Alexandra Overseas, table designs
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General product info

Let’s see what we offer to You.

What our tables are made of.

About our coatings.

About our engraved tables.

About blank tables.

About product care.


LET'S SEE WHAT WE OFFER TO YOU.

We produce reasonably priced handmade coffee tables and dining tables in high quality. Table tops are either inlayed, engraved or undecorated (blank).

Shapes, dimensions and the main construction wood of our tables are basically given. For almost all other design attributes we offer numerous customizing options to You. That means: You can create perfectly the table You want and it will practically always be a one-of-a kind. Of course we will assist You herein.

Follow this link to learn all about customizing & custom options in a nutshell or read on to learn more about some important features of our tables.

Most of our work is technically spoken marquetry - which is a special veneering technique. That means, we insert veneer pieces into cutouts in a base layer veneer. The whole assembly then covers the entire surface of the tabletop. A very similar technique, using only pieces of wood instead of veneers is widely labeled as intarsia. Colloquially the term „intarsia” is largely used for both and is familiar to most of people - so we feel free to use it analogously for us (simply with regard to search engines).

Contrary to intarsia marquetry is generally grinded down to an uniform thickness to form a smooth surface. If You touch the surface of the tabletop, You will find it all-over smooth and even and won’t feel (or see) any of the contours of the inlays. By the way: our inlays fit of course accurately - there are no visible gaps around the inlays, filled up with some ugly liquid wood repairs.

Among other design attributes You can choose the inlay materials of Your favorite pattern. Some patterns are offered only in unicolor, others in two or more colors. See for this the illustrations on the pattern’s subpages: You can replace each color You see there with an inlay material of Your choice. Certainly You can define e.g instead of 3 materials only 1 or 2 and You will get then an unicolor or bicolor pattern. For several (complex) patterns we have extensive illustrative material on the the intarsia pattern’s detail pages.

Anyway: the easiest way is, if You choose top veneer, pattern, Your must-have detail attribute(s) and contact us then. We will ask You some simple questions to learn about You basic preferences of colors and contrasts. Afterwards we will make 1 or 2 initial suggestions to start with. This is a proven procedure especially for complex patterns which need a little bit more of explanation.

 

WHAT OUR TABLES ARE MADE OF.

Tops are made of laminated plywood. This material is extremely stressable and virtually ever-lasting. We generally do not work with MDF or other similar materials made of milled wood fibers.

Frames and legs are made of massive european woods - mostly from black alder. Alder as massive wood shows a little distinctive grain and is frequently more or less spotted. Under a clear coat the color turns into a very nice light-yellow with light brown structure.

Highly stressed parts of the frame are made of european hard woods (beech or oak).

Available top veneers: always changing. Take please a look at the chapter WOOD MATERIALS@.

Note: exotic species represent under 0.5% vol. of our material input. None of the species we use is listed in CITES II or III.

 

ABOUT OUR COATINGS.

For a majority among furniture makers emphasis is on the piece of furniture itself, varnish is little more than a necessary protective layer. For our works it is of course a lot more – it is a primary esthetic feature. First of all it is the varnish that makes intarsia ultimately beautiful. Italy is today (unchangedly) worldwide the uncontested number one in quality furniture and for that reason Italian varnish producer have a very strong focus on wood coating. After a lot of testing we picked the very best for us in respect of resilience, haptic and esthetics.

For base coatings we latterly use polyester instead of polyurethane lacquer as it is of exceptional hardness.

Top coatings are from acrylic, which is crystal clear and makes beefy, brillant-deep setups of Italian style possible. Finish is around G 5-10 „(deep) matte”, G 25-30 „silk matte” or G 75-80 „high gloss” in German terminology.

We usually recommend deep matte or silk matte, which are warm, pleasant-touch finishes and absolutely capable of highlighting structures and colors of the woods.

We also offer a hand-polished, Italian style high gloss which indeed is strikingly beautiful and luxurious. We do not want to leave unmentioned that it has a minor handicap: high gloss finishes are over the time more sensitive to accumulative scratching than matte finishes - simply because scratches on them catch the eye easier than scratches on matte surfaces. High gloss needs to be handled with some increased care if You want it to stay perfect. We recommend to check Your circumstances and intended use.

Marquetry and intarsia techniques require quite large quantities of lacquers so pores generally get filled up. By the way, our setups are thus at least 3 times thicker than conventional furniture coatings (min. 6 layers).

For colored coatings of bases (legs & frames) we use pigmented lacquers only (and not colored dyes). Sprayed up in several complementary colors, these alone are able to effect the depth and color intensity we want. The coatings of colored legs and frames are (depending on the color) approximately 50% intransparent.

Available colors for bases are:

Clear coat: is standard for maple, olive, pear, alder tables. Under a clear coat the color of the wood turns into a nice light-yellow with light brown structure. From case to case a light translucent tinting (e.g. red, brown) may be applied for the most perfect color balance. Clear coat is of course also available as an option for all other tables.

Tone in tone (semi-transparent): is standard for walnut, makore, mahogany, palisander, indian apple, satin walnut, tulipwood tables. If necessary, colors are finetuned to match the top veneer the best. Each of this colors is of course also available as an option for other tables.

Black smoke (semi-transparent): is an option for all tables.

Arctic white (opaque): is an option for all tables.

Ivory (opaque): is an option for tulipwood tables if sapwood is left to the base veneer.

 

ABOUT OUR ENGRAVED TABLES.

To our engraved patterns we apply our own, quite special technique.

This technique effects first of all good graphics with clean, sharp outlines. Lines intended to be pointed are so in practice too (and not rounded).

We paint the (about 1.3 mm deep) negatives either with leafing type metal pigments of high quality or with any other (non-metallic) paint You want. The finishing (sealing and sanding) produces then an intentionally gradual, smooth transition between surface and the negatives for a pleasant tactile experience. Finally the engraved pattern will show from a flat angle of view shallow (only about 0.7 mm deep) recesses and rounded (melted glass like) edges of the cutouts while the graphic itself will be still clean and sharp.

Base material for engraved patterns is commonly elm which is coloured at buyers option.

All frames from the „Only Lines” collection can be combined with our engraved motifs – inlayed (at an additional charge). Inlayed corners from the „Only Corners” collection can be combined with our engraved motifs (at an additional charge).

 

ABOUT BLANK TABLES.

Undecorated (blank) tables were in the beginning not a part of our product range. But in a company where veneer is at the heart of everything we make, it is inevitable that You frequently come across unusual wood types or extraordinary batches of more common species (believe me, You do not know what walnut can be). These veneers together with utmost diligence in the composition of grain patterns, with selected edge veneers, perfectly tuned colors and the very best job a polisher can do will ensure your table is a distinctive piece of exceptional beauty. Contact us for the current possibilities in stock.

 

ABOUT PRODUCT CARE.

Modern coatings provide generally an excellent protection for wood. They are really very hard (and even harder with the film thickness we apply) but do not forget, after all they are only high end plastics and not tempered glass. So do not expect from a polymere coating impossible things.

Hard impacts of hard objects can produce marks on the surface. Typical example is the vacuum cleaner’s head attachment that does this to legs if legs are used as stopper. Rough undersides of metal and ceramic objects (cups, ash trays, cigar boxes etc.) will by and by produce microscratches in the tabletop coating. Keep these away from Your table or use trivets/coasters to avoid esthetical degradation.

Important note: varnish producer regularly state that their products will be completely through-hardened 7-8 days after application. This is simply not correct – according to our own experiences 20-30 days is much more realistic. Although we strictly observe (and largely exceed) resting times in manufacturing it can not be amiss if You handle Your new table with increased carefulness for the first month after arrival.

Many drinks (coke, orange juice, wine etc.) contain hard acids. Clean the surface as soon as possible if spilled.

Wipe dust away with a dry rag (preferably cotton otherwise a very fine microfibre rag).

Spray water (preferably distilled water, if Your local water contains very much calcium) on a cotton rag for cleaning. You can add 10% vol. alcohole or a drop of dishwashing liquid if necessary. Wipe away rests of moisture thoroughly. This will remove all everyday stains from the surface.

For adherent stains use only special care products that have the manufacturer’s guarantee to be adequate for lacquered surfaces.

Never use products containing abrasive particles. Never use products containing ammonium chloride (salmiac), undiluted alcohole or other aggressive solvents. Never use acid or basic containing products. Avoid products containing natural or synthetic vaxes and oils: these are not made for lacquered surfaces.

Long and intensive heat exposition can cause damage to lacquered coatings. We made the observation that 0.5 liter glass and steel container placed directly on the lacquered surface, filled with boiling water and left there until cooling down caused permanent minor warping of the protective coating. Use trivets made of non heat conductive (preferably organic) materials and without cutouts to avoid that.