Thursday, April 9, 2015

a bar

 well ok, here's a blast from the past ... we, or should i say, me and the guys who were working here with me in 2004 made this bar for a client at stratton mountain ski area, about a half hour to the southeast by car from my shop.  i had a request today from a potential client to look at an antique front bar he has purchased and to design and build a back bar and incorporate a sink and frig in the whole deal somewhere.  i haven't been to see it yet, but i hope to get over to his house nearby to have a look next week. 
click the photos to enlarge them ...
 i like bars.  when i came to town here in 1971, i had been traveling the country for a couple years after penn state, 'looking for a place to live' i was telling myself at the time.  actually, what i think i was looking for then was #1., a wife or significant other, and #2. something to do that didn't involve working late nights and sleeping half the day away.  the money was good though then and i got to live in some fancy spots along the way, fort lauderdale, the ocean reef club in key largo, washington dc, montauk, palm springs, and just before vermont, i made a brief trip to europe.  life was good.  and it got better when i met the wife, at the bar i was working in.  she went on to become the first female bartender there, and we are still friends with the gentlemen and his wife who hired me 44 years ago.  they were here for dinner last night. 
 i've made some bar like pieces of furniture, and i once helped build a 35' long, quicky commercial bar when i was a carpenter, but i'm hoping we get to build another small, intimate, classy home bar along these lines.
i was just learning my cad program in 2004 so the drawings are a bit cluttered, but obviously, they worked.  this was a challenging, fun project and it took me a good solid half hour to find the folder that the pictures were in.  that folder was entitled 'on site photos' and it contained some real gems .. more on that, and hopefully, this project shortly ...
i can almost see that 2004 bar from here.  that's stratton mountain from the back yard, about 20 miles
away as the crown flies.  you can just see the top of mount snow behind it, another
15 or 20 miles to the due southeast of stratton.

all for now.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

new table design

we're in the process of adding a new design to our collection of expanding tables

this one was a collaboration between our client, who sent us photos and guided our sketching, and me, who did the drawings, and trevor, who made the models above.

we started out with the base splitting and separating with the leaves and then realized that
the whole concept would be easier to execute and would work better if the vertical base sections were at a 45 degree angle to the split in the table top.
there is a 3.5" square block in the center of the four verticals that was 
split on a 45 before the final glue up.
here are the four verticals with their braces glued on.  the joints are reinforced with dominoes.
fine matched walnut from irion lumber
moving along in the process ... trevor will add the run ners and the sub top this week, after we finish up 

more later as we move it along ... 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

a few of our favorite things

for many reasons, things come and go from the 'popular posts' list over there to the right.  there are some posts though that i call on over and over when talking with potential clients.  and some of these posts, for whatever reason, are popular with me, but have never made the list.  'the duck bed' shown above and below was a collaboration between one of our favorite clients, our younger son will on the turning, carving and finishing and the older son sam on the metal 'carving' and patinas. 
i got to do the cad drawing and lead the design parade.  there are four posts total in the construction description, but you can access all of them from the link above.  carving spirals, cnc work on the inlays, waterjetting the actual metal parts and patinas are all covered there.
this one's got it all .. three posts total, from adapting an existing design below to a new space, cross country contractor and architect communication, custom steel railings, secret compartments, shipping details to palo alto, on and on .. lots of headscratching ... much fun.

and this 1989 project is the original staircase we built for local clients that the palo alto folks found on my website.  we recently added the railing so there is a blog post about it at this link.  a version of this project was posted on facabook by a radio station in mississippi and it has been shared i see 567,855 times .. go figure

a greene and greene style sideboard .. drawings, construction details, fabricating the hinges and the pulls, the works ... many more photos here.

ahhh, the trout desk, dovetailing 28" wide walnut planks, 'houndstooth' dovetails, and more, and below,
the 'bridges bench'  both are part of our bethlehem steel series combining the efforts of sam, will and i to create collaborative pieces in wood and steel ... 
and another example of the bench above for a local museum garden
lots more stuff here along with thoughts on interior design and custom furniture
and then we've got our on line slide shows at this link  six years of work with albums on claro walnut tables, furniture from reclaimed lumber, stuff you can do with a cnc router, some of my digitized sketchbooks with sketch and finished piece ... thousands of photos there ..

loads of fun .. new processes
five easy pieces  .. in addition to this fun zebra wood dining table, there are four others in wenge, hickory and steel.  one of my first ever substantial blog posts.

as always, you can consult the 'categories' section for specific interests and the 'popular posts' section for other things that m ight catch your eye ... happy reading.  comment with your questions and i'll try to get back to you shortly ..
 also, there are slide shows available at this link that contain literally thousands of photos of our work ..

Friday, March 20, 2015

still famous after all these years

well, thanks to our old friends at certainly wood, a piece we made, oh, more than 25 years ago, has gained a new life.  we were spring cleaning today and were about to recylce this brochure that came with our latest order and some one said "wait! .. check it out first.  you may want to hold onto that."  so i checked it out.  and i held onto it.  and i took a couple pictures ... click the photos to enlarge them...
with a little help on the veneer work from kb woodworking, we made this federal style sideboard in the late 80's, and with my enthusiastic permission, certainly wood used it in their promotions for a few years after that.  i have to be honest, i don't pay much attention to the promotional stuff that comes with my orders from suppliers i often use, but maybe in the future i will .. it put a nice highlight on my day.

just a few of our easily accessible photos of other certainly wood veneer projects
curly maple, lacewood, certainly wood curly redwood veneer .. i have just a little of this veneer left
 curly redwood, pre-embargo brazilian rosewood, and birdseye maple.  hammered copper pulls and hammered copper covered tapered turned legs ... one of my personal favorites ..
veneer panels laid up by our friends at kb woodworking in cairo, new york
 companion piece to the high boy above .. 
curly redwood veneer and curly maple solids, east indian rosewood
surprisingly, i don't see this on my website
a pair of federal card tables circa 1997.  crotch mahogany, ribbon stripe mahogany, and satin wood veneers ... quite the project ... another one of our favorites ...
and many, many others.  it's been a long and fruitful relationship .. you go, certainly wood!!
you may use any of my photos you like, anytime ...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

arts and crafts stools

all finished now
we just finished building three of our arts and crafts, frank lloyd wright inspired bar stools for a client in st. louis.  they will be sprayed with a clear lacquer finish this week, and they will pop a little more once the finish is on them.  they are part of a continuation of a design we first built in 2003 for the client who gave us the inspirational photo of a similar short chair designed originally by frank lloyd wright.

these are in natural cherry.  the ones we just finished are antural finished curly hard maple
, with leather from universal leather in high point, north carolina

stragihtforward lines, with a few curves thrown in to soften mr. wright's rectinlinearality (is that a word?
 we have them in our own kitchen
and we have also done them in other colors and woods
as well as patchwork scrap leather seats
 for more information and pricing, visit our dorset custom furniture website

Saturday, March 7, 2015

sometimes we copy stuff

occasionally, we are asked to copy existing pieces, often, as in this case, because the original maker is no longer in business, or in the case of antiques, no longer living.  those are basically our two criteria.  we often get inquiries asking "if we can make this" and you can usually google "this" by its title or description and find out if the maker is living and still in business.  no luck on these.  and they looked pretty old.  and they were really comfortable ... the first project was a bench, below, that we made from the original in 2011.
 the original bench came to our shop, and much to our delight, the entire structure was held together with stainless steel threaded rods, clever brass 't' nuts and elegant hand made brass cyclinder nuts.  so, we had patterns for the legs, with mortises and tenons to copy it.
lots of pieces and some fussy interlocking stuff, but we eventually got it together.  finished nicely with some brush on, soak in, wipe off penofin 'nantucket mist' ... so actually, when the chairs gave up the ghost this year, we still had the original bench disassembled and piled behind the chop saw 'waiting to be fixed' for the employee lounge .. after 4 years we still hadn't gotten around to that.
 you can see the original bench patterns in the dark wood in the pile of parts above.
 i thought these would go relatively quickly, but when you've got 88 pieces of wood with intersections and other miscellaneous joinery, and some threaded rods and t nuts to deal with, nothing is ever going to go as quickly as you might think.
but in the end, they are graceful and sturdy, and i'm sure will be around for a long time. i look forward to seeing them in the client's garden once the snow melts in boston ...