Friday, September 3, 2010

Where Has Summer Gone ????

Oh My ! Labor Day Weekend .... Summer is so over .... But what a summer it was weatherwise. My neighbor Bill LaBerge said he had a 5 week stretch where he ate lunch outside every workday and it didn't rain on him once ... It has been beautiful. As a result, I've been a little slow on the writing front. Lots going on though ... The weekend is here and I probably won't be writing much more so this'll be a long one. What's been going on the last couple of weeks? Here goes ... Click the photos to enlarge them ...
The balcony Sam has been working on is now ready to paint and install ... Since it overlooks a beautiful trout pond, the owners requested some fish cutouts on the floor. These are cut on the bandsaw from 14 gauge and detailed ... they have studs on the back and will be bolted on once everything is painted ...
Jim finished cleaning and restoring a small menagerie of stuffed stuff for our fire client. It's hard to believe, but they were pretty black before he started. The wood duck's tail was off and the pheasant had a hole in his cheek just behind his eye that Jim very cleverly repaired with a piece of a sanding pad that was almost the perfect color and texture. He patched in behind the red with a few feathers from the wood duck ... Gold star for him from that client .... See the bottom of the photo below ...
Trevor, Jim and I made six sets of mahogany arch topped screens on the shapers and the cnc. They go with the porch I wrote about last month ... The frames will be painted to match the rest of the porch which allowed us to mix in some pvc board for the curves stops which eliminated potential problems with the short grain on the curved cuts.
Will has been working on several projects at the same time ... Three cherry and abalone mirrors for the same client. After exploring a couple of options with 1/16th " abalone that we usually buy from Stewart MacDonald's, Will found a new west coast source for 1/8th" Puau abalone from New Zealand at Luthier Supply ... That definitely did the trick and has the best color of all the abalones.....
The full length mirrorThe abalone strips are sold by the ounce and have to be squared up. Then they are inlaid into a slot cut in the walnut which is then sanded and blackened using juice made from a mix of cider vinegar and steel wool left to soak for a couple of days ... After sanding that with 1000 grit, Will then rubbed on/rubbed off some black latex paint to fill the pores and then paper toweled that and glossed it when it was done ... The finished looking mirrors are shown with only the first coat of gloss on them and will be satined next week ... They are going to look great.
Click this one .. the abalone is amazing
The two smaller mirrors

Will and Sam also whipped up a small console in the 'Bethlehem Steel' style to go with the big walnut oval dining table we finished a couple weeks ago. That will be off to the side to display a Dale Chihuly piece the client owns ... they both leave for CT Monday morning
On the side, Will also plays banjo and fixes instruments. One of his clients had a 50's hollow body Epiphone that needed a new pickguard and they collaborated on the design ... The client picked it up today ... Loved it !
Cutting the gold abalone on the cnc with a 1/32nd" bit
The finished replacement...

And I have started the next big table project ... I spent some time last week rough planing the claro walnut slab for a big table that will end up in Montana .... The top should be ready to finish next week and last I checked, the steel for the base will be finished Wednesday .... It's a new base design, but it will be bolted together and installed in a similar fashion to others that we have made ... This top is the thickest one yet (3") and weighs about 400 lbs we're guessing ... The moving company says 'no problem' ... I'm glad for that ...
Prototype mdf base design
Rough smoothing the slab at my garage with my trusty Makita power plane from the 80's. It's astonishing to me how durable this tool has been ... No room in the shop for this piece when it arrived from Good Hope ...
As you can see by the winding sticks, this thing was incredibly flat even though it is 4 feet + wide.
It did have a little issue on the bottom though where apparently there was a bandsaw blade issue.
My 1994 ford pickup has finally died and the slab was too wide for my van so ... what to do? No problem, get Sam to tow it to the shop with his trusty Saab ...
We routed out and patched the divot in the bottom ... Coincidentally, the divot was exactly where we have to attach the base ... Jim thought we should put it on the top and would make a good fruit bowl...
The top will be ready to finish next weeks after the base parts arrive from Melanson's, my waterjet folks ...all for now ... having trouble with Blogger loading stuff

4 comments:

LC said...

This is amazing stuff!!! I'm really enjoying your postings and wishing I had discovered my interest in wood and metal earlier in life!! L

Jeff Branch said...

May cool things to look at in this post - thanks for sharing them.

Peggy said...

Hey Dan,
You guys are having too much fun! I want to come work at DCF one day.
-peggy farabaugh

Dorset Custom Furniture said...

come on by anytime peggy .. and anybody else too ... with all this end of summer weather, i have been playing golf and tennis more and it seems i have fallen out of the every couple days of posting to my blog. now it seems I'm in the 'once a week or so' mode .. i may get back to it as the fall moves in more, but for now, i'm enjoying the free time ...
thanks for commenting ... dan