In the age of 3-d modeling and mass overseas production we think we make something that stands out not just because of the beauty of the antique woods we use but also because of how it is made and brought into being; skilled hands, with artists eyes, one piece at a time.
Based in the beautiful Tennessee Valley town of Knoxville, Tennessee, the Hand Made Table sends exceptional pieces of furniture all over the world. Everything made in our shop is a handmade, one of kind piece and all are made from an antique material of some description or another, usually from the circa 1780 to 1880 time period. We do not use stains. Everything is natural patina. Our pieces are made with wood pegs and mortise and tenon joinery and as historically correct as we can make them.
In an interview with David in 2015 he told the story of the beginning of the company as follows:
“This whole furniture thing started with a project at Half Mile Farm in the mountains of western North Carolina. Details of that project can be found in my portfolio at davidgranthoward.com.
In that project, I dismantled, moved and reassembled eight historic buildings and combined them into the three homes you see in the portfolio and the photos below. When it came time to address the cabinetry for those homes I found there was absolutely nothing on the market anywhere that would work for the vision I had for the interiors. Somewhat in desperation I hired two delightful older gentlemen (my father always said old is 10 years older than you are) who seemed to know what I was talking about and what I needed for my project. I told them we were going to build “what was on your grandmothers back porch”. We set up a cabinet shop in my warehouse and the very first piece we made was extraordinary. It was a copy of a Pennsylvania hanging corner cupboard we found in an antiques book at the library. A photo of it is found to the right of this copy.
We also made the table you see in that photo. We made all the cabinetry and many other pieces you see in pictures of those houses you will find on the web site.
After the Half Mile project was done I had no plans to continue with furniture making but didn’t want to let go of something that was producing such excellent results. As a way to keep what we had created going we decided to start making tables and see what happened.
Ten years and one depression in the building industry later we are still going with the tables and making better pieces than we have ever made. Being the smart, but sometimes slow thinker I am, I made a decision in the fall of 2013 to move in the table direction and go after it full-time so we opened a shop with full furniture making capabilities. So ten years and many twists and turns later, here we are.”
David Grant Howard
David during the re-assemblage of the historic circa 1792 Babb Log home in a park in his home town of Greeneville, Tennessee.
About David Grant Howard
The creator and founder of The Handmade Table, David Grant Howard was raised in the historic circa 1783 town of Greeneville, Tennessee located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains on one of the early roads into Kentucky and the interior of the continent.
As a child he was immersed in the history of the region with the names like Nathaniel Greene, Crockett, Boone, Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, Andrew Johnson, and Confederate General John Hunt Morgan everywhere. He once responded to a question about where his interest in history and things of ole’ arose where upon he answered, “ I don’t really know”. A close childhood friend with him at the time laughed and said, “David, look around you.” He spent many hours after his grammar school classes with the granddaughter of President Andrew Johnson who hosted tours of the former presidents home in Greeneville. She greatly influenced his interest in history as did his High School and college history professors.
David attended Greeneville High School where he was a student athlete and letterman in football, track and basketball. He was captain of his football team. He attended the University of Tennessee where he received a degree in accounting and finance. After graduation he moved to Dallas, Texas where he spent a number of years in international banking. While there he earned certification as a CPA. He left banking and went to work for the consulting firm of Ernst & Young and lived in Washington, DC., Chicago, and Calgary before returning to Dallas. While in Washington D.C. he worked in the Reagan White House during part of his tenure in Washington. It was after he had returned to Dallas that his youngest sibling purchased and dismantled a historic log house.
This first introduced him to the world of moving historic structures and later, antique building materials. The experience him led to a major shift in direction away from the corporate world and into a career in preservation, historic buildings and building materials. He later started and operated one of the country’s largest warehouse operations dealing in historic materials.
While he was engaged in the historic building materials business he saw a need for truly fine furniture and cabinetry for his and his customer’s projects. “For whatever reason I was always able to see things others could not see and using historic materials to make cabinetry for our projects was one of them. It just made sense for our customers”. This led to an interest in and creation of a small enterprise around the making of excellent reproduction farm and harvest tables and other historic cabinetry. The results of that interest are what you see in this web site. David personally chooses almost all the materials that go into his furniture. His customers are continually amused at how someone with a background in accounting and finance could also be so creative.
The location of The Handmade Table's shop is Knoxville, Tennessee, where the mountains meet a local buzz of urban life.