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

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 ..

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

just a thought about "Popeye" by Jeff Koons

from today's new york times ... here, let me read the caption for you ...
  'this stainless steel "popeye" by jeff koons is expected to draw 
$25 million when sotheby's auctions it next month.'
hmmmm .. after a really busy week at the shop, i found this article hit me kind of the wrong way.  i have an idea for whoever is the runner up bidder at the sotheby's auction.  why don't you take the $24,950,000. you didn't spend on this rather questionable piece of art and pick 20 artists whose work you really like (do you really like popeye $25 million worth?) and give 'em each a million bucks to make you some stuff.  give em a year or two to do it.  then, when all that stuff is all done, you can decide which of those five artists did the best job, and divvy up the other $4,950,000. among the five of them.  i bet you'll be a lot happier in the long run.  maybe you won't be able to flip the stuff in 10 years for $50,000,000., but you will have quite an experience; you will have validated some serious artists, and, in the end, will have acquired a small museum's worth of stuff with a good story attached to it.  hey.  take a shot.  maybe one of the 20 you pick will be the next hot ticket.  wouldn't that somehow be more interesting?

end of rant ...

Friday, April 4, 2014

nice press!

 a little nice press for the family businesses, courtesy of helen whyte and the 
battenkill business journal .. the photo's good too! click the photo to read the story.
thanks helen !!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

it's a chair!

 well ok.  this one was a challenge.  not for me, except emotionally, but for chris as the woodworker who spent a good deal of time copying the rocker above.  it's a family piece that belonged to a 
really good friend who is now, sadly, no longer with us. her sister asked us to make
 the copy for her and now it's ready to go.
  click the photos to enlarge them.
 it's american walnut with a sort of silky corduroy like fabric which is perfect for it.
 the original was a little narrow, so we added an inch to the width so 
more folks could be comfortable and we also changed 
a few things in the back upholstery support.
 challenging joinery with not a right angle in sight.  challengning handwork and shaping.
challenging this; challenging that; one after another
but in the end, a job very well done.
excellent work by isaiah mccauliffe of bespoke upholstery, manchester, vt.
r.i.p. ames

Sunday, March 30, 2014

a live edge coffee table

we delivered another nice claro wlanut slab coffee table this week.  the slab is one of a pair we bought back in january, specifically for this project, and in the meantime, sold the other one to another client who just happened to be looking for a small dining table exactly the size of the other slab.  
sometimes you just get lucky.  clcik the photos to enlarge them.
so here it is, onsite friday morning .. a cloudy day, but still a warm object with a little light.
at one point, i considered straightening the flair, but decided to not even ask .. the
live edge was just too nice ..
the base design is one we have used before in flat, 1/2" steel, but the tubing is a little more refined.
we added our dark bronze patina to the natural, polished steel.
 earlier in the process, i took the base to the client's home nearby with a piece of half inch mdf cut the to same size and shape as the actual slab.  i then took a couple photos ...

 and then, with a little creative photoshopping, added a photo of the the sister slab from the table below, which by that time was already finished and shipped.  this mockup helped the clients visualize the
finished table in their space .. it took a minute,  but was well worth the effort.  compare this photo with the onsite photo at the top and you can get a handle on the 'power of photoshop'.
all for now.  enjoy your sunday ...