Sunday, December 9, 2007

Five (not so) Easy Pieces

This week we finished up five pieces that have been in the works for quite a while. Four of them are for one client, and they will be delivered to New York City this week. The desk was for other clients on Long Island and it will be delivered the week of the 17th. All were complex and challenging pieces involving veneers, custom fabricated metal work, both steel and brass, and complicated design details. They are all, coincidentally, heavily influenced by the historic Art Deco Design Style. Three are fabricated from wenge, hickory and steel and will reside in the same room, the zebrawood table is for the same clients but will be in a different room and the curly maple desk is for a completely different, but also, long time client. The desk is a design collaboration with the interior designer Judith Stutt of Weston, VT.





This zebrawood table posed all kinds of challenges, from resawing the veneers and selecting which ones to use where, the order of steps in the veneering process, fabricating and attaching the brass feet and little 3/8" moldings on the legs, the double curving veneered aprons, and matching the 'waterfall' veneers as they wrapped around the corners. That last step invovlved cutting and labeling the veneers as they came off the flitch. Nicely executed by Jeremy Russell.




This desk had numerous challenges including working with thin curly maple veneer, multiple forms for the drawer boxes and fronts, jigs for cutting the ebony lines on the top and drawer face edges, the diamond shaped side inlays, the curved drawer box joinery, etc., etc.

For the drawers, because the fronts were curved on a smallish raidus , we had to create a new joinery system as the short grain of the dovetails on the curved wood did not have enough integrity. Mark came up with an angled dowel joint that was relatively easy to execute using a jig he made on the drill press. This joint proved to be very strong on our test pieces and while it's not our usual crispy dovetails, it's an attractive joint and in the long run, certainly as strong.

See pictures of this joinery process on the "Curved drawer front joint" post.

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