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Akron Street’s Tenon Table utilises age-old woodworking technique

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Tenon Table by Akron Street

Dezeen promotion: Brooklyn furniture brand Akron Street has launched a wooden coffee table held together by joints that require no metal hardware to assemble.

Using a centuries-old woodworking technique, the solid white oak parts that comprise the Tenon Table easily slot together and hold firmly in place.

Tenon Table by Akron Street
The Tenon Table’s structure relies on the strength of mortise and tenon joints

Designed by Akron Street founders Hans Yunez and Lulu Li as part of a collection of hardwood furniture, the table’s structure is based around the strength of mortise and tenon joints.

To assemble, the tenons – the protruding ends of the legs – are inserted into the corresponding mortises – holes – in the table top.

Tenon Table by Akron Street
The legs are joined to the table tops by driving wedges into the exposed tenons

With force from a small oak mallet, small wedges are driven into the exposed tenons, causing the wood to expand and lock the connecting elements together.

Precise manufacturing ensures that the wedges sit flush with the table surface while remaining clearly visible through a difference in colour and grain direction.

Tenon Table by Akron Street
Wedges and tenons are highlighted on the table top thanks to a contrast in colour and wood grain

Each of the legs has a different cross-section, ranging from cylindrical to plank-like. They support a sturdy table top with an informal round shape.

“The freeform shape feels incidental and found, but belies a deliberate intent in the arrangement of its disparate components — a composition that is open-ended yet balanced,” said Li.

Tenon Table by Akron Street
An included oak mallet is used to drive the wedges into place

Available with natural or smoked oak finishes and in two sizes, the Tenon Tables can be used individually as coffee or side tables. Arrangements combining the two height options can also form a variety of split-level designs.

The Tenon Table took two years to develop through extensive prototyping, using high-precision, computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling to create a finished product that reflects the design concept and can be easily assembled without special skills.

Tenon Table by Akron Street
High-precision manufacturing means the table can be assembled easily without special skills

“We made dozens of prototypes to make sure that the joint felt perfect while being consistently manufacturable,” said Yunez.

“This is particularly challenging when working with solid oak as you have to account for its dimensional stability. The difference of less than a millimetre can determine whether a joint feels too tight or too loose, or whether a wedge can sit fully flush or not.”

Tenon Table by Akron Street
The Tenon Table comes as a kit of parts, ready to be assembled

Akron Street was founded in 2015 by Li, a second-generation furniture maker, and partner Yunez. Their direct-to-consumer brand specialises natural materials like solid hardwoods, with its signature collection in white oak also encompassing beds, seating and storage items.

For more information and to see the company’s full range of products, visit the Akron Street website.

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