Sunday, February 28, 2010

Paint it Black

It started innocently enough back in November when it was decided that we would paint the bar cabinet below, black ... Since then, we have had three other black projects come through. One, a take off in vanity form on the bar project, the second a laundry cabinet that we designed back in November but didn't decide on the finish until we were, well, ready to finish it, a couple of weeks ago. We've got a good black on walnut or mahogany finish that I'll detail as we go ... Click the photos to enlarge them ...
The bar cabinet from right before Christmas .. We detailed the finishing of that one in that post and this cabinet was pretty much the same ...
Since my last post on this project we added the interior drawers
Here is the cabinet just before the finishing began
First coat was a full strength Lockwood water soluble dye, English Brown Mahogany..
After that was dry, Will sanded it thoroughly with 150 and then applied a second coat of the same dye, a reddish brown ... While that was still wet, he added exterior soft gloss latex and sponged that around until it looked 'right'. We used one of our photography hot lights so we couls see the black cabinet while we were working on it ... It also helped to go around with a clip light while you're working on it and just after the paper towel to pick up spots you might have missed ... It is soooo hard to see a black finish as you apply it ...
The final and all important step is to, after it dries for a half hour or so, buff it with 4 0000 steel wool and polish it aggressively with a paper towel ... It'll look good after that but will still take a couple of oil/varnish coats for full protection and a low sheen.
Also this week we (finally) installed a laundry cabinet that we designed back in November. you've seen it lurking in the shop for many blog posts ... It just couldn't seem to get all done; but, now it is. ... Looks good ... Interesting before and after photo from two different directions

The CAD drawing was modified slightly to make the drawers more functional before we began construction ... And, below, we finished the tv cabinet build out (scroll to the bottom of that one) that we started discussing the same day as the laundry cabinet ... Four black projects in 2 months ... a first ... I like them ...
We moved the tv 8" forward in the cabinet .. the wires were just long enough ...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Big Claro Slab Table .. 2/23 .. The Slab is Here

2/17 OK ... we're almost underway on a new Claro walnut slab top table ... This one is for a kitchen in Connecticut and as you can see from the 1/6th scale model above, it's a long narrow one ... The slab will be about 32-34 " in width and about 10' long after it's cut .... It left today or will leave soon from Good Hope Hardwoods in Kemblesville, PA, and it should arrive here early next week .... Over the last ten years I have gotten 5 or six claro slabs, several big bubinga boards and a couple really wide pieces of 8/4 cherry. They have a great new website too. Check it out .. Find a board and we'll build a table for you ... Click the pictures to enlarge them ...
After looking at 4 or 5 options, this is the one we chose ... We'll have to doctor the flares a bit and trim it too length, but it looks like a beauty.
We took the inspiration for our 1.5" thick steel base from this Shaker table from the 1800's
CAD drawing of the base parts ... We originally were going to cut pieces and weld them back together, but it occurred to us that steel was at least as cheap as welding and grinding and we'll probably get a 'smoother' item.
To be sure we had it right, we cut a couple of plywood samples on the cnc and mocked up the look with a slab I have on hand that is looking for a home ... desk anyone? It's 30 to 42 wide and about 7' long .. (4/4 ...This slab has since been sold and will be a coffee table .. )
American black walnut ... Better picture of that slab here ...
Updated 2/23/2010 ... The wood arrived from Goodhope Hardwoods today. And, it's a real beauty ... I've only made a few passes to get a sense of how it is, and yessir .. it is really nice ... Below is a small puddle of alcohol we splashed on the curly end .... Lots of figure ...
Below I have chalked it to indicate where we plan to cut it to the clients size specs .. +/- 34-35 x 10'
Updated 2 19 ... The metal for the table base is done ... we'll tie them together next week with some 3/8 x 2" steel across the top where the notch is and add the braces to that ...
Base parts, last Friday ... Now that we have the slab, we'll work on that soon too ...
One end polished slightly

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Mahogany Expanding Table .. a few more photos

I was talking to a friend and fellow woodworker (Johannes Michelsen...check out his famous wood hats) recently who is designing a round expanding table for a potential client. There is a table in a post below (with a really, really nice email from the clients), about an expanding mahogany table that is similar in concept .... He saw another table of mine on the Moin Hardware website and was interested in the runners and structure that allowed a 10' table to be balanced on a single, non moving pedestal. So, I thought I'd put up a few more photos .. There are a couple things that allow this design to work: the equalizing runners (the top stays centered on the pedestal as it opens for the leaves), and a nice stable base with some weight and structure. We have made many tables with this type of pedestal and we always run a 3/4" threaded rod/bolt up through the center of the pedestal which makes a very solid connection and adds to the stability of the table as a whole. It also makes moving it easy as the bolt stays with the base and the subplatform stays with the top and runners ... Here's shot of that .... Click the pictures to enlarge them ...
If you look at the cad drawing in the first post about this table , you can see the sub top that the runners are attached to just below the bead on the table apron.
Here's a shot of the finished table with the 3 15" leaves in ...
An underside view of the unfinished table showing the pedestal parts clearly..
Under side view ...
Showing the Hafele runners without the sub base ... We have a few sets of these runners left and for most of out other style expanding tables we have switched to Watertown slides from Moin Hardware. I have seen similar equalizing slides on their website. I don't think you can get the Hafele ones in this country any more ... OK ... back to the Olympics ... Those skiers are CRAZZZZZYYYYY !!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mr. Pileated Comes ToThe Feeder

Well, actually, we don't know if it was a Mr. or a Mrs., but there was a pileated woodpecker on the suet feeder for quite a while today. Kit was in a good viewing spot and was able to take quite a few good close up shots .... It's nature time here as the winter begins to relax its grip .... Click the photos to enlarge them ... Enjoy ... You don't get this close often ....






A couple of evenings ago
Orchids in the bedroom
Frost on the garage door
Morning light in the front yard

Friday, February 19, 2010

What We Can Do With Metal

Sam's been working with metal now for about 5 years, full time for the last two. He's a great welder and fabricator and his artistic and problem solving sense is evolving everyday. As we get more and more requests for pieces both entirely of metal and as furniture, in combination with wood, often questions of finishes, materials, and capabilities arise ... Rather than answer the same or almost the same questions over and over, this post will serve as a general outline for potential clients who want to know more about what we can and can't do ... Click the photos to enlarge them ....

We have a fairly well equipped metal shop. We could use a little more space, a milling machine and maybe a more professional drill press but mostly, we're pretty well set. We also have a company we work with for custom CNC waterjet cutting and custom CNC plasma cutting, as well as chrome plating and powder coating ... Right here in Vermont ....

Sooooo, what are the options as far as materials, finishes, fabrication? For a quick overview, visit the 'Sam Mosheim' category off to the right there or any of the links directly below....

Possible finishes are:
Natural oiled mill finish .... 'The Williams Store Railings'Blackened steel, done with a cold patina chemical called 'ready brown' ... works great on brass and copper too .... It can be nicely highlighted with steel wool, then oiled ....
Polished natural steel finish. Essentially a process of grinding off the mill scale and polishing with finer and finer grades of abrasives ... While we have not as yet done any pieces in polished stainless, our satin finish stainless is typically looking a lot like the project above .... Perhaps just a bit brighter .... 'A Custom Contemporary Railing'
For antique or Art Deco style pieces, golf leafed, natural or antiqued, might be a good choice ...
For outdoors, we recommend two coats of primer, two of paint with refreshing when necessary ... any color ... 'A Fine Outdoor Railing'
For indoors, primed and painted, any color also; here with a nice gold paint from Fine Paints of Europe which will be glazed and antiqued later ...
A mix of finishes and materials .. blackened, natural,polished, brass and copper ... We're currently working on designs for a bed with inlays in a variety of metals and finishes ...
'A Door For a Pizza Oven Thermometer'

Products and Services .....
Custom Outdoor Chairs and Table Parts

Lighting, railings, sculpture, belt buckles, custom tools, fireplace accessories, furniture parts, metal repairs and custom welding ....

Whatever else you can dream up that you think we might be able to do ....
dan@dorsetcustomfurniture.com
sam@dorsetcustomfurniture.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Art Deco Vanity

We're doing an Art Deco style vanity based on the bar we built and delivered just before Christmas. It's for a different client but they were intrigued by the look and we adapted it to their vanity project. It's coming along now and I think it's going to be a very cool item. Click the pictures to enlarge them ...
The CAD drawing showing the overall layout and dimensions ...
The original bar cabinet with an blackened finish on the walnut ...
We started with the legs. Will made the notches for the moldings on the tablesaw.
Next we ran some panel details on the cnc which defined the centers of the stepped panels, defined the center molding location and gave him a place to start with his 'frame' pieces.
The end panel and front apron are completed ... doors and moldings next ...