Coolest tables evar
January 6, 2007 8:17 PM   Subscribe

"Please understand that this is an extremely special piece of furniture, of exceptional quality and design – it is not for everyone by a very very long way and can only be afforded by the lucky few of us with exceptional wealth." (Videos [1, 2, 3.])
posted by mr_crash_davis (58 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I showed that to a friend of mine, and he said, "Wow, nice user interface!"
posted by Hildegarde at 8:26 PM on January 6, 2007


um, is anyone else having problems viewing this with quicktime?
posted by WetherMan at 8:28 PM on January 6, 2007


It's a little slow, but otherwise not a problem. I can see all the video.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:29 PM on January 6, 2007


I love how the wood pattern accentuates the expanding/contraction mechanism. Definitely a thing of beauty—though I must say, it would have been 100% cooler if the mechanics were also made of wood.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:34 PM on January 6, 2007


VLC worked. Yes one of the coolest tables ever. Anyone know how much one of these might cost?
posted by WetherMan at 8:35 PM on January 6, 2007


Nice! I look forward to owning a knockoff. :) Might be a little dangerous though for general production out of aluminum and plastic - it looks like it packs a hell of a pinch.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:37 PM on January 6, 2007


$95k.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:39 PM on January 6, 2007


According to Luxist (scroll down a bit), "The large Capstan tables cost around $95,000 and the smaller Rising and Furling tables cost between $24,000 and $58,500 depending on size."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:40 PM on January 6, 2007


Why's she in a swamp?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:42 PM on January 6, 2007


Holy fricking mother of gosh on a popsicle stick with bells on - my brother the Mech. E. is totally getting this* sent to him.

Nice catch.

Nice! I look forward to owning a knockoff.

10-to-one the Chinese get this thing figured out and in Wal-Mart in time for the outdoor furnishings season.

*The link, that is - the table is not for anyone in my family by a very very long way.
posted by Opposite George at 8:42 PM on January 6, 2007


You can buy four houses in rural Saskatchewan for the cost of that table.

Of course, then you'd have four houses in Saskatchewan, not the table, which is extremely cool.
posted by watsondog at 8:49 PM on January 6, 2007


"Wow, nice user interface!"

It looks like a very expensive way to pinch a finger to me. The contracted configuration in Baby_Balrog's movie looks like a great way to bruise a knee, while up, or shin, while down.
posted by peeedro at 8:52 PM on January 6, 2007


Man, if only I'd gone to shop in high school.
posted by washburn at 8:57 PM on January 6, 2007


The large Capstan tables cost around $95,000...

That really washes a lot of the gee-whiz out of it, doesn't it? When you see the video, the table is incredibly cool. When you realize it costs about as much as a college degree, it suddenly seems underwhelming.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:59 PM on January 6, 2007


It's an engineering marvel and a damned handsome table! I'd love to have one, but once expanded to its full size it would be larger than my Tokyo apartment.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:00 PM on January 6, 2007


You can buy four houses in rural Saskatchewan for the cost of that table.

that depends on how much a bag of ice costs, doesn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:01 PM on January 6, 2007


Didn't Darth have one of these in Episode 5?
posted by Dizzy at 9:03 PM on January 6, 2007


I'm guessing the cost is mostly a result of the patent. Possibly the wood if they use something really exotic. There's no reason the mechanical parts couldn't be mass-produced and assembled on a line. Exotic woods could be replaced with more common hardwoods or even pine.

In several years the patent will expire and the price will likely drop by an order of magnitude. In the meanwhile, yacht owners with more money than sense can spend near on $100k to save a few square feet on their already enormous boats.

That said, the design is really wonderful and I do await the day a more sensibly priced one can be bought for home use.
posted by jedicus at 9:15 PM on January 6, 2007


You could get four crappy houses, or one half decent one in Moose Jaw...walking distance of the spa [called a spa because the geothermally heated water comes to the surface in a pipe, but essentially it's the same as a natural hot spring] the best place to be when it's 40 below, and way better than any table. What a ridiculous extravagance, the table, and an ideal one, the spa.
posted by Listener at 9:16 PM on January 6, 2007


That is truly slick. My guess upon seeing it was in the order of $30,000, but I'm not surprised I guessed low. Is it worth it? To the folks who buy it, I guess. If the tables move as smoothly and the tops fit as tightly as they seem, I can't imagine it being truly mass-produced. I'm sure you have to tune the mechanism of each table individually.
posted by mzurer at 9:26 PM on January 6, 2007


The table is way out of my range, but there's no patent on the spiel:

"Please understand that this is an extremely special herbal male enhancement, of exceptional quality and design – it is not for everyone by a very very long way and can only be afforded by the lucky few of us with exceptional wealth.... But if you respond to this special email offer, your "operating mechanism" can be "robust" for three installments of 19.95.

How does our supplement work? Take 3 tablets with a glass of warm scotch, then watch as:

*The expansion, in just four seconds, smoothly and quickly emerges upon rotation, rising and radially expanding outwards as the entire top is turned through 30˚.
*Existing tablets can treat six persons when small, and twelve or more when expanded, but there are other design possibilities.
*Nautical tablets are so constructed that they are able to resist a harsh "marine environment" to the point that they may be positioned permanently on an "exposed deck."

"I showed that to a friend of mine, and he said, 'Wow, nice user interface!'" -Hildegarde, MF

posted by maryh at 9:52 PM on January 6, 2007


jedicus---
I thought a patent was a one-time charge (and easily written off as a "Business Expense..")
I think it is more likely a simple case of soooper-egregious-dunning-of-rich-folks.
Thoughts?
posted by Dizzy at 9:54 PM on January 6, 2007


You can buy four houses in rural Saskatchewan for the cost of that table.

Or, three fifths of a broom closet in downtown Toronto. (ba-dum-bum-psh!)
posted by Drunken_munky at 10:15 PM on January 6, 2007


Dizzy,

I read jedicus' remark as a suggestion that the table's price is high because a patent allows its holder to limit supply. Which of course makes soooper-egregious-dunning-of-rich-folks that much easier.

But I've been wrong before...
posted by Opposite George at 10:18 PM on January 6, 2007


For that price it had better be sturdy enough to have sex on.
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 10:19 PM on January 6, 2007


Back when I worked a t big lawfirm, they created a "mediation room" (while the rest of the company was struggling with badly out of day computers) that was unbeleivably expensive. I think the table of burlwood and about 15' long and 6' wide cost about $30k or some ridiculous figure. Of course, the mediation room was used perhaps twice in all the time I spent there.

This blows that out of the water, and all I can say is that it's a good thing the lawyers in charge of that project didn't see this first.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:28 PM on January 6, 2007


Never before could a table be awesome.
posted by tehloki at 12:02 AM on January 7, 2007


Okay, it's awesome and all--I mean, totally--but the only time you would ever expand or contract it would be if company were coming over, and presumably you would have done the magic long before anyone has actually shown up to see it, since you'd need to put down the tablecloth and the dishes and the everything else.

So the only way you'd even get to show off the table at all is to make a big deal about demonstrating the $95K table you just bought, and frankly that seems a bit try-hard.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:58 AM on January 7, 2007


That was really cool. And I agree that this will surely be reverse-engineered soon.
posted by sharpener at 1:01 AM on January 7, 2007


No no no Ian A.T.!

If I had that table, I would make it a point to only open and close when the company was already there. Heck I would expand it even if was just me and one guest. Then close it before they leave.

You don't pay 95k for a table and not show it off.
posted by The Deej at 1:33 AM on January 7, 2007


SawItOnBoingBoingTwoWeeksAgoFilter
posted by Rhomboid at 2:21 AM on January 7, 2007


Interesting concept, attractive execution. After watching the videos, I think I can see how they keep it perfectly circular in both states: the six wedge-shaped pieces' curves have the radius of the larger circle, but when the table's in the unexpanded state they aren't actually making up the edge; the unbroken, circular outside piece is... if you look closely you can even see that the edges of the wedge pieces don't stay the same distance from the edge of the table.
posted by sleeplessunderwater at 2:52 AM on January 7, 2007


I thought a patent was a one-time charge

The point is that while it is under patent, like certain life-saving drugs, they can charge whatever the hell they want.
posted by dhartung at 3:22 AM on January 7, 2007


Which of course makes soooper-egregious-dunning-of-rich-folks that much easier.

The dunning of rich people should never be described as egregious. I mean, what are rich people for, if not for dunning?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:22 AM on January 7, 2007


Before clicking the link, I was expecting one of those motorized bondage chairs or something.

You've disappointed me for the last time, Metafilter!

*shakes fist angrily*

...anyway. I'm not sure why I'm supposed to want one of these. They're just tables like anybody has. Tables which appear to.. telescope or something. But I can't imagine much use for a telescoping table.
posted by Target Practice at 3:33 AM on January 7, 2007


They're just tables like anybody has. Tables which appear to.. telescope or something. But I can't imagine much use for a telescoping table.

Okay, Target Practice, picture this: you and your signifigant other or whoever have someone over to your place for dinner. You have this table in your house. Your guest goes to the toilet. Upon returning, your table is twice as big. But you don't let on. "Bigger, you say? What on earth are you talking about? The table's not bigger!" That's gotta be worth 95,000 bucks right there. Plus, you never know when 15 extra folks might drop by for lunch, right? You'd want to be able to accomodate your friends, right? What, are you cheap? Do you hate your friends that much? Gonna make 'em sit on the floor or something? So, you see? You can't afford not to have this table!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:23 AM on January 7, 2007


When having sex on this table, please ensure that the locking mechanism is fully engaged.
posted by flabdablet at 4:43 AM on January 7, 2007


Rhomboid, better than the standard IsawitonBoingBoingtenminutesagofilter.
posted by rikschell at 5:57 AM on January 7, 2007


Cool table. It reminded me of a camera aperture watch.
posted by nickyskye at 6:44 AM on January 7, 2007


that is truly a thing of beauty.
never heard of them before.
thanks!
posted by Busithoth at 7:40 AM on January 7, 2007


Ooooo, nice watch, nickyskye!
posted by The Deej at 7:49 AM on January 7, 2007


When having sex on this table, please ensure that the locking mechanism is fully engaged.

Or not, if you're into pain.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:52 AM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the magic sort of dropped when I saw the price tag, too. It's one of those price tags where you realize that it's not just an item for rich people, like an expensive TV or jewelry, but specifically for the super-rich, who literally have lost concept of how much $95,000 is. The average "rich" person is rich because they don't spend $95,000 on a table. You need to be a billionaire to buy this, because even a millionaire would say that much money for a really cool table is still ludicrous.

Meh. I guess I just hate manufactured value in general.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:28 AM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Men: Please do not operate this table while naked.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:36 AM on January 7, 2007


does it convert into a lifeboat?
posted by any major dude at 8:51 AM on January 7, 2007


good luck changing the size when you're in the water
posted by pyramid termite at 8:53 AM on January 7, 2007


Plus it's WHISPER QUIET!!

For that price, they could kick in a little DW40.

Nice stuff, nevertheless. I do like seeing artisans doing good things.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:07 AM on January 7, 2007


Similar result, different mechanism: Expanding Table, U.S. Patent No. 829439, Jan 10, 1905.
posted by cenoxo at 9:21 AM on January 7, 2007


XQUZYPHYR, well put. Also, the reason to buy an expandable table is you don't have two rooms with two different sized tables for different purposes. Most billionaires have two rooms to spare somewhere.

Still, love that Schwartz table.
posted by QuietDesperation at 9:47 AM on January 7, 2007


The yacht that the table was made for, the Ilona, was moored outside my office for a few days last May. $95k for a table would be small change to the person who owned that boat.
posted by essexjan at 10:35 AM on January 7, 2007


It's a modern variation of an old idea. From the Spring 1977 Fine Woodworking article Expanding Tables: 500 Years of Making Room to Dine by Alastair A. Stair [reprinted in the book, Fine Woodworking on Tables and Desks, ©1986 Taunton Press]:
The large, circular table was fashionable and ingenious methods were devised for expanding it.

...the sections composing the surface were "caused to diverge from a common center (like a star, a pie, or a medallion), and the spaces caused thereby filled up by inserting leaves."

About 1835 Johnson and Jeans devised a method by which the pie-type top opens to add sections by twisting or cranking by hand. The spaces are filled with various numbers of spear-shaped leaves. Robert Jupe [*see below] patented a similar table in 1835. These were made until 1900 and enjoyed a renaissance about 1920 when Schmeig-Kotzian reproduced them, winning first prize at the Chicago World's Fair. But they were too expensive to make, so production ceased about 1835.
Here's a scan of the 1840 Johnson and Jeans table shown in the article.

*DB Fletcher has their own version of Englishman Robert Jupe's table (as do other craftsmen.) His 1835 design is mentioned in the recent U.S. Patent No. 6994032, which states that surviving Jupe tables may be worth $350,000 and up (see, $95K is a bargain!) This patent also cites 14 earlier U.S. patents, including one from 1888 whose operation looks similar to DB Fletcher's models.

David Boardman Fletcher's British patent is GB2396552, June 30, 2004. This web site photo shows the complex table mechanism with some of the leaves removed.

Clever, those furniture makers.
posted by cenoxo at 12:51 PM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I came across this table via Gizmodo (it is a gadget, sort of) a few days ago and was impressed.

But this is the first time I noticed the obnoxious, class biased language. There are all sorts of things that fall into the category of "if you have to ask, you can't afford it". I certainly don't begrudge the designers for selling their table this way, but they don't have to rub our proletariat noses in it.

So they won't be getting any geek cred from me!
posted by aladfar at 12:54 PM on January 7, 2007


Here are some pictures and descriptions of the yacht for which the table was created.
posted by winna at 12:56 PM on January 7, 2007


About the yacht, Ilona, for which the table was created and its owner, Frank Lowy:

What $110 Million Gets You These Days
Australia's "second richest man", Frank Lowy, has bought himself a new yacht. It is reported to have cost Mr. Lowy an astonishing $110 million (AU), which translates to around $80 million (US) or "not chump change" in any currency we've got going, anywhere on earth. The 242-foot Ilona IV boasts 18 guest beds, a gym, a massage room, a 14-seat cinema, and 13 crew cabins. Whoops - almost forgot the retractable helipad! It seems the prospect of a visible helicopter was a sticking point, so Ilona IV has some big hydraulic gizmo that stays aesthetically hidden until somebody needs a chopper ride. I am so relieved to know that somebody, somewhere has finally solved the nagging issue of where to hide the helicopter on a Giga Yacht, I'm just going to have to go relax now.


Mr. Lowy seems to be big on retractable.
posted by nickyskye at 1:11 PM on January 7, 2007


Wow, thanks for all the additional info, Cenoxo!
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:54 PM on January 7, 2007


This is where being the senior supply inventory manager for a computer company with far more money than sense, really kicks ass. Possibly this is the only situation in which that is the case.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 7:52 AM on January 8, 2007


That is the kind of Yacht from which to plot world domination!

That is until Bond comes along and ruins everything.
posted by Megafly at 12:11 PM on January 8, 2007


Cenoxo quoted: ...so production ceased about 1835.

Make that "...so production ended around 1935."
posted by cenoxo at 12:11 PM on January 10, 2007


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