Sunday, April 24, 2016

claro walnut slab tables

finishing up a couple of claro walnut slab projects next week.  above is the slab we started with for a dining table that will go in a half round room about 10' in diameter ... the drawing is below.  
click the photos to enlarge them ...
typically before i actually purchase the slab, i will crop it to size in photoshop and often, can erase the dimensions with the 'rubber stamp' tool ... that gives us and the client and idea of the final shape.  in this case, i actually made a full size cardboard template for then to try in the room for a while ... here's the drawing ...
and the model below, with a new base design
painted mdf base, 1" = 1' scale .. picture of the slab glued to the mdf top
the base only ...
the base rectangles are actually welded now ...
and the slab is filled and has its first coat of finish .. 
the steel will have our 'bronzy' patina when it is finished
before the final cut to length
we use aero marine clear epoxy fill, #300/21.  scroll down on the epoxy page .. we outline the cracks with a couple layers of tape and then fill to the top of the tape, which after a tiny bit of settling, allows us to
scrape it to a level filled finish.
the second, (and there is actually a third shown briefly in this post) is a largeish coffee table, 
about 46" wide by 66 " long by 15.5" high .. same process ..
first a drawing with the cropped slab photo ...


in this case, we made a full size painted mdf mockup to confirm the proportions ..




and sam has now finished the actual steel base .. we'll put it all together monday .. 
it'll be off to providence next week or the week after ... 
more on the '3rd' project as it progresses ... it is being made from slab cts#23
and it has some cracks, but also some seriously dramatic crotch figure ... the first stage
of the clear fill is hardened and we are awaiting delivery of another batch on monday ... 





Tuesday, April 12, 2016

more stuff

more time flies by, and again i find i'm not doing much writing on my blog here ... been busy, and the work, 
while interesting, is not that new or challenging that it needs to be explained too much ... 
so, we'll continue with the show and tell ...




here we have a small claro walnut slab dining table, about 36-38 x 72 with a walnut bench.
headed to sag harbor soon with a nice mottled green vermont slate and steel coffee table .
'rothkoesque' i believe would be a good description ...



and we're about to wrap up this steel and pine bar .. 
a couple more coats of finish on the top and it will be good to go
'mountains and stream' steel work by sam
and this is how it starts ...
and another one of those 'oil finish in a sunny room' tables from 1991 returned for a visit.
trevor removed the breadboard ends, and rescraped it with his trusty stanley 81
to see what you can do with that tool in 21 seconds, here's a link to a youtube video.
most woodworkers have one of these tools hanging around, but few of them use them as much as we do
i don't think it took him more than 15 minutes to get the old finish off and expose the beautiful wood below. 
tah dah .. better than new ... the aged cherry color is beautiful ..


this one, from 1989, from the same client, was a little more of a challenge with the black milk paint details ...
we first scraped what we could, then using a piece of 1/4" mdf to shield the long sections of the center detail
we carefully removed the finish with a chiselscraper.  in case you are unfamiliar with it, a chiselscraper is
 a new tool i made by putting a scraper type hook on a 1" chisel.  a valuable leap of logic.
again .. better than new .. we left the spot where the puppy chewed the breadboard end 
and just a few of the deeper and more meaningful scratches.



and we've got a couple new claro walnut slab projects coming up. the one above is going to be 
a dining table in a half round room ...



about 60" x about 65" with a new base design that looks good on the model ..



and this one is gonna be a big coffee table about 48 x 66 ..




and, on top of all this, i have a kitchen design i'm in the middle of .. more on that later ...



the fish are biting for sam
and i'm back to painting with my friend horst ...

all for now ...
see my dorset custom furniture facebook page for a few good merle haggard videos ..
gonna miss merle too ...

Friday, April 1, 2016

jim harrison .... gonna miss him

so, jim harrison has left the building ... however, you can be assured he gave his whole time here his absolute best shot ... outdoorsman, cook, poet, thinker, writer, storyteller, he did it all.  and admirably and in his own totally robust style.  i think my first introduction to his work was 'dalva', a fine saga i have read and reread numerous times.  he drew fine characters, like brown dog, and led you through their interesting, yet somehow almost believable lives ...

one would do well to read the two things the times has published yesterday and today ... 
the photo above is from the obituary they published yesterday .. 
the excerpt below is from a blog post on books that i was reading back in 2010 ... 
there is a category over there to the right called 'what i'm reading'.
 if you are a reader, there are probably a few books there for you, regardless of your interests.

"And, finally, a revisit to a favorite author, Jim Harrison, who we have been reading for at least 20 years now. This guy can get you thinking with every, and I mean every, sentence. I borrowed it from a friend but I'm going to get my own copy. Some sections are so beautifully written and thought provoking they just take your breath away .... You find yourself opening to earlier sections to reread the best parts before opening to where you left off. A historic saga of family life and nature on the American Plains ... Try Dalva too ...

2/20 ... update .... having been so taken with The Road Home, I visited the library and in the last week and read two more of Mr. Harrison's books. The Summer he Didn't Die, and yesterday, in the throes of a headache and general malaise, The English Major in about a 20 hour period ... Both lived up to my expectations and if you like his style, you'll probably enjoy these too ...."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

time flies ...

3/6/16 .. no snow!
it's been almost a month since i wrote my last blog post ... don't know why, just needed a break i guess.  it might also be the spring in the air ... the convertible is out and the top has been down several times.  crazy weather for march.  the wood frogs are croaking (most years it's april before that happens), the robins and buzzards are back. ducks on the pond.  black spotted salamanders are out ... all that is also rare in march. and, i've golfed twice already!  once at 'arlington national', a par 3 down the road, and once at kingswood, a real course that opens early in nearby hudson falls ... manure on the asparagus and the garden today, kit stacked some of next years firewood.  cold again now though. so here's what happens in about a month at DCF. ... long post coming up ...
we have managed to get a few things out the door though, and that feels good ...

this 'black' walnut desk was a collaborative design with a new local client ..

and we did a couple small tables for the husband's office at the same time . 
they've got stone tops on them now
and i learned of the death of a long time friend ... i lived and traveled with mr. johnson, on the right above on his 59 caddy.  that's me on the left on my '61 f-85.  we lived and worked as bartenders/waiters for 2+ years traveling the country and europe .. starting in december of 1969, we moved from ft lauderdale to the ocean reef club in key largo, then to washington,dc for a month at blackies house of beef, 22nd and m st.,
then on to montauk, above for the summer of 1970.  fall we went off to san francisco, which turned out to be unionized, so we couldn't easily get jobs there, and then to palm springs, which wasn't.  we spent the winter there, saved enough money to do a couple months in europe, (on $5. a day as the book said then), and then to vermont where my sister got me a job as a bartender, and johnson got a job as a waiter.  i got off the bus in arlington, the 5th of july, 1971 with $6. in my pocket and everything i owned in one hand ... met the wife about a month later and here we are now, 45 years later, buried in stuff.
life goes on ...enjoy every healthy moment ...
and here we have another challenging restoration ... it is the client's father's chair, and he has been sitting in it daily since at least 1992.  i fixed it quickly about 10 years ago, but this time we did a frame off restoration.  it's at the upholsterers now for the new leather .. should be sharp when it's done.
lots  of tracks of previous repairs ... a worthy piece though .

and we delivered another spalted maple table this week.  this one with benches with little mini shaker legs.  the  benches will have cushions eventually ..
i received an enthusiastic email from the clients below who were not there when we delivered it ...
'We LOVE the table and benches!!! I'm working on the chairs that will go at the ends, and cushions or sheepskins to go on the benches, and once the look is complete, we'll send you some good pictures.
I'm at the office in Manchester today, Paul is with the boys- not sure if they'll be home this morning or not.
thanks again,
Chrissy'
and this fairly serious project metal working project will be headed for burke mountain vermont on friday.  a pair of bunkbeds above and a trundle bed below .. they have a bronze patina on them now and the walnut headboards and ladder are finished .. should be sharp when it's all set up ...

and we've got another bed headed for albany, probably tuesday.  you can;t see them in the photo, but there are also sort of 'hidden' big drawers under the platform.  they have angled faces, which were kind of a pain, but you'd never know they were there without getting down to look ..

the drawer box slabs will hang separately from the main headboard.

and we refinished a couple of small tables for a local client ..


and delivered and installed these 8/4 walnut bookcase down by new york city ..
32" x 7'  lookin' sharp
and we cut a long slab that a client purchased for a bar top and coffee table
sanded and finished them and sent them on their way ...
so, while i haven't been blogging, i have been posting to instagram, a newish thing for me ..
it's been fun trolling through the old stuff from the 80's and 90's, before digital.
follow along if you're interested ... #dorsetcustomfurniture
and sam is #sammovt
for banjo stuff, will is #seedersinstruments ...
manure on the asparagus 
and on the garden yesterday .. this time of years it's good to be on at least one person's shit list ...
all for now .. paddle tennis at 10:00 ...