Fine wood tables are generally sought for their supreme durability. Like a mighty oak tree, they root in a dining room, steadfast until their owner moves and plants them somewhere else. But a new table designed by Benjamin Hubert takes the exact opposite approach: Make it so light that a child could move it, unassisted.
Hubert claims that the Ripple is the world’s lightest timber table. At 8 feet long, the Ripple weighs a mere 20 pounds. That might not sound so impressive–exactly how heavy does 20 pounds feel?–until you compare it to your average folding metal and wood banquet table, which is roughly triple the weight.
Hubert’s trick was to build the table entirely from 3-ply .8mm birch aircraft plywood–the same Canadian-sourced wood used in the world’s largest all-timber plane, the Hughes H-4 Hercules. Think of it as the same “aircraft-grade aluminum” approach we’ve seen popularized by Apple in consumer electronics, simply applied to wood furniture. Then, beyond the choice of material itself, Hubert, alongside manufacturer Corelam, also corrugated and pressure-treated the table. The structure almost resembles cardboard in this regard, filled with air pockets that ensure light structural integrity. A happy side effect: it uses 70% to 80% less material than a typical wood table, Hubert says.
The piece was dubbed an “internal studio research project,” but Hubert is producing limited quantities for sale. Pricing is available upon request.