The beauty of a black walnut burl conference table project

An 18-foot-long, 4-foot-wide, and 30-inch-tall  conference table in American black walnut burl veneer is part of an interior installation at a Midwest corporation. In addition to the beautiful wood, the table features brass accents and other details. All photos are from Goebel & Co. Furniture.

Photo By Goebel & Co. Furniture

Sheer size is the first thing you notice when you see this conference table from Goebel & Co. Furniture, but it is the swirling grain design, attention to detail, and the deep, rich color of this 4 x 18 foot black walnut burl table that really captures the eye.

Martin Goebel, founder and CEO of the company, said the conference table was created as part of an interior installation designed and overseen by a renowned New York City design firm. The table has a home in the headquarters of a large Midwestern corporation.

For weeks, the Goebel in-house product design and fabrication team worked on the matched black walnut burl veneer and mirror polished brass table with quartersawn walnut on the perimeter. 

A close-up look at one of the table’s components.
One half of one of the three pedestals.
The table’s base is starting to come together.
Craftsmen performing the final quality control before finishing the table. 

The components were meticulously hand crafted in the St. Louis-based shop including the pedestals that feature elegant eases and curves and the matched walnut burl design that seamlessly blends with the table top’s design.  

The table is an example of the company “returning to its roots as staff returns to offices and corporate interior design sees a resurgence,” Goebel announced on his LinkedIn account.

Each component is meticulously checked before shipment.
Martin Goebel inspects the table's edge.

Goebel's Woodworking Network connection
Martin Goebel is a prominent furniture maker. He is certainly well-known to FDMC and Woodworking Network readers. 

He was the first winner of FDMC’s inaugural Young Woodworking Professional competition in 2014, and he was named to our 40 under 40 list in 2016. His company was recently named to the 2023 list of Wood100 influential companies--for the fourth time.

Goebel was traditionally trained in cabinet and furniture making beginning at age 19 in Fort Bragg, California, at the College of the Redwoods (now called the Krenov School at Mendocino College), after which Goebel established his couture furniture company in St. Louis. 
His professional education continued with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Studio Fine Arts from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. While on the East Coast, Martin spent time in the Design and Engineering departments of some of America’s premier Northeast furniture brands. 

A Saint Louisan to his core, Martin returned to that Midwestern city in 2011 to begin Goebel & Co. Furniture.

The company recently marked its 14th year of operation. “My co-founders and I set out to bring home interior products of uncompromising quality to the American market,” he said in making the announcement. “Through vertical integration and a reorganization of the design/manufacturing process we have navigated the past years on a non-linear path. 

“Many of these years have been spent finding our voice and understanding what it is that we really sold. Thank you for joining us along the way.” 

The company, he explained, is comprised of a diverse set of backgrounds and skills encompassing product design, automated manufacturing, traditional handcraft, and high-touch customer interaction. 

In a description of the company, its hand-built furniture originates from the opposing worlds of handcraft and digital technology /manufacturing. The Goebel method converges these approaches to make all of its products in America. Designs are conceptualized and evolve as 3D computer models, which are then broken into highly accurate component files. 

In addition to its custom work, Goebel also launched the Kindred Heirloom Collection for the consumer market. The collection has about 30 pieces, and about 130 individual products in various color and sizing options.


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About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).