Bespoke Creations in Wood

If you know know what you want but are unable to find it, contact us to discuss what you want created in the style, materials and size you desire.

Swamp Matai Dining Table

The owners of a sandhill lifestyle property near Levin discovered that deep under the hollows of their rolling sandhills, were Matai and Totara logs which had been buried for thousands of years. Using large hydraulic diggers, they extracted the logs and had them milled into large planks. Once the planks were dry enough to use, they began looking for someone to turn their planks into a dining table.

Each plank was unique. They had to be carefully fitted together to form a distinctive dining table. On the left, you can see the central plank with a gentle curve. I chose that to be the central feature.

 Due to the massive size of the table, the top had to be made in 3 pieces and assembled inside the dining room. The light coloured spots between the boards are Festool floating tenons that allows the table to expand and contract as the ambient moisture fluctuates throughout the year.

The table was clamped in-place and the 10mm gap between the plans was filled with special silicone gap filler, again, to allow this table 1.5m x 1.5m to expand and contract with moisture variation.

The table legs are short slabs, each with two live edges, giving the appearance of being held up by a "tree" in each corner.  

Swamp Totara Bedroom Suite

From the same sandy swamp, Ancient Totara logs were dug up, milled and stacked to dry for several years. In due course, another member of the family wanted the Totara planks turned into a bedroom suite, consisting of two large dressers, two bedside cabinets and a large slab headboard.

Even though Totara was often used for fence posts, and most notably, the Totara from The 70 Mile Bush (of which Dannevirke was the centre) was used for railway sleepers for the rail tracks from Wellington to Napier. Today, that distance takes 4 1/2 hours by car, quite a lot of sleepers, to say the least.

Even though Totara Is quite resistant to rot, thousands of years underground does cause deterioration and softening of the timber.

All splits, knots, voids and softened wood has epoxy soaked into it to ensure is will stand the test of time. This slab became the headboard.

This type of construction is called Frame & Panel. It allows for the expansion and contraction of the wood and it swells and shrinks as the humidity changes throughout the year.

These cute bedside cabinet will have a drawer each with an open shelf. Each unit has 4 adjustable feet so they can be leveled even though the villa had sloping floors.

The drawers are all dovetailed, the strongest and best joint for drawers.

Cute little bedside cabinet with classic handle.

The headboard made from a single Totara slab with an intersting shape.

A close-up of the right side of the headboard.

The finished Totara slab dresser in pride of place.

Up-cycled Oak Island Bench 

This bench of American White Oak started life as a workbench in the Auckland Museum. It was 10 feet / 3 meters long by 4 foot / 1.2 meters deep. It was pure utilitarian, never on show. During an expansion and remodelling of the museum some years ago, the bench changed hands and found its way into some rough storage for several years.

The first task was to reduce the bench's length to fit the kitchen, which while large, could not fit the full length of the bench. This required shortening the length of the rails and angular bracing before reassembling the frame.


The owner wanted to re-use as much of the oak as possible. As the oak top had a long active life as a workbench, thus it was not suitable to be reused as a top. In consultation, it was decided to cut the top  into strips to make railings and slats left ← and above ↑. The guests' side of the bench has 3 wide drawers for cutlery and utensils, plus a full length slatted shelf for pots and storage crates.

Though American White Oak is very light in colour, the owner wanted the base of the bench to be very dark, ie Jacobean, with a contrasting very light top - Rock Maple.

The large Butler sink was too heavy to hang off the frame of the bench, so a separate stand was made, with slatted shelving below. 

The top  is made of Rock Maple, a timber often used in commercial kitchens for its ease of cleaning, ie wipe down after use with a strong solution of household bleach and allow to dry overnight. Such care will remove even berry syrup stains. One of Ron's first jobs was as a busboy in a pancake restaurant.

Seen from the guests' side of the island bench, you can see the two wide soft-close drawers on either end of the bench, with a super-wide drawer in the middle.

The working-side of the bench with an under-bench refrigerator and a dishwasher yet to be fitted on either side of the butler sink.

The repurposed island bench in use.

Macrocarpa Slab Coffee Table

Macrocarpa Slab Coffee Table with flared legs and pinned cross bar.

A Farmer Planted Some Lawsoniana, Now it's an Outdoor Bench

A tree loving farmer in Central Hawkes Bay planted some Lawsoniana trees. 

In the fullness of time they were felled, milled, and put into a shed to dry.

After a decade, the boards were turned into a comfortable bench from which to watch the eagles fly.


© Copyright RONZ Furniture Hospital - Site map
Phone: 027 487 1152

Website Builder - Website World