Overton Table by Matthew Hilton and De La Espada has a slender, pared down form with beautiful detailing throughout. It brings together expertise in woodcraft and metalwork, pairing high tech machinery with handwork to achieve optimal results. Sculpted from large blocks of material, the metal leg frame requires over 35 hours on the CNC machine before being assembled by hand. The table is composed of numerous parts: the large size has over 40 components, with 16 of those unique.
Every plank in the solid wood tabletop features joinery that Hilton devised for the CNC machine. This joinery detail allows the tabletop to reach greater lengths, no longer bound by the height of a tree. The placement of these joints is clearly defined in the design for each table size, and a craftsperson chooses the combination of planks to highlight the detail. The timber planks are bonded with natural wood glue, creating a chemical reaction with the moisture in the wood for a superior bond. The gluing process is much more complex than for a standard tabletop, as the joinery requires careful nesting of the parts, as well as multi-directional clamping. The tabletop is run through the CNC machine for final shaping before being sanded and finished by hand.
The cleverly engineered metal leg frame consists of precision-machined parts that are mechanically joined together for an extremely stable and robust structure with attractive details. The metal bar running through the centre of the tabletop holds the two halves of the top together, acts as a brace for the timber, and provides an elegant detail. The leg frame is made from anodised aluminium or uncoated naval brass.
Our aluminium is machined from solid billets, through a variety of complex operations performed by a CNC machine. The metalworking tools on the machine cut into the billet, while water and oil is sprayed onto the metal to keep it cool and lubricated throughout the process. What begins as a block of metal, emerges from the CNC as a sculptural piece with all necessary detailing including any threading, internal shaping and connection holes. The aluminium is hand-sanded before being anodised, to create a subtle texture. The colour is then applied through anodisation, an electrochemical process that results in a finish that is durable and corrosion-resistant.
Our brass is machined on a CNC from solid billets in the same way as our aluminium. It is then either hand polished for several hours to achieve the desired polished appearance, or hand brushed, as ordered.