At vast we pride ourselves on the partnerships we have fostered with our suppliers. Over the last 20 years we have perfected the art of building dining tables (to be fair we really should know what we are doing by now!)
1: Floating Tops
Many of our designs feature small spacer washers on the bottom of our tables with screws anchoring a small shaped bracket. This is one of our secret sauces, basically it allows the solid table top to move independently of its timber subframe.
This is especially important is Australia where we have sudden swings in temperature and humidity that can shrink the wood when the weather is dry or expand it when it is humid. Often this change in size will be less than 5%, but without this type of engineering and construction, a solid timber table top is prone to crack, warp or cup.
2: Extra Steel Bracing
On some of our sleeker designs (aesthetically) we cannot use a thick timber apron as the vertebrae. Rather than compromise on lateral strength we install customised structural steel elements.
3: Solid Timber Cross Beams
One place where costs can be invisibly cut on a dining table is to under do the subframe. We choose not to! Our crossbeams are permanently screwed / mortised into place to provide exceptional structural rigidity.
4: Structural Apron
The majority of our tables feature a structural Apron underside. Crafted from full hardwood, or solid box steel. Each is oversized and engineered to be the backbone of our tables.
5: Corner Keystone Leg Block
There is no use having all the above features, if your table loses its strength every time it is relocated, or whenever someone chooses to dance upon it! Without a strong corner block system your tables days are numbered. Here at Vast we have been using the same "Keystone method" for over a decade with not one single wobbly leg.
One of the founding principles of Vast was to create products that utilise recycled and sustainable materials. Perhaps our greatest achievement on this front has been our recycling of millions of old timber doors and building materials, saving them from landfill or firewood, and recreating them into our beautiful recycled furniture ranges. See our Old Door, Salvar, Seville and Kama ranges. We also have created the Vectori Dining Table around the best re-use proposition for the humble Pallet. We sort through hundreds each week, grading the reclaimed timber into the 3 colour shades used for this range. Read more about our Recycling journey here.
Our other sustainable timber of choice for our tables is Mango. The Mango tree is only felled after it stops producing fruit, usually around the 20-25yr mark. In the past discarded mango trees were often just left to rot, adding to Co2 emissions. These days' mango farmers can earn extra income by selling their unwanted mango timber to guys like us. Read more here.
Our table tops have a visual depth to them that can only be achieved with hand finishing. Each table has its own grain pattern and porosity which requires a non-uniform application, only achieved by hand, to bring out its full beauty.
8. Fair Labour
Our table designs have been made with the one group of artisans in Delhi, India for the last 20 years. In fact today over 80% of our carpenters have been making our tables for over 10 years. This is because we pay a fair price that supports above award wages, free daily meals, and a clean workshop environment equipped with the latest tools and safety features.
We have always had a huge respect for the craftsmen that produce our goods, and we are proud to continue to support and facilitate the traditional craft of cabinet making.
9. Shiraz Proof
Many of our customers over the years have indicated that they enjoy drinking good wine over our tables. To that end, over a decade ago, we decided to increase our coats of lacquer from the industry standard of 2, up to our minimum 5 coats.
It is totally invisible to the customer and adds significant cost to each table, but the result is a table that will not allow red wine (or Coke, beetroot juice and more) to penetrate the surface. Watch our video > here
Every week we are in conversations with someone who has had our table in constant use for a decade ... and they are amazed that it still looks like new!
10. Highly Heat Resistant
Our lacquer, like our tables, is not your normal fair. Invented and manufactured in Germany the clear finish used on all our signature tables can withstand boiling water being tipped directly onto the surface with no discolouration or damage whatsoever. The same goes for coffee & tea cups, no more need for coasters or doilies!
Every handmade table that we have is a one of a kind. As each timber's grain sets its own unique look, this also affects the way that it accepts and reacts with the stain when it is applied. Indeed even the technique of the individual applying its final coats of lacquer means ... no two of our tables are ever the same.
12. Our tables are BUILT VAST TO LAST!
In 2020 we decided to prove the strength of our tables by stacking two cars with a combined weight of over 2500 kg on one of our stock standard 2m Harvest Dining Tables.
watch the video > here
Needless to say, the table was completely unharmed, and incidentally 2500 kg is the average weight of an African Forest Elephant, hence the logo.