Hanover man goes back to his roots, building family dinner tables out of reclaimed wood

HANOVER, Mass. — With no COVID restrictions for this first time heading into this holiday season, families will be returning to many traditions. That likely includes a meal around the dinner table. One local man is creating tables that can serve as the gathering spot for generations.

Chris Benson’s love of woodworking goes back to his roots.

“It was from 1947 and his grandfather bought it,” said Chris Benson of Heirloom Table Company. “And we still have the saw today.”

Chris’s great grandfather was a master woodworker, making cabinets. That skillset was passed down generations. Initially, it was just a hobby for Chris. He knew he wanted to run his own business—and he started his ventures at a young age.

“When I was 18 years old, senior in high school, I opened my own fish truck,” said Benson. “The next year was a fish market take out seafood place. It was just something that I’ve had within me.”

Chris tested the waters in many start-ups, but they never reached the level of success he envisioned. So, he would jump back into the corporate world, but never felt like he belonged there.

“There’s a lot of days I wish I was fulfilled in that role, but I just wasn’t,” said Benson. “So, I was always whenever an opportunity came about that I was like, okay, now’s the time to venture out again.”

His life-long skill set of woodworking came calling. Chris bought an 1800′s farmhouse, and as he was renovating and pulling out old wood planks—he got an idea.

“I would find boards in the process and I’m like, wow, if I sanded these down, I could make something.”

Making tables and benches out of reclaimed wood, Chris started Heirloom Table Company and opened up his Hanover store in August of last year.

“So the majority of our tables are made out of antique reclaimed wood,” said Benson. “So these are buildings that are 150, 200 years old.”

What makes heirloom table company unique is that you get to customize your own table. Here in the showroom, you can pick out the legs and also the table top.

“There’s three things customers looking for their table is the character on the live edge, the character in the top, and then the color,” said Benson.

Chris uses northeast woods like pine, oak, and chestnut to build custom tables up to ten feet—that can serve as the central gathering spot for families.

“Now that the restrictions, covid restrictions are lifted, they’re really looking forward to having those family gatherings again, you know, at the holidays,” said Benson.

Chris continues to build interest by creating products that are unique and in demand.

And he’s also building the interest of woodworking with his grandson---passing down his family genes of hard work and pride in a product that will last a lifetime and beyond.

“There’s always a sense of accomplishment that I get,” said Benson. “And the challenge, I always like the challenge of, you know, seeing an opportunity and trying to figure out how do I come up with a solution that I can fill a need and that opportunity.”

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