Friday, December 30, 2011

the 'vermont' banjo

#007 out the door today, and what a beauty! a local client commissioned this 'vermont' themed banjo from will at seeders instruments a while back ... all vermont woods and inlays; local cherry from bob crosby at battenkill tone woods in arlington, vermont, walnut from my dcf stock, cut in rupert, hop hornbeam for the fretboard from a friend who was cutting some firewood and liked the look of the log and dropped it at our shop for will to dry and use ... it's all good ... click the pictures to enlarge them ...
the seeders instruments nameplate ...
the whole deal
side view
will set up a new photography thing by hanging the banjo from the ceiling on monofilament fishing line in front of some pool table felt we had on hand. we're wrestling with a new camera so some of the photos seem a little dark, but the details are crispy when you blow them up ...
back view with another map on the heel ..
peg head with a little knot figure in the walnut
nice tuners from stew mac ..
and the 'boat heel' detail on the neck ... very cool ... i had never seen that shaped detail before.
and there is a short video, both claw hammer and picking style on will's website and there are a few 'in process' photos below ...
other banjo posts here ... and will's banjo 'plays nice' with some of our other vermont stuff ... might be time for me to do something vermonty ... hmmm .
the boys are proud to be vermonters .. sam has sold about 150 of his 'vermont belt buckles' now ... great wedding and birthday presents.
and trevor made this coffee table for himself a few years back

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas

happy first day of winter ..
merry christmas .. happy holidays .. happy new year .. whatever .. have a good one .. dan

Sunday, December 18, 2011

a custom cherry trestle table

12/30/11 .. okay ... update here ... all in all done ... leaving for d.c. tuesday morning ... we're all liking this new trestle design .. the weight, the proportions, the floating arc element, the rigidity
low angle view
end view
12/18/2011 ... home stretch on another 10' table. we'll start the finishing tomorrow ...
the concept was loosely based (with a few modifications) on a table we made in the early 90s. the clients nixed the lower crossbar and the verticals in the model below, and sam came up with the idea of suspending the curved stretcher between the verticals with the metal pins. it called for some fussy and careful measuring and drilling, but the concept turned out to be really valid .. we all like the new design and the blackened, tight fitting steel pins give the structure total rigidity with a relatively light and graceful somewhat asian feel. click the photos to enlarge them ...
above the new and the old model that i first wrote about back in august ...
everything but the breadboards, which lorne completed today
view down the end before shaping the vertical ... the cold rolled 3/4" pins are blackened now ..
the top is 42" wide and 1.75" thick, made from some of irion lumber's finest 8/4 cherry.
glue up
rough joinery
1/4" mdf patterns ...
and here with a temporary spacer in the middle for fitting up the curved stretcher ... the real connecting piece was 'mason mitered' into the stiffeners at the tops of the vertical elements.
we decided to skip the middle stiffener and little outriggers at the ends. the middle stiffeners seemed 'extra' and the outriggers seemed to serve no purpose ... final photos next week sometime ... happy holidays ...

Friday, December 16, 2011

another custom cherry dining room

we shipped out another cherry dining room wednesday ... and got a nice email below from the clients after it arrived yesterday, and that always makes us feel good ...
click the photos to enlarge them ...
the project consisted of a 52 x 86 pedestal dining table with one 22" leaf, 8 of our contemporary transitional chairs, and a 7' tall corner cupboard. the full plan view is shown below ...
as usual, we got our wood from irion lumber and, though it was close, we were able to fit the whole table top on 4 boards from the same log.
we start the base construction with 3 layers of 3/4" plywood for strength and stability and veneer that with either shop made or store bought +/- 1/16th" veneer. in this case, since we were tight for lumber, we used 1/16th" cherry veneer from certainly wood . it was beautiful stuff.
the main base support is a 'truncated pyramid', or 'hopper' geometric construction that require slight adjustments to the miter angles. steel runners are from our friends at moin hardware.
bottom view showing the angled aprons and center stiffener. the clients requested 'room to cross their legs' without interference from the table aprons. this was actually a new design for us, but it gave the table top a nice light 'floaty' look.
after the halves were glued up and cut to shape, trevor routed the pockets for the inlays and we installed them in our usual fashion, using bent temporary brads to apply some side pressure to the inlay borders as the glue set.
he also made a set of patterns for the shop made burl veneer which he then cut on the cnc as thick blocks, which we later resawed into the matching patterns you can see in the photos below. the burl was from berkshire products in sheffield, mass.
cutting veneers from solid burl is always a challenge in that the burls themselves are full of bark inclusions, small voids and generally pretty rough grain ... we like to leave a little of that texture which imparts a distinctive 'not from the furniture store' feeling.
the final inlaid surfaces are handplaned level and scraped and sanded and the resulting subtle texture felt when you run your fingers across the grain is also one of our signature elements.
nice pattern in the single 22" leaf. the design trevor created allowed him to use the same block for the triangles in the table halves and the leaf ... pretty clever.
next, the chairs ... 8 of em ... how many pieces total? interesting thought, let's see ... 18 pieces per chair (the splats are veneered on quartered cherry) x 8 ... sounds like 144, plus the seat blanks.
we've changed from the original corner block design on the left (a total pain in the neck to fit and install) to a routed solid seat base glued up integral to the whole chair, which makes me feel confident on 'my lifetime' chair guarantee. if you're not sure what i mean by 'routed solid seat base', you can see a stack of the seats in this photo from a previous post.
tah dah ... nice fabric choice ...
the corner cupboard ... natural cherry with beaded, handplaned pine backboards, a single pane door ... pretty traditional construction design with a nice contemporary flair
in process ...
the backboards ... numbered and removed for finishing.
all for now ... get that shopping done ....