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KC Custom Hardwoods: Local Trees Transformed into Heirloom Tables and Art

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You have probably seen the gorgeous live edge wood furniture and wall art that’s trending in home and business décor recently. If you’re in the market for a dining room table for your home or conference room, a bar top for your home kitchen or your restaurant, or natural wood wall art for your family room or office, visit KC Custom Hardwoods online or in person at their showroom. Every KC Custom Hardwoods piece is one of a kind and created from 100 percent solid wood that is locally sourced, crafted by hand by local artisans and built to last. Their pieces are primarily live edge, which means furniture or artwork that keeps the natural edge of a tree. KC Custom Hardwoods creates a mix of popular epoxy resin pieces and solid wood items.

“We craft everything right here in Kansas City from local trees,” said Jay Norris, co-owner of KC Custom Hardwoods. As the company’s name implies, KC Custom Hardwoods does indeed create custom items as well as sell ready-made pieces. “One of the things that’s a little bit different about us is that we control the process from start to finish, from a piece of raw inventory all the way to a finished product, which allows us to have a good handle on the quality of the final product. This way, we can bring our artist’s or customer’s vision to life.” In the KC Custom Hardwoods Design Gallery and Showroom, customers can see the completed furniture and wall art or peruse the inventory of raw wood slabs that are ready to be turned into a custom piece of art.

From Tree to Table
When you walk through the design gallery and showroom, there’s no indication about the amount of time and effort it takes to make a single piece of furniture or art. Jay runs the local production facility and said, “It’s about two years start to finish.” First, they obtain a tree from tree removal companies, farmers or others clearing land, the Kansas City Parks Department, organic recycling centers and even homeowners. Second, depending on the species of the log, they either cut it immediately or let it age for six to twelve months. “Aging adds character and color to the wood. A process called spalting occurs where you’ll get variations of color and black striations that run through the wood.” After aging, the trees are cut into slabs at the production facility in Kansas City, Kansas, then they are air dried for up to a year before they’re put in a wood kiln for the final drying stage and to sterilize the slabs. “That’s my favorite part,” Jay enthused. “Once the wood comes out of the kiln and we get it surfaced, we can see what we’re working with. Sometimes there’s defects in the slabs that don’t make for good tables, but they make good wall art or console tables or bar tops or something different. So, my favorite part is really the grain reveal after we flatten that slab. That’s when you can see what it looks like and determine what it will become.” Once each piece is photographed and inventoried with its dimensions, the process of building a table or other product begins.

“Occasionally, customers have a tree that came down on their property and they come to us to make custom furniture from that tree,” Jay said. “It’s a long process, but each of those customers has loved the final product.” If you’ve got a tree and the time, KC Custom Hardwoods can make you an heirloom piece of furniture or art to be passed down for generations.

Sponsoring the Next Generation of Woodworking Artisans
In addition to donating several pieces to veteran charities including Battle Within KC and the Make a Wish Foundation Bubble Ball, KC Custom Hardwoods helped a local student pursue a dream. “We recently sponsored a high school woodwork student from Shawnee Mission North who is a very gifted cabinet maker,” Jay explained. “We bought his plane ticket and paid his expenses to go to a national competition for cabinetry where he did really well. He was grateful for the experience and I’m sure he’ll go on to have a successful career. This kid’s cabinets, for being built by a 17-year-old, they’re unbelievable.”

Design Gallery and Showroom
A visit to KC Custom Hardwoods Design Gallery and Showroom is worth your while. “When you walk in the door, there is a reception desk that’s made from slabs of wood. It’s a functional piece of art just like everything else we create. As you continue through the showroom, you’ll see epoxy river tables and art pieces,” said Jay. “There’s also a wall of different raw slabs that are ready to be turned into something.” At the showroom in Stillwell near 160th Street and 69 Highway, shop their finished pieces or find the perfect slab of prepared wood for a custom table, bar or wall art for your home or business today.

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