As owners of Cape Cod Colonial Tables, Marcia and Bob Benson know more than a thing or two about breathing new life into a pile of aging wood. “My grandfather was a carpenter,” says Bob, “and my dad was a part-time cabinet-maker and retailer.”
For close to two decades, Bob has been utilizing those ancestral woodworking skills to create one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality farmhouse tables from aged, reclaimed wood for the family owned business. The workshop and showroom are located behind their main house, and he runs his custom table-making business with his son, Chris. It is yet another place where the past and the present happily collide.
“It’s really cool to create something out of a piece of wood that has been … part of a building [from] the 1700 or 1800s, and to re-create something beautiful, like this table,” says Bob, as he runs his hand over the farmhouse table he built one year for his wife Marcia’s birthday. The long table, which now rests in the home’s gathering room beside the kitchen, has the name “Morton” carved into the far end—a relic from the 18th-century Vermont estate it was salvaged from.
“We don’t build anything out of new wood—it is all reclaimed wood,” says Bob, who, with his son, searches for salvaged wood all over New England and beyond. Cape Cod Colonial Tables specializes in sturdy, handcrafted farmhouse tables made from reclaimed antique pine or American chestnut. “They are heirloom quality for generations of future use,” says Bob. “There is a certain pride in that,” Marcia observes. “And it doesn’t necessarily correlate to a monetary value,” says Bob. “Everyone relates to the tables around their family experiences—weddings, parties. Really, it is fascinating. It is something that is central to the life of a modern-day family,” he says, adding pointedly, “and it was most central in colonial times.”