Tuesday, April 22, 2014

a railing for a tansu stair cabinet

chris and i installed the railings today. all in, all done, as they say.  
i am happy to cross that one off the to do list.  we made some other stuff
 in the room there, like the mantle with burl and abalone detials, and the coffee table.  you can even see some of jim's (aka mr. lucky) carved glass work from the 80's on the coffee table.  nice room.
back in 1989, when we had been at our craft full time for 9 years, we built this sweet 'tansu stair cabinet', based on a postcard my clients had picked up in a hotel in japan or china, i forget which.  anyway, i'd already made them a bunch of stuff, and in this spot, they had one of those slightly treacherous 60's era welded steel spiral stairways, and a desire for a place to hide the stereo.  the stereo went behind the double doors, and originally, i think, the speakers went behind the single doors.  that was fine for, oh, 24 years, until grandchildren came on the scene .. time for a railing ... click the photos to enlarge them.
we did a little photoshop work, talked about different combinations of wood and metal ..
and finally made a plan.
chris and i made some poplar temporary posts and took some cardboard to the house and made some rough templates and notes on fitting the posts to the treads and figured out how to attach them.  luckily, there were all those drawers we could remove and we just screwed into the half lapped posts from inside the casework .. a true no brainer.
we were able to translate that information into cad drawings from which we made the 'real' cherry posts and rough templates on the cnc.  we took those back to the site and installed the cherry posts, took some more notes, and turned those notes into cad drawings and the templates below that sam could weld the actual railings together on.

we hand shaped the top caps to mimic the original handraill and fitted them to the railings in the shop.  today, it all fit and we bolted them in place to make a surprisingly rigid assembly up to code and ready for kids.

it all fit like a glove, and in the background you can see the end 'volute' of the original hand carved handrail.  this was a satisfying project, and a nice visit with an old friend.  good job sam and chris !!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

a round walnut table with an inlay

some things you just can't catch in a photo .. this table is one of them .. click.  too light ... click. too dark.  it's a tough one.  it has a dark brown/black finish with an inlay and a nice medium shine ... typically, i leave the finish room florescents on when i take my 'record' photos for my blog .. they just killed the image above.  i could not get it right.  but below, i was just doing the final check before the table left today, and with the overhead lights off, and a raking incandescent light, and wow, the inlay just pops.  click the photos to enlarge them ...
the darkness at the top of these images is more the color of the table, 
but the raking light makes the inlay glow.
i'm hoping the clients have a nice downlight chandelier over the table.  if they do, it will be awesome ..
we'll find out tomorrow when it's delivered.
here's the light set up .. 
 
and here is the inlay, early in the process, before it was routed into the table top.
in this photo, the top and the inlay are heading into the veneer bag.
all done and ready for staining
and below is the original table that opened up and had two leaves.
here is a link to the blog post on the original table we made back in january of 2012

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

metal shop stuff

 sam is humming in the metal shop ...
we're adding some railings to a tansu cabinet stairway we built in the late 80s, 25 years ago now .. i still have the original drawing!  the clients now have grandchildren and we all know what that means .. safety first! .. chris and i installed the tapered posts and made some full size templates, which we later cut as assembly jigs on the cnc for sam to weld up the actual railings
some pre-job photoshop work
the railings are all welded and finished now, and i'm making the wood handrail tops.  
we hope to get this all installed later this week.  click the photos to enlarge them.
and this is an interesting mockup tapered leg for a possible steel and marble coffee table commission.
the client is concerned about the total weight, and we are still waiting to hear from them, one way or the other.  it's an interesting prototype though, and i'm sure we will use the concept in the future.
easy to do in wood .. a little more work to do it in steel.
marble top .. patinated steel base
and we got a deposit check yesterday for a new version of the 'skinny console' base.  the top on this new one will be 15" wide though, which required some base redesign ..
splayed it out a little at the floor
 almost done!

and sam has finished welding on a steel support for a 560 pound safe that will be installed soon.  the safe will take a few more weeks to get to the client's home as it is being custom fabricated in california.  luckily, the manufacturers will be in charge of the installation ..

we are in the process of adding a storage cabinet with drawers or trays under the safe. 
 another handrail .. the upstairs part is finished
and we'll install the final piece on the main floor also probably later this week
 it just needs a little clear coat and it will be ready to go .. tricky shape .
fits in the space up top there ...
a couple more trout buckles out the door ..
bunch of these lately too.. this one is unfinished here..
and a mockup bar stool that will get some revisions soon.  
and then we'll make at least 8 of them for a local client.
another 'nakashima style' table base for a massachusetts client ..
and last, but not least, a custom free standing fireplace spark screen.  the are a million different mesh you can buy to weld in there.  this is just one of them .. all for now ..
 and it's finally spring and fishing season is open .. sam with a nice 17" brown.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

so it finaly feels like spring

the employee lounge opened yesterday, overlooking the pond below ... no banjo music, but the wood frogs were pretty good .. below is my first 'blogger video' i won't know how it works until i post this so we'll see if adding videos is something we can work on in the future.

wood frogs are pretty interesting little creatures. they live only in vernal, or 'fishless' ponds,
and can tolerate being frozen solid in the winter ... me too, but just barely anymore.
and the pheobes are back,  flitting around their usual nesting spots
very entertaining little birds
raked up in front of the shop yesterday .. still a little snow from the plow, 
but it should be gone after this weekend
kit is working on the wood pile.  fortunately for me, she calls it 'her workout, 
and i have participated only sporadically so far. 
and the laundry is on the line.  i even thought briefly about an outdoor shower ..
and after a long cold winter, we'll be heading out for the mail with the top down shortly.
it's gonna be 70 here today.
fish are out in the pond
the raised beds and the asparagus patch are bare ...
and the fog was lovely this morning, and
it was the first day there was no snow visible from the upstairs windows


what a difference a week makes