Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Folding Coffee Table


I had a client/friend come by with an interesting recycled wood and metal project. She had a board her son had saved when he did some remodeling and demolition work for her. Anyway, she also had some nice handforged nails that had come from the same building. Her son had told her he was going to make a coffee table out of the board he had saved at some point. We'll, she beat him to it and had it made for him, as a present. It wanted to fold, as he was moving cross country soon. The design we came up with is based on a folding sewing table I got from a friend a while ago. It has metal hardware that squeaked when you opened it so we came up with a simple hickory wood version. It has a satisfying 'snap' when you open it and is surprisingly rigid. We pounded about 40 of the hand forged nails into the edge of the board. Folds almost flat ... fun object...instant antique ... whatever ... check it out .. Click the pictures to enlarge them ... I'll have a couple more pics coming tomorrow ...
More pics 4/29

Close up of the corner with nails

Underside

Open and done
4/28/09

The bottom of the board

Folded up

opened up

the original folding sewing table with the metal mechanism
One more photo of the finished table coming ...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another Interesting Repair

We fixed a desk for the niece of one of our longtime customers recently. It was her grandmother's desk, and one of it's legs had been broken (and repaired) several times. She had moved to a new house and could no longer prop it in the corner as she had in the past. It was a cool piece with nice carvings, some slick hardware that pushed out the flap supports when you pulled open the desk front, and onyx drawer faces and gallery details inside. It took some creative gluing and clamping to reattach the carved foot but it looked pretty good when it was done, if I do say so myself ... Click the photos to enlarge them ...

Badly repaired break

planed the ends smooth

Figured out how much was missing

We screwed a piece of plywood to the other three legs to locate the broken foot contact and put a temporary leg the right length in place so that when the leg was fixed, the desk would sit level.

Finished the joinery , doweled it as it was and glued it up with the broken foot

Rough shaped it

Did some minimal suggestive carving

Opened it up and found we needed to get rid of the blotter paper that was taped in there and get some leather down.

Stretched a piece of leather over some scrap plywood, made a luan ply pattern and cut the leather to exact size. masked off the desk and sprayed 3M Spray 90 adhesive on the leather and the desk insert. We put a piece of wax paper under most of the leather and slowly pressed the leather down and tugged the wax paper along, stretching the leather as we pushed it ( glued it ) into place. In the end, the width was good but we had to trim about 1'4" off the length in place.

There were some sweet onyx drawer faces that needed some refitting and handle reattachment and the two columns in the center were 'secret' compartments ... Loved the whole thing when it was done and so did the client when we dropped it off last week.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sping Fever


The Garden ... of course

Yo! I see I haven't been writing much lately ... must be Spring Fever in Vermont (finally). I think I've played my last paddle tennis for the season and I made it to the tennis court and the golf course in the last week. Too much going on outside to sit in front of a computer any more than I have to, which, (fortunately), has been quite a bit lately. We've had a flurry of requests for new quotes and designs which is quite a change from the last couple of months when I thought someone had stolen my phone or taken down my website. We've got quite a few projects on the board and in the pipeline which is nice. Some of the things we've been working on ... click to enlarge ...

A challenging desk repair .. delivered it today ... more on that later

Finished the doors .. more info here

Put the stove in last fall ... Need a wood shed now ... concrete Friday
Me and my original woodshed with beams I hewed from pines on my property in Arlington, VT .. circa 1975.

A cherry, burl and walnut coffee table to go with a credenza we made four years ago .. roughed out the lumber and stickered it today ..
A cherry bed like we made for my neighbor Sheila (and a few other clients)
Will roughed out the turnings today and Trevor started on the rails and the bolts.

We're copying a knife display case we made about 10 years ago for a new store J K Adams is opening in Stowe ... If the felt for the back of the top case comes tomorrow, we'll finish it up..

In process
This is the next tbig thing ... a room full of paneling, a desk and a bar/stereo cabinet ... concept below ...
Designs for a 'dragonfly ' coffee table for a potential new client

the bar cabinet for the project above ...

All for now though that's not all that's going on ... They say Spring is a time of renewal ... I guess ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Worthy Repair

Ok ... Your client has a nice chair ... this one was particularly nice as is a lot of this client's stuff. A while back, we repaired the NICEST, original finish, writing arm Windor I have ever seen. There's one like it in 's book, but it's not as nice. Here's a link to that repair story .. it's a good one and we used the same technique to repair this chair which came to us with it's arm snapped off at the joints.. Our goal is always to create new joints joints with integrity, yet leaves as much as the original wood as possible. Here's one of our best repair tricks .... click the pictures to enlarge them ...

We've excavated the broken tenons by starting with a small hole in the broken part and 'drilling up' with larger bits until we can break away the thin wall of the tenon that's left in the original hole. Then, in this case we sanded the broken arm to a point, leaving the wood on the top sanded just to the point where it broke, as it entered the mortise hole. That left us our original length to go by. Then we turned a short piece of new wood with the proper size tenon on it, stuck it int the hole and swung the arm, with it's new tenon in the front, around and traced the scarf angle onto the new piece sticking out of the back leg mortise, cut it and sanded it to fit. Carefully holding the two pieces aligned, I drilled a 3/16ths" hole for a dowel which kept the scarf joint aligned during gluing and clamping.

Get some pressure on it any way you can. masking tape is good, duct tape is stronger and stretchier, but can pull off an old finish so be careful with it.

This technique can work with almost any broken round tenon on a stetcher or spindle.

The finished chair

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Tansu Stairs are Done


Well, I was redoing the jobs list on my office bulletin board this morning and the little clipping above was pasted onto the corner of it. I put it there a while back and forgot about it but today, it caught my eye again. So true .... Most every big project takes 'a little longer' than expected and this one was no exception. But, now we're pretty much done. Shipping to Palo Alto has been arranged and all that's left is the shaping of the wall mounted handrail and a little welding on the mounting brackets for it. We had a few 'last details; to work out this week and they are detailed below. There are two other posts to this project .... here ... and here... Great project ....

The finished cabinet ... Click the photos to enlarge them ..

The boys got a little happy as they were about to put together the back cabinets ...

Tricky post moounting details and

tread to riser joinery

Shows the breakdown for shipping

and the skids with wheels we put under the base cabinets

Assembling the back cabinets ... More info on this project here ... and here ...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pete's Pizza Ovens


Curved arch forms cut on the cnc .. click to enlarge

Our brother in law, Peter Moore, of Peter Moore Masonry, ( check out his fantastic work) builds genuine brick ovens, fireplaces and masonry stoves for clients all over the world. He had a brainstorm lately that we could cut the forms for the arched roofs of his ovens on the cnc, giving him fair curves and saving him boatloads of aggravating time truing up curved forms. This is the second set we've cut for him and he's got it worked out so that he can disassemble them from inside the arch after the arch is set up, and reuse the forms if he has an oven with the same radius and dimensions. It took Trevor about an hour or so, start to finish, from turn on the machine to finished forms out the door. A win/win for everybody and really nice forms for Pete to work from. Pete says he'll take some pictures of the process once he's got the form set up on the job and I'll post them here when I get them. It sounds like a cool process. Also, this week we cut a set of curved parts for a form, 3" thick, with a 24" radius and two straight sections for gluing up table aprons for a 72 x 48 racetrack dining table for another local furnituremaker and that also worked out slick. I didn't even get a picture of that one it went out the door so fast. Custom CNC work available anytime ....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Old Faithful .... The Stanley #81


Well, the office work has slowed some lately and I'm enjoying being back in the shop a bit more ... Today, there was a desk top fresh out of the planer and everyone else was working away so I got out my trusty Stanley #81, spent 5 or 10 minutes tuning it up and had at it. It's been a while since I have actually been the one scraping a table top and I want to say, I forgot what a NICE thing it is to do. The quiet, sliding, cutting, whisper sounding action is just a fine experience. Planing's nice too, but if you haven't tried one of these two handled scrapers, push one around your next curly maple or figured cherry or birch top and you'll wonder where you've been. They are tricky to sharpen, but worth the effort. Fine woodworking has some stuff on line to help you tune one up and a quick search makes me think Stanley has discontinued them, so, check your antique tool dealers or your local flea markets. Or you can probably talk a friend into giving you his if he never took the time to figure it out ... Worth the effort ... Click the photos to enlarge ....