Learn how Peter Sandback uses aluminum-siding nails to inlay intricate patterns on his furniture.
The decoration on Peter Sandback’s tables—made with thousands of aluminum nails—begins with images he finds of old dot-patterned fabrics. After photographing a sample of fabric and cropping the image to the shape of his workpiece, Sandback emails the digital file to his local office-supply store, where for just a few bucks they print it out at any size he needs. That printout becomes a full-size template that guides his drilling.
Sandback knew he wanted a rich, dark wood to contrast with the silver dots of his patterns. After experimenting with wenge (dark, but expensive and splintery), he found Cambia, a line of domestic hardwoods from Northland Forest Products in Kingston, N.H., that are baked to make them decay-resistant for outdoor use. The heating process also happens to darken the wood to a rich brown. This table is heat-treated red oak.