Wednesday, August 13, 2014

a chippendale chair repair

a few photos here for my client of a chippendale chair that had a broken back splat.
the splat was broken and badly reglued at some point with some kind of flexible adhesive like substance.  after a little study, we determined that the best/ fastest/ most correct thing to do was to reinforce the broken spot with strips of matching mahogany.
click the photos to enlarge them..
due to the curve of the backsplat, we had to make an angled jig to hold the splat while we routed the slots for the reinforcing strips.  it seems very solid now that the glue has set.
we also had to excavate the piece of broken tenon from the chair frame itself, and then create a new stepped slip tenon ... sorry i missed that picture as it was a complex little deal due to the fact that the original tenon was flush with the back edge of the splat, and not something we
could replace/repair without the patch being visible ..
all done, with the touch up color and blending in ok ...
any other repair option would have required us to do some
scarfing and likely some carving on the original part.
all in all, a pretty successful repair that left the original backsplat complete
and ready for another 100 years.

update 8/15
we had such success with the first one, that we got to do another one
both tenons broken on this one
no choice but to have a visible patch
a little color touch up monday and it will be good to go ..

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

fun with a lounge chair

we've been making these lounge chairs for a few years while now ... we've made more than 20 of them and i've lost count mpw.  this one's got a new twist though ... ah! ..  a pun!   sorry, it just slipped out 
one of our clients is building a new house with a really nice fireplace on one wall and a killer view on another wall .. they thought it would be nice to at times be able to face the chairs in either direction .. after a couple of failed attempts with somewhat substandard commercial swivels and a failed first prototype, we made the prototype in the video, which, as you can see, works slick.  if you have a side table though, it'll clear that out as it spins, so you may need an 'attachment' to provide highest and best use.  more photos as we get the real cushions and apply the finish ...

after considering several commercial swivels, we decided that since the mechanism would be somewhat visible, we would have to build our own.  we used the same hardware as on the swiveling bar stools. we'll be adding another curved element to cover the steel support system before we do the finishing ...  i think that will add some additional interest to the front view too.

website information at this link

in the raw
on the porch (with optional green canvas covers)
i have a rocker like the one above for sale (scroll down)
and i have 3 in my office.  i think of them
sort of as mid century adirondack chair adaptation
we also do a narrower 'ladies version'
and we also do something similar with a metal frame. ..
lots of napping possibilities ...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

a room screen from 2006

i was looking for tables for my 'what kind of dining tables do you make' post and came across these photos of a 6' x 6' custom room screen we made back in 2006.  it's really one of my favorite pieces of all time, and i wish we could put this concept to more use in our regular work.  it takes a special kind of adventurous and trusting client though, and that type of client has been somewhat less common these last 5 years.  maybe 2014 we'll see one. the year is off to a terrific start .... click the photos to enlarge them.
 
how many kinds of wood in this one ??? ... let's see.  you've got your peruvian walnut, your quarter sawn cherry, your vertical grain fir, some quilted big leaf maple, some bubinga, some curly redwood, some western red cedar, some maple burl on the tops of the frames .... i think that about covers it, except for some quartersawn pine diagonal strips balancing the backs of the solid wood veneered mdf panels. 
we originally discussed painting the different woods with transparent colors like i do on my woodburnings, but once the client saw the colors of the woods, she decided to stick with the clear finish.
i like it, but someday i'm gonna do some screen or panel or table top like this with some painted color, like a 3d wood burning or 3d painting.  where is that client ???
 
it was a really fun piece, partly inspired by the book, 'the quilts of gee's bend' , and partly by some of my woodburnings that were hung on my office wall when the client came to discuss her concept.
 
these are the only process photos i discovered, though i'm sure there are a few hanging around somewhere.
some woodburnings


curved stairway mockup

more on this curved stairway mockup later .. gotta run now ..
this is a half size mockup of a metal stair project .. curved layou; 56" rise .. can;t find the site photo




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

a fun and challenging repair

very presidential
 
well, we had a couple chuckles today .. we finished this repair and i was taking a quick record photo and caught jim in the 'dollar bill' pose.  lookin' good in there, don't ya think?  anyway, the orange lines in the photo denote all the places this piece was broken when we picked it up .. it is a family heirloom that was standing quietly in the owners' garage just after arrival, when the arm thing on the top of the automatic garage door just nicked the top and tipped it over on its face as it was closing.  small disaster .. all better now.  click the photos to enlarge them ..
it took a few clamps and a bit of fussy work to get everything lined back up and reglued.  it also required some imaginative clamping fixtures due to all the holes and rounded edges ... we got it though and it looks 'good as new' for an antique.  these things must have been really popular at one time cause there are about a million different pictures of em on google images.  check it out
seriously, a half million at least ..


looked great in it's home place
it even had a pair of sweet cast bronze, mirror image scallop shells for the base .. very cool ..

Thursday, July 31, 2014

" and now for something completely different " ....

 
 every now and so often, i get the urge to break out of the natural wood/stained wood palette and stretch a little.  i have done it several times, like in the picture of the desk below that i made back in the late 80's ... lately too, i've been doing some pottery with bright colors and patterns, and when i had to make a piece for a guild of vermont furnituremakers show at the vermont statehouse, i thought,
why not ??  click the photos to enlarge them ...
 i started with some sketches, and a 30"slab of white oak that has 
been hanging around for a while now.  i have a 6' chunk left that would
make a nice small dining table
first sketch with a natural top and red edges
 
sam and i had recently been to the clark art museum to see david smith's circles, so there was that ...
and once i had the sketch/drawing, and the slab
 
the base just sort of designed itself
 being still a little unsure, i painted the bottom of the top first, as a test of the concept
i  made a 'pattern' on the cnc, which i used as a 'guide' while i hand painted the circle motif.  i raised it off the suurface with some carpet glides so i didn't have to worry about 'bleed' and got a round, yet handpainted looking circle.  the dark surround was a full strength coat of dark brown/black aniline dye that i painted, brushed out, and left to dry.  it was important to me to get some strong color, yet still see the grain of the wood through it when i was 'done'.
 
all in, all done, and in montpelier now .. the show opens saturday, and i will have more on that soon.