do you want rough or clean planed boards. Now there's really no advantage to either and it is strickly a personal preference... the rough wood will be much more rustic and still smooth to touch. It really comes down to whether you want it more rustic or not. 


Domestic and Imported materials


Poplar is a domestic hardwood that we at TN use for our base price for tables. The poplar is kiln dried and in rainbow can presents light to dark hues of greens and purples. Poplar is often referred to as the poor mans maple and walnut as rainbow poplar with dark purple hues can resemble walnut and blond poplar will often resemble maple but at a fraction on the cost. Poplar is durable and takes stain well. 


Pine is a commonly used domestic soft wood. Here at TN we do often use pine for a rough reclaimed look and we will use it in a rough form. We will sand it smooth and leave all the saw marks and imperfections from milling. Because pine is soft any further nicks or bangs will only enhance the character of the piece. 


Maple is a domestic hardwood that can bare a bit of a higher price point depending on the current market value. Here at TN we only use sustained lumber and maples compared to poplar or pine take much longer to grow and harvest. Maple is one of the densest domestic hardwoods and it will be sure to stand the test of time if you're willing to make the investment. 


Oak like maple is a very hard wood. It is extremely durable and stains beautifully. Many people who love oak love it

for it's unique grain that sets it apart from all the other domestic hardwoods. 

Here at TN we use a wide range of different stains and finishing products. From Minwax to Varathane to Old Masters and General Finishes to mixing our own custom washes and finishes. Many of our clients will send us photos of their homes or other furniture they have in their homes to find the perfect colours and finishes for their TN pieces. 

Top coat and Varnish- At True North we use a variety of different sealants and protective finishes. Mostly water based unless for outdoor use. Each client gets to choose between satin, semi gloss, ultra gloss and matte finishes. 

Bread Boards? 

Firstly what are bread boards you say?  

Bread boards are a solid plank that goes in the opposite direction of the other planks on the ends of the table top... this is the best way I know how to describe it. They're simply aesthetic and are really about what you find looks best. Our rectangular table extensions look like a bread board when they're connected to the table so this is something you will want to consider. Do you always want your table to have the bread board look or only when you add your extensions? 

In this photo of a clients atlas the table has broken edges which we will discuss in the next section it also has bread boards and it has extensions attached which gives the appearance of a "double" bread board. This client has also chosen to have wider planks for their table top. 


Broken edges? 

Broken edges are exactly what they are called. When we clean up and mill a solid wood plank the edges of the boards are square and "sharp". When you put the two boards together without breaking the edges the table would appear to be more "seamless" where as breaking the edges gives the table top the apprearance that the boards are separate. Again this is strictly a aesthetic feature that is completely based on what look you prefer. 

This photo of another clients atlas table not only has bread boards as discussed above but it also has broken edges. See how each board is distinctly separate because of the breaking of the edges? Now all the boards are tightly sealed so nothing will fall through it's just simply that the edge of the top of the board faces have been slightly routered to make each board appear to be separate. Also take note in this photo that this client chose more narrower boards opposed to the picture above with less wider boards. 



Here at True North we offer extension for our tables. Our extensions are removable and can be easily stored. They appear like a bread board when attached and are secured with screws into some metal plugs to avoid stripping from constant use. 

On our Facebook page we actually have a video that shows how to connect and disconnect our table extensions. They're completely removable and can be easily stored. Extension range from 6" to 16" and should be equally added to each end to keep the look symmetrical. 

In this first photo of a clients Huron you can see the 2x2 cut outs just under the table top that allows the extension to slide on to be connected. 


Here you will see two pictures of a clients rough pine top Kensington, first pic without the extensions attached and second with.