Saturday, February 28, 2009

Railing Progress

3/4/09 One more section to go .... down the steps ... carboard template is in place .. Click the photos to enlarge them

Back in January in a post titled 'No Time For Details' I mentioned a new railing project Sam was about to start. We put the second section of it in place on Wednesday and the rest will be finished in the next week or so. It's coming out nicely, and starting to look remarkably like the sketch below...

The fourth, a long straight section is on the bench ... It needs a couple more details on the close end where it attaches to the wall ...

Proposed connection

Third section in place


First two sections

Third section in place

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mirrors for the Tapered Cabinets

Back in December, we finished a pair of tapered cases for a client in Philadelphia. The whole concept has now evolved to include two mirrors and a beautiful handmade quilt ... We finished the mirrors yesterday and they will be delivered next week sometime to complete the picture ... I kind of like fooling with Photoshop and I've got the whole concept mocked up below. This was a great project and I look forward to seeing it in person next time I'm in Pennsylvania, which may be to see the Philadelphia Fine Furniture Show at the end of March ....
The mockup with the mirrors and the quilt added .. Click to enlarge

Head on of the finished mirror
We made up the stock, sanded and assembled all the frame parts with the walnut edges tacked on. Next we mitered the molding sections and then disassembled the outside edges so we could glue the corners and reinforce the joints with corner screws. Then we added the precut walnut edges back to the frames with clamps, glue and blocks to wrap them up.
Adding the walnut borders

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Some Claro Walnut Slabs

2/28 .. the three slabs with one coat of linseed oil

Close up

2/26 ...Oiling the first of the three slabs earlier this afternoon ... Click the photos to enlarge them ..

In the last year or so, I've had a couple of clients interested in tables made from big slabs of wood and we did make one from a huge claro walnut slab from Goodhope Hardwoods, but I haven't convinced anyone to bite the bullet buy one of my slabs yet. I've had these three in the rough since 2006. People would look at them, hmmm around a little bit, but end up passing. It was, I think, too hard for them to see the potential in those big rough boards in the somewhat dark upstairs of my garage. I even have a picture of a cardboard mockup I made for a potential client on my website. No luck ... This time, I decided I would just go ahead and sand and scrape them up so a potential client can see exactly what they might be getting. I don''t think I'll regret it ... They're looking pretty good.


Butterfly keys for the cracks

A little more sanding and we'll put the oil to it

Slab #2 ... This is what they look like after they go through the widebelt. Sanding out all the roughness on the widebelt would have made them a bit thinner and I think we'll like the 'wavy' texture of 'not perfectly flat' table top just fine

Here's the cardboard mockup I made for an 'almost' client last year

I also found this 32" wide piece of cherry I forgot I had. It's got about 6 and a half good feet in it and then there's some funky stuff at one end. It's also got a little bruise that wll need some creative attention too, but overall, it's got some subtle figure and will eventually make somebody something pretty nice ...

100 Words For Snow

update 2/21/14 .. saw a good 'snow slide' at a friends house .. best one ever
 this hanger was at least 3-4 feet long
 and about 20' wide  ... fantastic!
a real old fashioned winter, this one... 
2/26/09 ...original post below

They say the Eskimos have a hundred different words for snow .... I think we've had about 50 of em this year so far .... Here are two from this week .... 'slidycrawly'

This is my garage roof this morning at about 7:30 .... The snow is hanging down about 2 feet and is about 3" thick ....

You can see it better if you blow it up
And this was Monday morning I think , ... 'sticky'

The robin was sitting here about 3 weeks ago

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Duplicating Chairs

We got a commission last fall to add two new chairs to a set of eight we made in 1991 ... I remembered the chairs well. We made the originals from 3 pictures (front, side, and back views) from a museum in Connecticutt. I never saw the originals, we had no measurements and I remember them being difficult to reproduce. In fact, I remember them as the hardest chairs I ever built. I thought it was because I made them from a picture .... Hah ! They were just hard chairs .... Fortunately we had some patterns that we kept; no notes, no drawings, but we did have a chair from the original set to copy. What we should have done, at that point, was what I always remember as an important part of a new chair design, Make some full size drawings. At the minimum, a seat plan view showing the side angles, a side view, and a head on elevation. Accurate drawings like these take time, and since I had the chair to copy, I skipped this step. Several times, I wished I hadn't .. Anyway, I'm glad they're done ... The two new ones are in the photo above and two from the original set have moved to Boston. You would think duplicating something exactly would be easy, particularly if you built the originals and you have one on hand to copy. Well, one of us forgot what he learned about building them in 1991 and the other one who was working on them was only 7 in 1991 so he didn't remember much about them either. We got through them and it was still a challenge but a great experience all over again. How'd I do that? What (exactly) is that angle? And how (exactly) exactly do you match a new finish to a 17 year old patina on a set of cherry chairs? Ain't easy .... Click the photos to enlarge them ...

First you've got to get Will to turn the front legs and carve the little 'Spanish' feet ... he liked that..

Then you've got to shape, mortise and tenon and knock together the back legs and top rail and center splat .. shape all that stuff and glue it all up ...

Connect the dots ...

Find someone to do the rush seats ... Bob Post from Schenectady was great ... 518-357-2988 He also does caning ...

Back from Bob now ... The natural rush seats are greener now (as were the originals when they were first done) but eventually will fade to the tan color you see on the original chair on the left. The new chair seats have a slightly different look, as the person who did the originals is no longer working and each rusher has a slightly different way of working with the material. And ... now we're done ... Next !

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Small Tables

Small trapezoidal table

In addition to the two coffee tables in the blog post below, we are also make three small side tables at the same time, all with the same color palette. We started with a photoshopped squished version of a French Country Style dining table we made a few years ago and scaled that down to the drawing you see here below.

We're still working on the third table, a trapezoidal shape to go between two angled chairs and they should all be ready to go by the end of the month ...

Awaiting the glaze coat

In process

cute little things

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Lutyens Desk

Finished the interior structure and the base stretchers today .. 2 19
If you blow it up, you can see where we left extra stock where the curved stretchers join the side stretchers. We'll cut that curve and sand it to a point just before we glue up ...

Inspiration photo
Long post coming here .... Lots of stuff working up to this one. It's a desk based loosely on a design By Edwin Lutyens, a British Architect who worked from the 1890's into the 1940. And, whoa, was he prolific. There is a great book by Elizabeth Wilhide on his life and work ... Amazing dude. So, we took a big desk in a castle he designed and chopped out the center section, redesigned the palette and the turnings a bit, and we're having at it. It's going to be a good one ... Lots of challenging techniques too ... Click the photos to enlarge them

The finished elevation

The desk as it is today ... 2/18

Leg stock pregrooved for moldings
Rouhging out the legs with the Vega Duplicator ... chips are FLYING !

The CAD files for the stretchers

which were cut on the cnc

So they fit real nice

We mortised the legs and the lower stretcher structure on the Multi Router ...
More later