The Naked Table Project builds tables with and for friends and families in communities across New England, made of Vermont’s iconic Sugar Maple which has been responsibly managed and locally harvested. We build in our workshops, walk and learn in our forests, and celebrate over a locavore feast upon our tables — forest to table.

The Naked Table is naked of ego, stripped to its essentials as the centerpiece of the home — and is made in the most simplistic and time-tested manner. We invite friends and families to our workshops to make tables for themselves to last for ages to come. Each piece in the Naked Collection is made from the iconic Sugar Maple harvested in the forests we visit in our workshops — inverse from conventional methods of deforesting and sourcing wood from anywhere in the nation, or the world. Using Vermont Natural Coating’s whey-based finish in our workshops, the table is completely non-toxic with the most minimal environmental impact. Since the start of the project in 2008, the table has come to symbolize our community’s connection to our local environment and our ability to make something of it.


Started by Charles Shackleton and the workshops of ShackletonThomas, The Naked Table workshops are led by master furniture makers, giving careful instruction over the course of the first workshop day. Participants learn about a sustainable approach to furniture making, how to prepare and assemble its mortise and tenon joinery, and how to finish their tables to look their best. Each participant quickly immerses themselves into the process of making their table, feeling empowered to make and to know the process.

Each table in the workshop is finished with one of Vermont’s most sustainable and innovative products, a whey-based finish made by Vermont Natural Coatings. Whey, a by-product of cheese making, is used to create a protective film finish to last a lifetime.


To fully understand the process of sustainably making furniture, you must go into the forest. Guided by expert foresters and sawyers, we take the participants on a tour through the forest where the iconic Sugar Maple trees were harvested for the table workshop. Past walks have included the nearby lands of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, the birthplace of sustainable forestry in America. The tour describes how to identify Sugar Maples and their qualities for furniture making, low impact forestry principles, and demonstrations on horse-drawn logging. It’s a critical fresh-air break from the workshop that will change the way you see furniture and your local woods forever.


What’s a bunch of tables without sharing a feast together? As tradition now has it, the table makers, along with the community, all sit down to their tables to share a meal made completely of locally grown and prepared ingredients. It’s a time to celebrate the good work, the food, the community, and the process.