Wednesday, September 23, 2015

a round cherry expanding pedestal table

well, here we go again ... always one of my favorite designs, and we're happy to do it again and again.  the one above is from 2003, and it had three 18" leaves.  the one we are making now will be the same, only with just one leaf.  click the photos to enlarge them ...
we started with a cad drawing testing the water for 52 vs 54".  in the end, i sent them a cardboard template via ups and after putting it in the room, they decided on the 54".  i've blogged about a similar table before in this post back in 2013, and a smaller version in mahogany, way back in 2008.  
but here it is again anyway ..
get yourself a nice matched set of curly cherry boards and glue them up ..
and then cut and stack your plywood 'propeller' pieces and veneer the edges and top.  glue up your column pieces with the angles on the top and bottom then too.  
i have a taper jig photo somewhere ... 
and get yourself some equalized table slides from moin hardware
then, if you've got one, cut the half round sections on the cnc, and cut the inlay pockets at the same time .. let me say here that we did not have a cnc in 2003, and we made many, many tables with central inlays without it.  faster now with it though.
start with the borders;  in this case end grain walnut, burl and end grain vertical grain fir, glued up in a log and sliced like baloney ... put some glue on it, drive a headed brad in next to it 
and bend it to press it tightly against the edge of the pocket.
check your fits with some mdf templates
and cut your burl pieces  ... still need to add the edge inlay and do the finishing.  more photos to
home stretch ... in the finishing room now
all in, all done .. couple views below

with the 20" leaf in
 other sizes and variations on the form ... "take an object; do something to it"

Monday, September 14, 2015

big piece of claro walnut

well i think you'd have to agree that this is a pretty big piece of walnut ...  17.5' x 66" ..
it's certainly the biggest piece i have ever had anywhere near my shop ... 
somewhat unfortunately, it's actually too big for the client's room and we have to cut it to 
13'6" x 53", which we did when it arrived last week at my friend noel dydo's shop.  
he had to get it out of the truck with a lull and a forklift ... 622 pounds.
on our end, we had to do some thinking about how we would manage it once it arrived here.
after working on this table last spring, i realized that it was going to be difficult to work on it in the actual shop and that we would have to move to my garage, where we built the 26' x 9' and the 20' x 8' tables a few years back. 
here it is last thursday at my friend's shop
first step, cut one end ... blow this one up and note the D9 in the background ... 
serious earth moving equipment at noel's shop .
here we're preparing to add the rotating feature to this slab ... at about 450-500 pounds, we had to rethink how we were going to flip it .. sam made two 24" pieces of 5" channel with a 1 and 3/8ths" pin going through it.  we drilled and tapped the ends for 3/8th" bolts to clamp the metal pieces to the slab with wood shims. in this photo, i am wearing my special matching stihl sneakers while i cut 'a little' off the width of the slab so it is the right size for the room.  way down at the other end, it's still 66" wide and about 40" too long.  we'll get to that in a minute ... 
well, here we are, ready for the local lumber company to send their sheetrock truck to move it to my garage .. too big for the shop with the other stuff that's going on in there now. you can see a little piece of pipe in the top of the tarpezoid, which the greased pin fits into.  we let sam have the honor of the first flip today, which he was able to do by himself almost with one hand.  should of had this rig about 7 or 8 years ago.
flipping videos to follow soon.
videos of flipping the slab at this link     
 crazy figured !!
did a little rough smoothing and alcohol splashing on what will most likely be the bottom of the slab.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

37 years ago

every once in a while, if you've been making things a long time, you stumble on something you made a long time ago that you have maybe forgotten about.  like this door above ... made it in 1978, 37 years ago.  all heart, eastern white pine, no finish, no rot, outside, facing east no less, and sound as a dollar.  the owner and i agree that when you've got good pine installed in a vertical orientation, the very best and longest lasting finish is no finish at all ...
18 years and counting on the wood shop, center, 15 years on the finish room, right, and the new pine on the metal shop, 2013.  no finish, except for paint on the window trim ..

Sunday, August 30, 2015

a fun steel based console

well this one was interesting ... it started with husband and wife clients who were looking for 'interesting wood'.  they had already committed to a small slab of claro walnut that i had on hand for their coffee table and were wondering what else i might have 'around'.  i just happened to have this curved log of cherry that was sawed up by my friend mike stock of stock's tree care in west pawlet.  it came from the edge of a house adjacent to the 16th tee at the dorset field club where
we had done some work back in 2012.

the concept started as a full length bench, but after taking the mockup home with them, they decided a behind the couch console table would be more appropriate.
i made a couple of photoshopped sketches from the taller mockup

because the base looked kind of empty with the top up at table height.
we took elements from these two previous pieces

and combined them into the finished piece... the steel end pieces were originally 'temporary' to keep the top piece flat while we worked on it, but we all liked them, so they stayed as part of the finished design.
cool project !! the clients are happy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

painting class

please bear with me a bit here as i digress from my normal writings on woodworking.  there is so much more to life, and with the recent death of two close friends, the fact that time is finite and slipping by daily is on my mind ... for the moment, for what remains of summer at least, i am trying a new regimen:  into the shop by 9:00, out by 4:00, with an hour for lunch, (and sometimes, a nap).  more time with friends and family and other interests ... 
we'll see how long that lasts.  the checkbook is still, and always will be, in charge ...
click the photos to enlarge them ... 
so here is horst, my painting instructor, a few years back, with his painting, 'calligraphy'.  actually the image says 2006.  i've known horst well since the early 70's.  he's an 'old' master now, at 91, and is still painting away in nearby arlington.  i went for a visit a few weeks back, asked for some 'lessons' and now we're at it more or less weekly.  today was my third 'lesson'.  so far, his advice has been mostly 'try that bigger brush'. 'try that palette knife' .... 'use that whisk broom some' ... 'stop!' ... stuff like that.  it's a challenge ... the top photo is the results of today's lesson, and one of those paintings was a 'duet' where we passed the brush back and forth a bit without saying much ... at first i was a bit, hmmm, miffed? he was painting over my stuff !!!  in the end, when i got home, kit and i agreed it was the strongest of the bunch.  see if you can figure out which painting that was, and i'll post it at the end. 
the other two 'classes' are below ..
8/11 .. 'paint something representational' was the task ... in this case he cropped off more than half of what i painted after i 'finished' .. much improved, it was, by the chopping ...
next week, i get to use white with the black ... with the black for now, i think i'm channeling robert motherwell, learning about 'volume', 'form', 'power' .. etc.  working my way up to color.  no rush .
 you can read more about horst in this blog post, 'the artist in his studio', from 2010 ...
a few of my clients have bought paintings, and you can too!

as promised, this image is 'the duet' ... power, form, space ..
on another subject, i took some new pottery out of the kiln monday ...
 go out and play!
pottery close up ... 

Friday, August 21, 2015

r.i.p. ethan

well it's not often you lose two friends in a span of a week or so, but sometimes, i guess, it just happens.
we attended a memorial service last sunday for a former employee who started to work for us as a senior in high school.  he and will both took part in the target program, an alternative program in our local high school, burr and burton.  he continued with us for about 6 years after he graduated, and became our first employee cnc enthusiast, and its main operator.  will also did the target program where kids do academics in the morning and go out into the community to work in the afternoons.  will's journey took him to vew-do the balance board company where he learned about computers, photoshop, marketing and customer service.  ethan and will were friends from the time we moved to dorset in 1996.  i could go on and on here, and i did mumble for a bit at the service, but will actually summed it up perfectly in a post he wrote on facebook ... so, i'll just say here 'what will said' ...
click the photo to read it .... it's a heartfelt one.
here are a few photos of pieces ethan worked on that will found in the archives ... 
he was really good with turning, upholstery, and with the inlays ...

 early days ... about 2002 ... with mark and david rasmussen

                                                           R.I.P. ethan .. we're gonna miss you ....