Thursday, February 27, 2014

i can see clearly now

 i'm a firm believer in getting all the light you can into a house in vermont.  
the upside of that is you get to see out good too.
 this client called me back in october with 'a problem'
 he loved the view from his living room through the front door
when it was open, but he felt 'closed in' and like he was missing something 
when the door was closed, and i agreed.  our first plan was to make a new door
to match the glass layout in the sidelights, and you can see that concept in 
the drawing below.  click the photos to enlarge them ..


 but then, after i made a simple photoshop mockup of what it would look like
if the glass went all the way down, like my front door below,
the clients decided that that was the way to go for them too.
photoshop is your friend
this is our front door at home, and you can see the full height glass
 back door through the left sidelight.  so, ground floor on our house,
there are three full height glass doors and two full height all glass sidelights.
we did a little practice run at the shop, routing the door panels out on the cnc.
  will has now turned my old office closet into his dust free banjo finishing area.  the glass in
the doors made it so i didn't lose the light from the closet window when will was finishing.
we did this panel to glass thing a few years back for another client and trevor has
definitely dialed in the technique on the cnc.  first 'test' pass above.
final pass ... where there were formerly rails and interior stiles, there is no paint.  
where there was just a molding, he left the paint .. that is just amazing to me.
pretty close in the corners too
easy to square up though .. the view through our back door below .. after a quick mental count, i realize between the wood shop, the finish room, the new metal shop, the house, and the old metal shop, 
there are 15 doors with full height glass.  i really like light.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

cremation urns .. a meditative process


we've made a number of boxes for friends' ashes over the years.  i always find it an honor, a time to reflect, and a time to appreciate the person and the relationship we had.  the boxes and caskets below were all made in the last 7 years and i expect as time goes by to make a few more each year. our friends are getting older. click the photos to enlarge them.
the box at the top of this post was for the mother of a good friend;  her daughter in law's box is in the photo above; both boxes are in stained butternut.
this one was for a good friend's mother; cherry and curly maple.
a matching pair ... the husband above in november; the wife, below, a few months later.
both in stained quartered cherry
 
and we knew them since the 70's
a friend for 43 years who passed on this past summer .. birdseye maple and steel; family effort; sam on metal; will on dovetails; dan on the box bottom, the lid, and finish
kit's mom;  milk painted pine and douglas fir

reclaimed pine

my dad , a dancer, an engineer, a fisherman and a hunter; cherry and walnut
my mom; a mom and a quilter; various woods
 there is a detailed post on box making with dimensions and step by step steps at this link
 they've all been spur of the moment projects and i haven't varied the theme much
 and often i get one of these
jump at the chance to make one if it comes your way.  you won't regret it.  it's wonderful thing to do.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

the cherry bedroom piece

so how did we get from the sketch above ..
 to the piece we installed last tuesday ?  well, i'll tell you, it didn't happen overnight.  click the photos to enlarge them ..
we started with this photo that was actually taken, i am surprised to note, on the 5th of february, 2013.
from that photo i made the collage above in photoshop, and though i can't find them now, i sketched four different concepts, from which i made the four slightly different cad drawings below.
and the winner is ...
  this one .. that was all fine and good to go and we had a deposit and we ordered the wood, and then ... another more time sensitive opportunity presented itself to us
at that time, my bedroom clients were in the process of raising their coastal connecticutt house that had been flooded by hurricane sandy 7 feet and doing a total remodel of that property, so they allowed to do a 'quick painted kitchen' at another local house, and before we knew it that 'quick painted kitchen' became about 5 months work.  so, in late october, we finally got around to using the cherry we bought back in march and got this project underway.  the original intent was a kind of shaker piece with minimalist details, but as we went on we had some consultations and added some detailing based loosely on this sideboard and a some of the other pieces we had created for the clients in the past.
 so on we went, adding details to the verticals of the face frames, an edge inlay on the main counter, borders on the drawer faces, custom cast drawer pulls, and paneled case ends.  that all took a minute.

ready for finish below
 until we finally arrived at last monday, the photo below, and the day before the installation when all the finished parts had to be finally glued and applied to the cases, final assembled and then 
disassembled yet again, and loaded into the van and the truck and carried up a flight of steps 
to be installed at the client's home.

 we had done a preinstallation level check and the room was remarkably level plumb square and true and we were able to move through the installation and clean up in a remarkably short amount of time.  all in, all done ... great project ... incredibly patient clients ... glad to have our shop back ...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

mystery chest

we've got a really interesting piece in the shop for repairs today .. nothing major, a loose stiffener, replace some funky newly added screws with something more appropriate, add some steel supports to the lid .. it's in remarkable shape for its apparent age and we're wondering about its origin and approximate date .. all the nails and hardware are original and hand forged, and we've all been happy to have the carvings as company on this snowy day .. any thoughts, send me an email or leave a comment .. thanks!  big snow coming ...
 click the photos to enlarge them
how bout this guy?
crusades anyone?
 nice hardware ..
i don't think i've seen one like this .. it reminds me of tombstones or engravings in its execution ..

Saturday, February 8, 2014

a small claro wlanut dining table and some other stuff

 we got a call today that the claro walnut slab table we finished recently was successfully delivered to brooklyn yesterday .. yee haahh.  it's always good to hear from happy clients.  when they placed the order for the dining table above, they also purchased the coffee table i had for sale back in november, so they got a double dose thursday.  i hope to get pictures of the pieces on site soon.
 the design was similar to others we have made with our standard steel trapezoid base.  the new one had the dark bronze patina on the steel, rather than the polished steel on the larger table above.
 sam is cruising through the metal work in his new shop
the dining table started with one of a pair of slabs we purchased recently
and after we smoothed it out and fitted it to the base
we put a little finish on it ,, nice curl!!
a fine slab, all around
at the same time, we finished this reclaimed chestnut coffee table, which will be 
delivered to a local residence on presidents day weekend
those same clients also received the walnut table they ordered for their home in connecticut
it looks like a regal spot for it ..
and also in the works is a coffee table with a new base design using the other claro walnut slab.
since it was the adjacent slab in the log, this table will have the
same figure as the table at the top of the post
we did a little mockup with some mdf and the base .. more on this one later ..

i'm going to be posting something here about taking quick 'record' photos .. this one was taken in the shop, during the day, with all the florescent lights on, and without dealing with the reflections.  it's an excellent example of a rushed photo that, with a little effort, could have been a lot better.