== 2 of 6 ==
Date: Fri, Jun 6 2008 9:16 am
From the Ashland Daily Press newspaper in Wisconsin:
Ashland firm builds unique desk out of 50,000-year-old wood
By RICK OLIVO
Published: Friday, June 6, 2008 10:51 AM CDT
To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, it has been a long, strange trip
for a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture.
A huge, 20-foot long, 4-and-a-half foot wide wine-tasting table is
now at home in a Napa Valley vineyard, ready to be admired by
thousands of wine aficionados, but only after it traveled from New
Zealand by way of Ashland.
It's a trip that was some 50,000 years in the making. The table was
constructed by Robert Teisberg and his crew at Ancientwood, Ltd., of
Ashland, and was made of New Zealand Kauri wood that was mined out
of former peat bogs, where it has lain buried in the muck for some
500 centuries. Not only is the age of the wood remarkable, but the
size of the log it came from is nothing short of astounding. It was
made from a single piece of lumber measuring almost 500 square board
feet the largest single board in the United States.
Ancientwood teamed with a number of other area specialists to
manufacture the immense furnishing.
"We machined the table at St. Germain's Cabinet in Duluth. We
flattened it on their specialty C and C computer-controlled router
machine, Teisberg said. We also inlet a grid on the bottom of
the table to accept the metal base."
Putting the table together was not an easy process. The immense
board had a tenacious twist in it that defied correction. The panel
finally had to be partially split, filled with epoxy and powdered
Kauri bark at the break line, and carefully trimmed to approximate a
flat profile, but it wasn't until the plank was securely bolted into
the base that the warp was finally corrected for good.
"That twist was a real concern; no matter what we did, it kept
coming back," Teisberg said.
The metal base was designed and constructed by Deel Manufacturing in
Ashland, and Fast Lane Motorsports, also of Ashland, finished the
The table was hand-finished and lovingly treated with an organic
linseed and beeswax preparation manufactured in Sweden.
A one-of-a-kind production like the Kauri table doesn't come cheap;
Teisberg said he isn't at liberty to disclose the purchase price of
the table, but he did say the plank alone in its raw state was
valued at over $50,000.
That may seem like an incredible price to pay for an outsized
wine-tasting table, but Teisberg noted that the table is unique, a
one-of-a-kind creation. Teisberg said it wasn't too hard to figure
out why it was an irresistible buy.
"I think bragging rights has something to do with it," he
said. "A table that size, made of a single piece of wood, it
really does have a strong character and power in it. It makes a
Building the table was one thing; moving it over 2,000 miles to the
Napa Valley was another. The Ancientwood crew carefully prepared the
table for shipment, building it at the company's facility at the
Ashland Area Development Center.
"We hired a private trucker to take it straight to the client.
We were concerned about changing trucking lines, so we wanted to
have it stay on the same carrier," Teisberg said.
Tim Goman Trucking of Ironwood was hired for the move.
"We put it on his flatbed trailer, wrapped it in 12 layers of
foam, cardboard and shrink-wrapped it and covered it with
The table arrived at its home last week, and is now in a place of
honor at the Napa Valley winery.
Teisberg says he is particularly proud of the sustainable nature of
"It is rare to find an exotic material that is made available
through environmentally friendly methods," he said.
"Ancient Kauri is the most exotic wood in the world; it's an
extremely old growth timber, but not one tree was cut down to
harvest it. All the trees were felled thousands of years ago by the
forces of nature."
Teisberg said the character of the wood also makes it unique.
"Ancient Kauri has a powerful beauty," he said. "The
grain and tone of the wood is lovely, and it has a powerful
shimmering iridescence. Anything made from Kauri is more like a
jewel; it is perfect for projects that require an extraordinary
Having made the ultimate table, what kind of project could possibly
surpass it as a premier piece?
"I'm not sure, but I just talked with the guys in New Zealand
and they said they would go look at the 40-foot-long log pile,"
== 3 of 6 ==
Date: Fri, Jun 6 2008 9:55 am
From: Kirk Johnson
== 5 of 6 ==
Date: Fri, Jun 6 2008 12:21 pm
Here's a picture of the board:
And them digging up the log:
== 6 of 6 ==
Date: Fri, Jun 6 2008 4:53 pm
From: DON BERTOLETTE
And here I was impressed with the solid, one-piece oak doors in the