Thursday, March 27, 2008

Custom CNC Floor Inlay

We've got several custom cnc projects going in the shop at the moment. We're making parts for a run of custom directors chairs for another furnituremaker, prototyping some screen panels for a Connecticut designer and making two custom deck inlays for a boat in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee client had a problem with his fuel tank and had to cut a pair of holes in his teak deck. He sent us a drawing and two round teak blanks. We translated the drawing into CNC router language and after cutting the recesses, we're in the process of fitting the individual inlay parts into the 12" diameter pieces of teak that he sent us. We'll be gluing the inlays tomorrow and will probably be sending them out to him Saturday. 4/4/08 Sent them out last Saturday .... click to enlarge...

One of the finished inlays

The client's original drawing

Fitting the inlay piece into a test pocket cut in mdf

Trevor, our cnc programmer / operator, 'pointing up' the round corners left by the router bit

The first inlay ready to glue

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bubinga Entry Console

Along with the metal bench below and two other side tables, we are working on a bubinga console table table inspired by an Art Deco design from the 40s, by Pierre Lardin. We have changed the brass details a bit, changed the height and simplified the legs, but mostly, it's pretty similar. It has a really nice feel and will look quite elegant across the room from the bench in the post below. The curved aprons were laminated in three steps using a core of 3 layers of 1/8" bending poplar and two layers of 3/8 'Wacky Wood'. We next applied the 1/16" face veneers inside and out, fitted them up and then applied the 3/16th" bubinga applique. We made the top first, cut it to shape and constructed and fitted the base together while the top was upside down on the bench so we could see the shape we were trying to match. We fitted up the curved aprons using temporary poplar aprons to be sure we had our joinery correct before cutting the real bubinga ones. Worked slick.

The table ready to go ...

The side tables in the photo below

We're awaiting our clients return and final input before starting with the finishing. The brass diamond will be antiqued and lightly highlighted like the other brass on the table. Stacked beneath the console are two bubinga side tables with gold abalone faced pulls.

The table after the meeting today. The domed center detail was rejected in favor
of the brass diamond lying on the table. The fir aprons are mockups to
check the shape. We'll add the real bubinga detail now.

Showing the application of the raised apron detail and the core
construction of the apron described above. We used short tenons
because the real structure is derived from having the front and back
aprons connected with square pieces just inside the front legs. Makes
things a lot simpler ...

The brass feet are made from 3/4" square stock with short
square tenons mortised into the bottom of the legs,
drilled and attached to the tapered legs with long screws.
In the photo above the square proud pieces in the finished
brass details have been replaced by masonite for sanding ..

Fitting up the top brass moldings which are colored
chemically and epoxied into grooves in the legs.

The first clamp up with the poplar aprons

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mango Wood Desk

3/9/08 This past week after shipping out the big 'Walnut Slab Table' shown in one of the February posts bleow, we started work on another, smaller, slab top table/desk. This client selected a mango wood plank for the top of the desk from two that I had on hand left over from a previous project. The process pictures below are shown in reverse order through the concept and construction process. This week, after final sanding and prepping, we will restain and finish the wood to the color in the picture of the original planks at the bottom of the post. After arriving in this country from somewhere in Southeast Asia, and in Vermont via New York City, the mango wood and steel desk will, as of the 24th, be overlooking the harbor from an office window in downtown Boston. Click on the photos to enlarge.

When this project was finished, the client sent me the nicest email, which I have copied and pasted below ...

"Dan – just a quick note to say THANK YOU for the beautiful job you and your team did on my desk. Every day I get at least half a dozen compliments on it. It truly is a work of art. Thank you for your creative vision, craftsmanship and attention to detail. I will cherish this desk while I’m here, and if I leave, it’s coming with me!

Lesley Bielby
Chief Strategy Officer

The information contained in this message and any attachment may be proprietary, confidential, and privileged or subject to the work product doctrine and thus protected from disclosure. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. "


All in .. all done ... ships out Tuesday for Boston .....

With the steel in place and the live edges on the base

the plank repairs completed

After rough planing and flattening, some bark pockets and cracks appeared under the finish that was applied to planks in Southeast asia. This often happens and the necessary repairs add to the interest in the final piece. It's often impossible to anticipate what you may have to deal with when using lumber like this, but that's part of the excitement and interest that comes from using it.

We started by making an mdf mockup of the imagined shapes for the base before cutting the planks to final length and size.

Mocking up the steel and determining its final position.

The original inspiration piece from my website , 'Wood and Metal' section

The two planks ... the client selected the one on the left for the desk top
and we used the other for the base. We originally left the live edges on the base supports, but after some consideration, we used the curve of the steel to assymetrically shape the verticals to give the piece a less rustic look. The curved 3/4 " solid steel was fabricated in our custom metal shop.