Wednesday, October 30, 2013

another oval walnut pedestal table

while we're on the subject and we only have a couple more outs to go in the world series, here are some photos of the other walnut pedestal table that trevor's working on.  final sanding and staining start tomorrow ...
update 11/10
good to go .. it's headed to the islands via miami .. wouldn't mind delivering it myself ...
loyal readers might recognize the larger version below from a blog post back in 2010.
that one was quite a bit larger at 60 x 86, but the concept and the execution is pretty much the same.
make the base and top and top of the base ..
determine the height of the pedestal parts and make the patterns.  use the scale model to determine if the patterns are correct.  note that to make the miters meet, we had to add a small straight section to the curve as the top is a different proportionat 40 x 60 .. 2/3, rather than 3/4
trevor made the scale model base parts from 13/16ths poplar and painted them and once they were fitted up, enlarged the design on the cnc and made the full size patterns ...

we're going with the dark finish ..
 TWO OUTS IN THE 9TH!  looking good for the sox ... table's looking good too, ready for final sanding and the first coats of stain tomorrow.
seats six good friends .. paper is 11 x 17 .. saw blades are 10"

2 and 2 with two outs.  i think the red sox are gonna win it ... and they just did ... i think i'll go jump up and down a  bit ..

a walnut pedestal table

 we've got a couple of walnut pedestal tables in the works in the shop right now .. well, actuallhy, this one is finished and i hope to deliver it tomorrow or friday.  it's going to a house right down the street from us, right here in town.  it's 56" in diameter closed and has three 45" leaves for a total of 56 x 101. 
 the base design i attribute to my client who had a pretty clear vision that she was able to convey to us as we worked through the drawings and two scale models.  i've got some pictures of them somewhere ..
the cad drawing was pretty straightforward once we got the concept worked out ..
as usual, we procured some of irion lumber's finest.  a log of matched 15-16" boards and a fine piece of 4" walnut from a different log, but matched very well .. thanks myron.
here's and upside down view with the base parts clamped up in preparation for gluing .. moin equalizing pedestal runners ...
ready for final sanding and finish ...
checking the runner alignment ..
with all three leaves it is surprisingly solid, even with the single pedestal .. 
good to go ...

update  11/4 ... installed the table last week .. looks good onsite ...

Sunday, October 27, 2013


well, building a new building, or for that matter, a new piece of furniture, or, in fact, building anything requires that we have a vision in our mind when we start.  usually, that vision assumes that we can execute our concepts perfectly, there will be no flaws, and that we will be 100% happy with our progress as we work.  not often the case. throughout the building process, and particularly,  as we approach the final few weeks before sam moves into his new metal shop, we have been "encouraged" by a number of realities that often rear their ugly heads to make some compromises.  don't get me wrong, i am THRILLED with everyone's efforts on this building from the first shovel full of earth to the last board nailed up on friday, but i have often worked on projects with more substantial budgets of $ and time, and therefore know this one could have been 'better'.  maybe.  we could have used the new, more efficient spray foam insulation ... +$2000 at least.  we could have gone for the fancier door units that i saw when i first entered the window and door showrom at miles ... +$8000., the next level up of windows ... $2500., and we could have finished the upstairs this year and been done with it ... + who knows? $15,000.?  more?  as mr. cheek's article from the times above mentions, we have arrived in the land of mr. wither's 'all right', and, as always, we're happy to be there. her's a link to the times article online if you can't read the one above.
 land of 'all right' .. fits into the existing landscape ok ... one of my builder friends commented that 'it will look like it's always been there'.  good enough for me ..
 where we are as of today ... i had always envisioned a pair of formal 'entablature like trim details' like the one on the main shop, but i personally never got around to executing them before matt and nat arrived there friday with the siding.  they were always 'off budget' items that i was going to add in on some weekend or other, with some sweat equity, but as we were all studying the situation friday, off the list they went .. move on ... 'all right'..
so, in the end, we did 'pretty good' .. the doors can open wide for work in the summer, check.  radiant heat in the concrete floor, check ... slate roof to match the other buildings, check, no posts in the main work area, check ... up to code wiring and welding fume exhaust .. check, soon ... we've definitely arrived in mr. wither's 'land of all right'.

for more of mr.cheek's thoughts on boat building, see this link 
his writing is full of little gems of observation, like the one below... food for thought.

"Mr. Greenley was never perturbed about a mistake; he simply set about finding the most efficient fix. He understood intuitively that surges of negative emotion not only interfere with problem-solving; they also get built into the object you’re working on."

and for a few interesting thoughts on moving your thninking skills forward, try this article in the new yorker from atul gawande ...

Monday, October 14, 2013

'x' based tables

we seem to have a theme going here ... let's call it the 'x based table' .  we finished the one above last week and delivered it to the house where we have been working on some other projects since early may.
a little diamond of steel 'washer' by sam
it continues the barn board theme from the vanity we made back in august .. the table is actually made from the same collection of boards that were salvaged from that house.
we started with a pattern we made from our cad drawing, and slowly proceeded ..

added some chamfers

and a center post, also with chamfers ...  this recent barnboard table appears to be the 
eighth in the series, all distinctly different, but with 'x' as the common denominator.
cherry and steel .. more photos here
 claro walnut and steel

lots of rebar xs on these ...  blog post here
 a copper top x table ... more info here
steel and white lacquer .. more photos here
reclaimed chestnut and twisted 1.25" steel .. link here
 more rebar xs ... this table is still available for immediate delivery ...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

metal shop update

the sheetrock's taped and painted.  the doors are (finally) hung so that they open all the way .. that was dan's job and it took him until today to get it all figured out ... waiting now only for the concrete slab for the storage shed for the steel and the rest of the siding, which should be installed next week 
or the week after .. getting close now ... more metal shop photos here.
 they open all the way ...
 they close all the way and the transom glass is in now ... time for interior trim ..
and it's high foliage fall in vermont, and the weather for the last two weeks has been superb.


more dome photos

ok .. i really enjoyed this project so i'm going to follow it through to its completion .. now we're on site, at the 'new' jj hapgood store, established (i think) in 1827, in peru, vermont.  the entire store is currently being totally rebuilt by new owners.  above is the domed form from my previous post, set up and ready to go for pete to build their new 72" diameter wood fired pizza oven. click the photos to enlarge them..

 here's a view from above, showing the circular buttress wall with the angled top that the firebricks that make up the roof of the dome will rest against, and be supported by.  from an engineering standpoint, the forces of the weight of the dome are transferred to the side walls, which have to have enough mass to support that weight. see flying buttress ...
 anyway, it's a soldier course of vertical firebricks and a 6" thick curved concrete wall loaded with 3/4" rebar.
the front arched door, through which the form will be removed is complete and ready for the flue for the smoke to escape to be built just behind it.  you can see that arrangement in the photo above this one, and the smoke will wend its way over to the hole in the flue in the back corner, and on its way, possibly heat some hot water .. in the end, all this stuff, including the 2.5" thick soapstone hearth will be pretty much invisible, so i'm glad to know what kind of effort goes into one of these ovens.  for more info, see the previous post.  and, to contact pete to order your own brick oven, here's a link to his website, vermont brick ovens.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the dome ... part 2

phew ! .. the dome left today at around 5:00 ... a challenging project if ever there was one, and we plan to help set it up for the new oven on site tomorrow or friday.  watta project !!  here's a link to the previous post on the early stages of construction ... ignorance breeds confidence ...we had no idea what we were getting into.
in this photo, you can see pete, the mason brother in law, of vermont brick ovens, on the left, and trevor, admiring the collapsing mechanism.  if you enlarge the photo, (click it),  there's a handwheel on the vertical stem, and when you turn it, the 'hub' drops and the ribs can be removed one at a time through the oven door, or more likely from the collapsed pile of parts.
when he's ready, we'll be helping pete set it up for his current project.  he's currently working on the soldier course that stands vertically around the 72" diameter .. here's a photo of that in the works.
in case you missed the first post, it'll look like this when it's done.
well, it was quite a trip getting this project together .. lots of head scratching, lots of glue, (over a gallon) and some sanding and bondoing ... here are some more photos of the process ...
 early on, with the 'glue up form' still in use .. see this link for other early photos
 here we're getting the shim blocks (later knocked out to collapse the form) figured out ... 
in the end, we made two different versions ..
 sanding and fitting the rough glued pieces .. it ain't perfect, but there aren't any 
cracks that a half a brick can fall through ...

tah dah .. on to bondo and paint
the holes were from the ten thousand screws we used to make the five layers of bending plywood do what they had absolutely no interest in doing, which is form part of a sphere.
 a previous vermont brick oven project  in manchester, for which we made a different form 
that was a lot more complex and time consuming to set up than this one ..
we realized as we were packing it up .. damn! we missed our chance.  we shoulda painted 
the north pole, hudson bay, and sweden to alaska on it ...
 i will NOT be going into the wood globe business ..... all for now.