Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A new set of ladderback chairs, and a trestle table to match

I should start by introducing myself as Kit and Dan's nephew Kristian Moore

I have been working in the dorset custom furniture shop for the last four years and am excited to be writing my first blog post. Thank you Dan, for creating such a vast depository of custom furniture, art, and life!

For this most recent custom order of ladderback chairs the clients requested a taller back with more space between backsplats. After a few design changes and reprogramming we started cutting out parts on the CNC.

our traditional ladderback on the left, and the new design on the right

back legs and mortices cut with the cnc

Every time I build chairs I am surprised by the amount of time they take! Lots of parts and pieces to mill, each piece with mortises of tenons to cut, and lots of sanding…

Once assembled they get a once over before the staining begins. For this set of chairs the client wanted a near black finish, so we used three coats aniline dye, black, brown, and black again before having our neighbor Kevin spray a dull finish on everything.

For this project I gained some experience doing the upholstery. Using a ½” plywood seat blank I added three layers of batting for the cushion before applying this distressed cowhide. The upholstery was a new challenge for me and I’m very glad I took it on as it was gratifying to work with the leather, a new medium.

The table top was a beautiful set of variegated walnut from Irion lumber which we decided needed breadboard ends aesthetically and to ensure minimal movement over time as we were able to get the top out of a three board matching set. The Trestle base is very rugged yet appears light weight due to the two vertical legs on each end and two horizontal beams that mirror each other.

And here we are all finished with seat cushions attached. ready to be shipped

Sunday, January 8, 2023

a few more favorites

in my previous post i promised 'a few more favorites'
and here are 'a few more' ... with almost 1000 posts to choose from, 
it gets a little tricky ...
click the pictures to enlarge them ...

the blog post for the link above is mostly highlight 
general thoughts on architectural and interior design, and
comments on the furniture design/make process ...
this is an excerpt from an article by ashley ericsmoen,
an australian based furniture designer/maker and professor of design ... 

i have been drawing for pleasure since i bought the book
back when i had to learn how to present my ideas to 
potential customers back in the late 70s. sadly, i made it
through high school and college without ever having an art course.
there are two relevant posts at the link above and both are 
discussions of the creative process

and two articles recently in the new york times and the new yorker
on ideas and creativity
new york times   temple grandin .. visual thinking
 new yorker  'how should we think about thinking?'

some cnc work ... 1997, using a cnc at a friend's shop
all 'handwork', no cnc ... 1993?

a cnc router is 'just a tool' that lets us
do things no one would likely pay us to do without it.
these stairs went to california, along with about 15 lineal 
feet of railings for the second floor
the photos the client sent that we used for the concept drawings;
the builder provided onsite measurements to create the shop drawings.
the original tansu stairs,  a local project we did in 1989 ... 

pretty much anything you want on them ...

and in case you missed it back in july, 
there's my 'old man project', still a work in progress ...
there are 6 posts there that i still add to from time to time .. 
story of my 51.5 years of life in vermont, and a little bit
from before i stepped off the bus in arlington to visit my sister.
i had $6. in my pocket, and everything i owned in one hand.

all for now ... 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

a few of my favorite things ...

 conveniently listed on the home page of my blog
are, according to blogger, my 'popular posts' ...
 the one at the top of that list has been viewed 
more than 35,000 times, which does make it 'popular',
at least in my book.

below i list not my 'popular posts', but some of my 'favorite posts'.
ones that feature projects that i enjoyed writing about,
and/or feature projects that i am proud of.
here we go .... lots to read here ...

at the time i was writing this post i was also reading
a cormac mccarthy book titled 'all the pretty horses'.
hence the post title, which explains what that post is about ..

i could go on and on about this one, 
and in the duck bed link above, i do ...
this was a rather miraculous repair if i do say so myself ...
we were able to get all the veneer pieces back to flat 
without disturbing the original finish ..
at least 6 of them there ... one of them took
nearly a year from cutting the trees to installing it
on the upper east side in new york city ...
some big projects there ...
all claro, all the time
about a dozen live edge tables in the blog post at that link
a real, deep, head scratcher here ..
create the supports for a conical ceiling ... 
here are the 'plans' from the architect
Ensure Slope Matches Side Wall Angle for Conical Ceiling'
at 2 and 1/16th x 12
and there is always the onsite variable where
the concrete wall on the right is maybe on 2 and 3/16ths x 12
instead of the required 2 and 1/16th x 12, which in
7' adds up!  crazy stuff !
a 1/8th" to the foot scale model ...
and your basic algebra here ...

and in 2010 we collaborated with a 
at 20' x 8', this is the 'small one'
'small' because this one is 26' x 9'
about 2' of granite hangs out over the base pieces
we cnc'd and joined the knockdown parts, 
we did the steel that supports the granite
 and did the wood borders around the granite pieces ...
our friend steve did the finishing and onsite assembly.

i think this will do it for today ... 
more 'favorites' to come sometime ...

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

all the best for 2023

happy new year all !!
after 15 years of writing this blog, 
i am a little short on new things to say about 
the past, and about 2023, except to wish you all the best.
we had a great 2022 and i hope you did too.

some of my favorite quotes are there ... like the one below
and others like that ...

and ok ... new year, new slide show

down toward the bottom of it there.
'work from 2022'
i let myself get a little carried away, adding some 
pet photos, historic items, music videos, golf and weather stuff, 
making it a bit of a lengthy one ... you can click through pretty quickly.
42 years of our previous work there too.  literally thousands of photos ...
if you are looking for more info on any of the photos,
 you may see a link with the photo, and though it won't work, it will 
tell you the month in 2022 that i wrote a blog post about it
which should make it pretty easy to find ...

onward !

Thursday, November 24, 2022

a live edge steel and cherry desk

we made this nice live edge cherry computer desk
for a long time friend of the family ...
the steel base spent a little testing time in sam's shop while we
worked on the slab top .. trigger approved it ...
there were two options, live edge up or live edge down ..
glad we ended up with the live edge up ... 
the angled cut is the notch that felled the tree ...

cad drawing above
 the design was loosely based on a pair of cherry 
recording studio tables we made for a friend

to see more of the live edge pieces we have made over the years

Saturday, November 19, 2022

the mountain goat

 well, sometimes you have to step outside the wheelhouse to
help some friends, and it always feels good when you do.
our friends, the manleys, had been promised in 2021 that the work would
be done 'this year', but unfortunately, the contractor 'couldn't get to it' 
and it needed to be 'got to' ... so, kristian and i volunteered to help ..
kit and i have long been good friends with the manleys, and ace's family 
has owned this building downtown for over a hundred years. 
ace, briefly mentioned in my old man project, is the guy who hired me
to work at the roundhouse when i got off the bus in arlington 51 years ago ... 
looong time friends .... we skied and snowshoed, fished, played softball and 
paddle tennis, were more or less next door neighbors for 5 years,
vacationed together a bit, and all had kids the same year in the early 80s ...  
read on, and click the photos for a closer look .... 
here is the building in its original configuration as the combination cash store.
it was opened by ace's grandfather, and then run by his brother til the late 70s
when it went on to become a furniture store, a sheep skin place, and now,
the mountain goat, a patagonia store
we needed a lot of stuff to do what we needed to do, and on main st, no less
day 1... scrape and paint, polish the copper, consider the flaking plaster
day 2 .. upgrade/replace the floor, clean up the window over the door .. more plaster
there was some molding and flashing that needed attention,
and we noticed that there was something missing over the front entrance,
a matching cornice!

i photoshopped in what was missing and put it on the list
we started with the obvious repairs first, stripped off the rotten
crown molding and installed some new, and got monarch metal
to whip up some copper flashing to dress up the new moldings ..
after a little nibbler work by kristian.we were able to slide the new flashings 
under the existing ones we had cut back to get the old molding off,
and now the painter, mrs. manley is on the job 
with us daily, and making good progress.
on next to the new cornice ... 
we haven't built many 25' long things in the shop lately, but we got it together
and with a little help from sam and luke from the metal shop, 
we wrestled it into place and flashed it ... by this time, kristian 
had repaired the plaster, and there were
 only a couple more details to go ..
 the original window
we had to spruce up the original combination cash store co. window,
 and you can see a little of the new floor here ..
we just had to replace some missing molding pieces and spray paint
some 'fake' details on the blank new cornice brackets to wrap it up.
the brackets for the existing cornice had these nice carved through details and
looked more interesting than the blank ones under the new cornice
we played around with an mdf stencil and some spray paint and viola!
you almost wouldn't notice that they're fake ...
over and out ... this was a real 'feel good project' .. 
always nice to help out some longtime friends ..