Saturday, March 15, 2014

three weeks in the life of dorset custom furniture

there was a book i read in college that i sort of remember, called 'one Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich'.  it was by alexander solzhenytsin, and i remember it being a long one, kind of like this post is going to be.  the hero was 'a common carpenter' unjustly imprisoned in a soviet labor camp ... we, on the other hand, are just 'common funriture makers', getting through the last three very busy weeks. 

 somebody turned loose the shoppers.  in addition to the 4 or 5 jobs we typically have in the works at a time, we had a flood of small jobs going on and many requests for new designs and price quotes.  some of those turned into new work, some not, but they sure kept me busy.  so, rather than detail all these projects individually, i'm going go through them all in one post right here, right now.  click the photos to enlarge them .. here goes.
this one's been in the works for a couple weeks ... the clients' house is local, but they don't live here full time, so we had to wait for them to come up for the weekend to try the mockup in their living room.
after photographing the mockup, i photoshopped a photo of the top of this table 
on to the mockup top as it was made from a slab from the same log.
the real thing is now almost ready for finish.
and we had a cutoff from another big slab that we made into a bench/side table above.  
this one is for sale and ready to go at the drop of a hat ... +/- 18 x 26 x 18 high.
call me at 802-867-5541 for detaIls
and we also did a little filling and sanding on this slab. +/- 36 x 80 ), it's also available and would 
make a nice desk, large coffee table, or small dining table .. no reasonable offers or ideas refused .
first coat of finish only .. it's the log mate to this headboard ..
 around the first of the month we installed some large steel turnbuckles that sam made for our kitchen clients from last summer.  they were an afterthought to fill up some of the high open space and it was quite a project to install them in the finished room.  here are some others that he made previously.  view the pictures there to get a sense of their scale
they did look great as an architectural detail when they were up  ..
and while we were there, we got to see the finished vanity from last summer.  
it now has all its hardware, marble and lights now, and is looking pretty sharp ..
and sam completed one new beltbuckle design for a friend, and quickly sold four others without even trying. the four would have made a great picture, but came and went so fast i missed them.
the original in the photo above was not quite finished at photo time.

 will shipped out another vermont banjo, banjo number 26 for him  ...

all vermont wood and inlay details

chris completed one of the more challenging chair projects to come through the shop lately.  
it involved copying a family chair for a friend's sister ...
certainly a challenge, and chris did a great job with it ..

it's at the upholsterer's now, and it should be ready next week sometime.  gold star for this one.

and now he is involved in retro fitting a big shaker cabinet we made in 2006.
we're adding a  case with four drawers that has to be removable to access the valves
for the radiant heat that are in the wall behind the cabinet.
the original piece is 10 feet wide and 8.5 feet high

 on a personal note, i'm still working on my pottery .. i'm gonna fire the kiln tomorrow.

and we had time for some cards with old friends (long time friends, not really old friends, though we are all getting up there).  the gentleman on the left hired me for my first bartending job in vermont in 1971 and we've all been friends ever since.  his wife, mary rita, across the table from kit, 
is my favorite mixed doubles paddle tennis partner.

and while i'm on the subject of paddle tennis, in the opening round of the mixed doubles championship last weekend, my friend linda and i were defeated by the father/daughter team on the left. they later made it to the finals where they were barely beaten by my friend mary rita, above and her partner paul, who is one of the top mens players. mary rita is on the winner board for either/both womens and mixed doubles championships for the last 10 years or so

 linda and i lost in the finals of the consolation round, but in my mind we we won the informal award for 'highest combined team age'. we lost to susan and jonathan, who is will's age.  we had about 50 years on them, so the fact that we made it through the day still standing was a victory for me.  it's a fast sport.
and it is still definitely still winter here, though it's headed for 50 degrees today
depressing thursday morning...
hopeful, thursday afternoon
 we're also working on a few more projects for the hill farm
we made an old butter churn into a cocktail table with a steel top for the pool room .. 
had to add some sand for weight and levelers for feet .. cool object.
and we're making a fourteen foot mirror for the dining room there
and a cabinet for the dart board.  i hope to finish that this week.
and some barn board picture frames

and we're restoring a cool empire bureau and talking about bar stools
and yesterday a new claro walnut slab arrived ..
it's gonna, in the end, be about 48 x 96 after it's trimmed
wrestled it into the shop with six people and the forearm forklifts

and this week, we completed the rebuild of the spindle on the cnc router.  8 years since it was new,
and it's good as new again now ..
will cut this 1/2" high nameplate with it.  he has finished #26, but this is plate for #23,
which he skipped and is working on now
see more banjos here now
 and sam has several railing projects in the works.  these should go in next week sometime.

and i'm starting today with a clean slate for monday .. all or now. long one ...

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