Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Animal Rhythms

'Animal Rhythms' floor stand mockup

This coming weekend (September 28th and 29th) is the annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Show at the Woodstock High School. This year, in conjunction with the show there will be a furniture design contest at the Forest Festival Weekend at the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historic Site in Woodstock. The high school will showcase work by individual Vermont furnituremakers as well as a group Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers booth. There will also be demonsrations and talks by some of the guild members, myself included. I'll be talking about the value of adding personalized inlay to your furniture. I will be exhibiting furniture and a portfolio at the Guild booth as well as at the Design Contest at the Marsh Billings Center. I have enetered one of my lounge chairs and also a sculpture I recently made, 'Animal Rhythms' in the design contest.
Four views ... sunlight and shadows moving. The pieces also swivel on their respective wall brackets.
The sculpture is something I created for Open Studio weekend in May after staring at the unpainted pieces in my office for quite a while. People seem to like it and, while this is the original version, I have made a smaller bedroom size copy for a New York client and recently received an order for an outdoor version in painted steel ... I'll be showing it as a floor mounted piece at the show ... the Guild booth is shown below

Click to enlarge ... The wood burnings on the back wall are also mine
One of my lounge chairs

I've sold a bunch of these chairs and have them scatered throughout my office and home. I find them the perfect reading, lounging, meeting and napping and beer drinking chair. We make a solid mahogany version as well as a less expensive composite version.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fixing Some Alvar Aalto Tables

Ready to go ... 9.9.2008
A client brought some Alvar Aalto tables to the shop yesterday. The name might not be familiar, but if you lived throught the 60's, or your parents did, you'll probably recognize his furniture. He's most famous for his 'Nordic Modern' architecture, but he also designed some signature furniture and glass which is still being sold today. His table forms mostly were extremely simple and usually made use of glued up bent laminations (like above) for the legs of his stools, tables and chairs. What we've got are two of the classic coffe tables, a 36" round and a 2' x 3' rectangle. Originally finished in black lacquer with natural laminated beech legs, these have been in use since they were new and both had been refinished at some point and we're now just doing a little touch up. We have removed the legs and sanded the rectangular one. We picked up some lacquer today and we'll make a sample tomorrow.... It's such a simple form, we may do an 'interpretation" of it to go with our modern lounge chairs in my office.....

The 36" round

The refinished tops

Refinishing the legs .... Assembly Monday

The rectangle

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A New Railing Project

Sam finished up his big railing project this week. no picture of the dog gate at the bottom of the stairs yet. I think it's a stunner .... The clients do too ....

Down the stairs .... The posts spacings we're unequal, which necessitated a little creative spacing and design .... Actually it makes it more interesting I think ....

8/27 ... Straight sections are in ... on to the angled stair railings

8/20/2008 ... Sam's on a roll .... He's underway on a rather extensive project he's been designing and refining with the clients over the past couple of weeks. He took the time to make an accurate CAD drawing which we were then able to use to cut an mdf assembly jig on the CNC. Also from the same drawing he was able to get accurate cut lengths and precise angles, a huge time saver when you're working on a project with this many repetitions. I believe the bucket of parts has all the short, angled, cut medallion parts for the straight sections. Ready to weld tomorrow .... We'll need to make another angled jig for the stair sections .... Click the photos to enlarge ...

The railing actually loops around a balcony but is shown stretched out straight here ... looks like 35' plus the stairs

The CAD drawing with the angles and cut lengths. We can put a drawing like this, if it''s the right type of file, into our router toolpathing program and pretty much start cutting...

The finished jig

With some of the parts

Progress 8 22 ... the four straight sections are welded ... Here are three of them
This one has the finish on it .... it also has a small design wrinkle in the lower right hand corner
1st section in the jig

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back to the 70's

Some of the locals around here are starting to take woodstacking REAL serious .... click to view this one ... This pile's about 10-12 feet in diameter and about 7 feet high. Now I find one of his neighbors has built a mini version about 7' x 7' ...
And, in my life, what goes around, comes around ... this past weekend I installed the outside part of the chimney for my new Jotul woodburning stove. I bought my first Jotul, a 118, in 1973, during the first 'energy crisis' and installed it in the new house we were building at the time with our own 4 hands. The stove did an ok job, sort of heating our house the first winter, and we didn't freeze, though our friends wouldn't come to play cards without their long underwear. The next year we added a Glenwood cookstove in the kitchen and a box stove in the wood shop. So ... I had three stoves running for 22 years ... 6-7 cords per winter to cut, split and haul each winter. By the time we built our new house and shop in the late 90's, oil was cheap and I was tired, so we left the Glenwood behind when we sold the old house, and sold the 118 to buy some woodworking tool or another .... All was fine til oil went last year to 2.75 and then this year $4.60. We went woodstove shopping and took the plunge. Got ourselves another brand new Jotul and a brand new stainless and metalbestos chimney. Heated it to 200 degrees tonight to start the break in. It's going to be toasty in here this winter ....
first fire
installing the chimney
still need to finish the slate work

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Graphic Inlay

The finished inlay

My younger son Will worked for VewDo, a local balance board company, while he was in high school and for a few years after he graduated. He still does website and graphics work for them and the photos below show one of his recent collaborative projects. He and Trevor took a hand drawn graphic and created files that could be used on our CNC router to create this inlay design of Peruvian walnut in natural cherry. There are a lot of pieces but all the pieces fit great. The VewDo people have some ideas how they are going to use this piece and I can't wait to see the finished products. I think it's a great concept ....

The walnut inlay pieces and Trevor's first sample test inlay in mdf and fibrex

The finished, sanded inlay

Imagine it up high like a sign ....
Click the pictures to enlarge them ...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Resonator Guitar

Well .... what can I say ..... it came out Great and sounds Fantastic .... I missed it's first night out at the Manchester Bar & Grill last night, but plan to catch it's second night out at open mic at The Barn in Pawlet, tomorrow night ... Can't wait ...

Well, there was still a lot of stuff to do after the photos posted in June, and it was summer and there wasn't a lot of "spare" time, but Will is really in the home stretch now. All the finish is on and now he has to wait a week for it to cure before he can rub it out, shine it up and put it all back together. After some experimentation, he decided to go with a rubbed finish which exposed the stained wood underneath the black (second photo) . Since it is a kit and the body is plywood, I think the rubbed finish is a great choice. I can't wait to see it all back together .... and, I really can't wait to hear it .... Click the pictures to enlarge them ...

All top coats on

The understain .... The body is stained with an aniline dye from W.D. Lockwood ...

First notes 6 28 08 .... A smiling Mom looks on ... still lots of work left to do ...

My younger son Will has been working on a resonator guitar in his 'spare' time for a couple months now. It's actually a kit from Stewart MacDonald guitar supply. We bought it a while back but it seemed like kind of a daunting project so it had to sit for a while until he was ready to tackle it. Coming down the home stretch now ... the first strings were filed into the nut tonight .... It's been many hours of patient and careful work. The next one will go much faster I'm sure ....

6/20/08 first strings going on. The resonator cone is off to the left ...

The simple, elegant peghead star inlay in mother of pearl

Gluing the top onto the sides

Gluing the kerfed backing strips to the sides to reinforce the joint between the sides and the top and back

The fingerboard is glued to the neck after installing the frets and dots

Tuners installed on the peghead

Monday, September 1, 2008

Blog Table of Contents

I've been writing this blog now for about six months and some of the early stuff is buried so deep you'll never go back there to see it ... Soooooo, to give it some second life, I've decided to create this "map" of the blog with some photos and archive locations. Click on the pictures and see if there's something there for you ....

New custom metal project,Lotus bed,Fix the pics, (a photoshop tip), Custom cnc projects

February and March .. Bubinga Art Deco pieces .. A crotch mahogany console.. An expanding table with inlay start to finish, A mango wood desk with inlays, A fancy Art Deco bench with a CNC video

April And May ...Some Arts and Crafts stuff, A Greene and Greene Sideboard, A Resonator Guitar (Open Studio) and How to make Greene and Greene Hardware

November and December 2007 More Art Deco Pieces, Foam core mockups and other visualization tools

May ... Arts and Crafts mantle and hinge fabrication, December more Art Deco

Custom Metalwork ... Custom snowboard contest trophies, Custom stairway railings, A giant single slab of walnut table, Wood and metal potrack ... Old metal A 1970 Cutlass Supreme

Scroll down for newer unindexed posts .... More to come .... Enjoy