Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tom Peters' Blog

I've known Tom Peters, the 'In Search of Excellence' guy, for 10 years or so, since he married a friend of mine back in the 90's. Lately, I've been reading other stuff that's out there on the web and I think his blog is one of the best for business related thinking ... It never fails to make me at least just stop for a minute (or laugh), and reflect on what's going on in the world, what I'm doing in it, and how I'm doing it. Soooo ... If you're in the mood for reflection (and who isn't these days) check out his blog here.. While I was reading there, he had a link to this inspirational and thought provoking post 'Nine Predictions for 2009' by Tom Asacker. All good reading ... enjoy! ....

and he claims he's innocent ...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Fine Bedside Table

Close up of the inlays

The finished table
A couple years ago we made a bed for a client that had, inlaid in the headboard, our interpretation of the family coat of arms. It was a challenging inlay with many different elements and woods finely executed by my man , Trevor. It was one of his first really complex inlays after he took over the CNC router operation full time. About now, he's definitely got it all figured out. Anyway, now he's working on a bedside table to complement his first project, plucking small elements out of the larger inlay and setting them in various places on the table ... Cool project ... Click to enlarge the pictures.

The headboard inlay up close

The headboard inlay in process ... Check the little walnut piece ... it's a 1/16th by 1/8" x about 6 or 7" long, cut by Trevor in one piece from walnut .... I can still remember his smile when he pulled that one off

The finished bed

Organizing the table parts ... the curly maple legs were roughed out by Will using the Vega duplicator, and then final cut and cleaned up freehand

Trevor's redwood burl lion and walnut 'stars' in process

Installing the walnut borders, long grain and cross grain on the maple top

The fox has been inlaid on the right side apron, the bottoms of the legs have been trimmed and we'll start to glue up the parts you see above later today. There will be two drawers and a secret compartment. Like I said ... cool table

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Holidays

Holiday time again .... starts here with Thanksgiving ... see below, and ends with the New Year ... close to Christmas now ... We've done the prep stuff ... candy making, gingerbread houses, ornament making for the clients, ice storms, end of the year donations to local charities, cocktail parties ...We're ready to relax and reflect on our many good fortunes .... It will be a quiet (nice long) weekend at home with friends and family. Hope you all have a good one too .... dan
Click photos to enlarge ...
Chocolate time
4 hours and 2000 chocolates later
Gingebread house time (two weeks later)

INTENSE concentration

The Marching Santas
The village waiting for its kids
The ice storm ... We escaped the devastation that some of the rest of New England experienced and were left with one of the most extraordinary and eerily beautiful days ...
The trees all had about 1/4" of ice on them
The road to the shop

The ornaments ... Happy Holidays !!
Missed the cookie plates ....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Turkey Day 08

It was sunny so I got up early ... made a couple of my typical strange little sketches with my coffee ...

Click to enlarge
Vacuumed a little for the company and then reported for 'Share Heat' duty at "the Pinnacle", a local town park where a bunch of us cut and split a bunch of wood ...
Delivered and stacked it at one of the neighbors
The usual suspects

Went back for cider ... two hours well spent ... A fine community effort ...
Went home, had lunch and took my first nap.
Later, when Sam came, we hung up a steel sculpture whose paint hadn't dried on Wednesday

Ate a delicious turkey from Henry and Robin Chandler's Four Corners Farm, a mile down the road.... Washed the dishes
Had some pie ... Everybody went home ....

Another nap ....
All done ...

Friday, December 19, 2008

An Art Deco Macassar Ebony Cabinet

Will, signing the piece .. click to enlarge the pictures Be sure to check the comment below from 'Lurch' about the inlay in the inspiration photo ... power of the internet ...

Close up of the finished inlay

All in ... all done ... delivered to the city

12/23/ 08 ... the cabinet is off to the finishers. Shown above, the construction is totally finished and Tuesday Will and I took to a friend's shop (Holman Studios) and disassembled it to the bones to be sprayed with a fine Art Deco style lacquer finish .... Click photos to enlarge them ...

This is a quick update before we rout the doors for the circular inlay. We fitted the doors and edged them with 2/16" strips of ebony so we can sand them for final fitting. The doors themselves are quartered mahogany vertical grain panels panels with 1/16th" crossbanding. The poplar board on the right is a test fit for the rather fussy to locate, (but extremely elegant), knife hinges.

Here the doors have been veneered and the hinges have been cut in .... central inlay tomorrow
OK, here comes another long one ... We're wrapping up a cabinet that is loosely based on a period piece by the French designer Clement Mere who made fabulous Art Deco Style pieces in the 20's ... When my client sent me the picture, her exact words were "Hi, We don't have to copy it exactly, so we'll work with this as an inspiration." ... Good thing ... I'd like to meet the guy who could copy that one .... How did they do that inlay or whatever it is ???? .. Here's the picture .. Click the photos to enlarge them ...

Anyway, I did some trial sketches for the central inlay and we finally settled on part of a design from a Tiffany vase that the client liked.
We tried doing it like the picture with two different ovals alternating around a circle, but settled on four the same.
Drew the inlay and cabinet in our cad program
Trevor made a sample inlay confirming that we wanted the oval designs all the same

We got some Macassar ebony veneer from our friends at Certainly Wood ... They have a GREAT website where you can actually pick the flitch of veneer you're buying, which was extremely helpful for my client.

Veneered some mahogany legs (with ebony corners so we could bevel them a bit) and some mahogany panels for the top, bottom, sides and doors ... see the photo at the top of this post ..
And now we're ready to veneer the doors and wrap it up ... Update later this week or next
And cut the ebony and mother of pearl for the central door inlays.

The central inlay is almost complete

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sam's Vermont Belt Buckle

Steel with brass details
Sam's movin' on with his belt buckles. He's made a few others, but these are the only three I caught with the camera ... They go by too fast ... Love the skull ...

The mountains and trees buckle is mine ... It reminds me of my woodburnings ..

Vermont buckles

On your pants

Here's Sam's latest from the metal shop ... "The Vermont Belt Buckle" .... Similar to the Vermont Bracelet .. but for your pants. Available to order now ... call Sam at 802-325-2073, or here at the shop at 802 867-5541 .... Other states or countries available by custom order. Click the pictures for a better view ...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Build your own Pool Table Update


12/15/08 The base is together and the slate is on for now ... Next up, cut the corners of the slate frame, cut the rails to length, drill for the pockets, attach the plates that allow you to bolt the rails to the table and move it all along ... More pics soon ...

Slate screwed on, ready to cut the rails as soon as all the cushion rubbers are glued on

Base with slate

Posts and beams with slate frame

This is an update to the post 'Build Your Own Pool Table' that I started back on November 21st. We brought the beams into the shop then so they could acclimate, rough resawed the wood for the rails, blinds and slate frame and now we're under way ... We have cut and cleaned the long beams, reinforced the resawn rails with ply and now we're about to join the base with short dowels and steel angle irons. We're also designing a light fixture (pending client approval) for over the table. I found some GREAT green glass shades at a decent price at my local lighting store and Sam and I are working out the design and pricing details ... We should have the base together by the end of the day .... Click the photos and drawings to enlarge them ....

CAD drawing for the slate and the slate support frame

CAD showing the rail lengths, pockets and cushions

Elevation with light ....

The three pieces of slate as they come to us from Imperial USA

The joinery of the slate support frame. The cross pieces are centered under the joints in the slate.

The potential glass shade for the light fixture ... It's really nice for a new one ... Usually the old ones look way better, but these are just as good .... After a few small design modifications, the client has given us the go on the light fixture ....