Sunday, January 10, 2021

another pool table

so, we more or less wrapped up another pool table last thursday ... 
it will be very similar to the one above, from 2012
only an 8 footer instead of a 9 footer.
we started with the cad drawing from a couple 8 footers we made in 2016.
from that drawing, we made some new jigs for sam to weld up the parts
jig for the ends off the cnc
the side rail jig was made once the parts were cut from the cad
drawing with the proper lengths and angles .. 
before sam could weld, Kristian had to grind and sand the steel parts.
all welded and ground with an acid wash patina applied ...
some assembly still required ...
while sam was welding, Kristian and i were in the wood shop 
fabricating the cushions, rails, and blinds.
we cut the pockets for the brass diamond on the cnc
and will was gracious enough to pull away from his
 seeders instruments business long enough to felt the rails in 
black simonis cloth for us ... he has done many rails in the past 
when he was working in the woodshop with me,
but none since 2016 ... he hasn't lost his touch though
we may not see this table fully assembled until it gets 
to its new home in northern michigan.  it will likely be 
leaving this coming week or next and we don't have 
enough clean room in either the woodshop or the metal shop
where it  can go ... the base has been assembled as have the
slate, rails and blinds, so it will be up to the mechanics who
set it up to send us a picture of it in place ...
rails and blinds in the wood shop
it all fits ..
Might be my last ... we'll see ...
it was set up in upstate michigan on wednesday 2/24
looks like a good spot
the cue rack has not been hung yet ...

Sunday, December 27, 2020

some holiday wishes ...


          well, better late than never i suppose ... 

it has been a little crazy 

around here lately and i have let my writing slide a bit.

i think we are more under control now and i hope to pick back up with my blogging

after the first of the year ... in the meantime, best wishes for a safe an healthy holiday season 

from all of us here at dorset custom furniture to all of you out there ... 

i was a little distracted by physical therapy and surgeon sessions relating

to my new (and amazing) hip ... and then we had 3' of snow ..

it was 59 degrees on christmas (whiplash!) and all the snow is gone now.

back to work tomorrow ...

Thursday, November 19, 2020

another summer project

  this project was a table retrofit for some old friends.  we go back more than 30 years,

but this is the first major project i have done for them.  good things take time to cook.

they have had this table since the beginning, as it came down from Fred's

grandfather a founding partner at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, a world famous

architecture firm founded in Chicago in 1936,
it started its life as a door that was too short for a ceo office in houston's
tenneco building, designed by SOM in the 1960s ...
the clients were looking for 'an Arts and Crafts feel' and they liked a
table i made fore some other clients back in 2005.  we did some back and
forth drawing exchanges and settled on the design you see in the first photo above.
there were some challenges ... the clients were looking to 'soften' the edges
and after i sent some samples, we settled on a bullnose design ... the edges of the
door were neither square nor straight so installing the new borders took
some time and effort, and a new $120. router bit ...
then, of course, we had to decide on a stain
and carefully strip the veneered door...
fortunately, it was still summer and i got lucky with a perfect breezy, warm day,
and the original (lacquer?) finish came off without a hitch

that about wrapped it up and off it went to its new life in its new form ...
i am pretty sure it is happier now ,,,
before shot

Monday, November 16, 2020

semi retirement

 it appears that one of the things i have 'semi retired' from is writing on this blog.  

my last post was in july, but aside from time out for a new hip october 12th, 

i have been more or less been working along, building stuff for 

both long time and new clients .. 

below are a couple projects from the summer and early fall ... 

i took this image from sam's instagram page as i only seem to have 
in process photos it was an interesting and challenging project.  
the slabs were 'a bit rough', with varied thickness and twists and splits, 
but we wrestled it to the ground in the end,
 and the clients were very pleased ... 

the rails are bolted in place on assembly
and we made some chairs and sent them off to seattle
lotsa parts
some shapes, mortises and tenons on the cnc

ready to roll!  seats woven by my friend sandy sherman at sandy sherman chair caning
lots more to follow soon ....

Sunday, July 26, 2020

THEY'RE BACK !! my slideshows have been restored

updated 11 16 2020
after some experimentation and finding that some folks can access these slideshows
and some can't, i think i have an idea how this works ... 
if you use google photos ( and you are logged in,
you MAY be able to view my photos ... try that and post a comment if not ... thanks!
after discovering picasa a few years back, i have been posting edited slide shows
of categories and periods of our work.  some of those slideshows contain links
within them to the original blog post (some work, some you will have to copy and paste
or type in directly) about those pieces where you can view photos and 
descriptions of the design and construction details .. with a good connection, you
can scroll through these slides shows as fast as you can click the arrow button ..
click on any image to start the show ... lots to see here ..

click the links below to access the individual slide shows ..

Friday, July 10, 2020

a challenging repair

i got a call earlier in the week asking if i was still doing repairs.
i got some pictures via email and decided i would take it on.
it didn't look like this when it arrived though ...
in addition to some flaking and missing quartered 
veneer of some kind
the thin edging around the very nice ( and perfect) marquetry scene
had suffered some insults and some significant  pieces were
shooting off into space or missing completely ... 
how to proceed ... ????
we decided to tackle the sort of easy stuff first,
the missing and loose veneer pieces on the legs and
top edge borders ...
that took a while, but was uneventful, and with a little french 
polish touch up it looked pretty original, or at least our repairs 
blended pretty well with some previous ones.
after that we were stuck with fixing the edges of the top ...
we had two pieces of the broken edging which we were 
able to clean and glue back on ...
i decided against trying to remove the whole edge and replace it
for a number of reasons.  it was obviously glued and nailed to the
edge of the top and i worried about chipping the veneer on the top
which would have been extremely hard to repair and match.
so, i made some short pieces of mdf with matching curves and used my 
flush cut saw to saw through the1/8th inch thick edging about
half way down the thickness of the solid top, and carefully chiseling off
what remained of the broken sections. 
that went pretty well ... surprisingly the wood under the
veneer was plywood !! which dates the table sometime after
about 1865 when plywood was introduced for furniture construction.
i tried bending a couple pieces of mahogany edging, but
couldn't make the tighter curve of the end of the oval ...
we made two sets of forms, in case i screwed up the fitting, and
we fired up the steamer, steamed them for about 15 minutes
and then put the pieces in will's banjo rim kiln overnight to dry.
since they were so thin, and i was gluing and nailing them
to the substrate i put them on and finished them today.
they spring back a bit and required a little wrestling to get in place
they gave up after a while and i was able to nail them into place and 
match the finish as best i could.
and did i mention that the top flips over and there is a checker board
on the other side?  someone spent some time on this piece ..
actually, we did too.
quite the piece ...