Tuesday, November 26, 2013

an oak slab trestle table

we just finished this fine white oak slab top trestle table ... the slab itself was cut from very near the center of the tree and it is about 46" wide on one end and 40" wide on the other.  flat as a pancake .. 
click the photos to enlarge them ...
beautiful quartered figure toward the outsides of the slab and interesting edges where insect worked under the bark .. this mist have been one fine tree.
a view from the bottom, before we cut the top to length.  trevor did a great job on this one.
three oak butterflies to control the crack in the end

there was some discussion of light vs dark butterflies and we were able to mock it up 
in photoshop to help the clients decide .. light above ..
dark ones ..
laying out the parts ..
trevor, pegging the top rail joinery

it's headed for sugarbush, in warren, vt, on monday

you all have a great thanksgiving weekend ... after turkey day, we'll be finishing up the move to the new metal shop ..

Saturday, November 23, 2013

new colors

ok, so i'm curious about my new graphic choices .. what do you all think about the color changes?  think of it like an eye test .. better or worse?  would you rather i go back to the old format?  please let me know by leaving a comment .. thanks .. dan...

home stretch on the new metal shop ...

 when last we visited this project back in september, the carpenters had just finished getting the slate on the roof ... after that it was on to the siding and window trim outside, and the insulation, second floor radiant heat,and sheetrock inside.  click the photos to enlarge them ..
it was kind of a thrill when the lights went on and siding was mostly finished ...
we still had to have the concrete professionals back to pour the slab for the 
steel/blower/compressor shed .. 
 and we had to build the rather elaborate 20' long rack to store all the small in size, but 20' to 24' long raw materials ... fortunately, the carpenters were called away on another job for a day, which gave us time to figure out the rack before the roof went on .. mucho easier that way ..
the shed is fitted here with a bronze color standing seam roof by donnie dorr's metal shop ..
 and inside, we did some painting, and reconfigured the chop saw tables into a mockup work table so we could figure out where to hang up the welding fume extractor.  we ran the pipes to the blower thursday ..
 boilers these days are amazing ... this little guy puts out 80,000 btus, enough to heat both floors, (+/- 1500 square feet in a vemont winter), and provide domestic hot water for the sink and bathroom.  exhaust out in pvc pipe.  no chimney ...
 ahhh, the doors .. nobody made a cheap standard unit three doors wide, so we had to cobble these together with parts from a company whose name escapes me now .. we made up some quicky transoms from 8/4 pine and ordered up some custom thermopane to fill them.
 there were a couple reasons for that configuration .. #1, you can open the doors totally in the summer like below, and should we move on at some point, the openings are framed to accept regular 9' x 7' commercial overhead doors .. presto, a heated, two car garage with a mother in law apartment above  ... the plumbing and radiant for the second floor was roughed in before the sheetrock went up ..
 a few notes below on the quicky transoms ...
 9' 3" x 16" plus the frames
 essentially, the frames are butt jointed, timberlock construction, with applied moldings to accept the glass .. framed in the shop and screwed in over the door units .. cheap, easy, and fast ... you don't get that combo often enough ...
all for now ... sam is moving in this week
the steel's there waiting for him

Thursday, November 14, 2013

a claro walnut coffee table for sale

well ok, this one's just back from a gallery in great barrington ... they've had it long enough and now it's my turn to try and sell it ... it's of a generous size, about 45 x 55 x 18, but in the right space it will be really spectacular.  click the photos to enlarge them ...
 crazy figure pretty much everywhere in this slab.
 here's a low angle view so you can see the blackened steel base by sam ...
a filled and butterflied crack on the corner .. give me a call at 
802 867 5541, or send an email to 
dan@dorsetcustomfurniture.com for pricing details ...
subsidized blanket wrapped shipping, depending on your location.
free local delivery

Monday, November 11, 2013

a pair of reclaimed oak tables

well, after a long wait for the wood to arrive from west virginia, we finally wrapped up this pair of reclaimed oak tables.  they are designed for high stools and to be used both separately and together as a long skinny table, 36 x 96, or squared up at 60 x 48. 
our classic, 'bethlehem steel' bases, made from 2.5" square steel tubing and 2.5" angle iron.
  we tried to line the boards up as best we could, trimming the edge defects as required, and matching the grain.  new man on the job, chris, checks them out before gluing them up.  there were also a few 'holes' that required patching too.  as the saying goes, 'if they were on the floor, you'd trip over them'.  we did leave a lot of the natural small knotholes, which add to the reclaimed wood feeling.

before the stain, we burn the oak with a 'red dragon' torch to enhance 
both the grain patterns and the color.

in the shop, and ready for finish ..
as two separate tables
a reclaimed oak coffee table of the same 'bethlehem steel' series, only with tapered legs.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

one way to shorten an antique 'model t' door

 so, i'm getting a lot of 'where'd you get those doors?' questions as people check out the new metal shop.  like slate on the roofs, wide recycled doors are kind of 'my thing'.  the one above started out as half of a pair of 8' x 8' garage doors that i bought about 5 years ago from a guy up the road in pawlet, as he was tearing down an old garage on his property.  as i recall, i paid a hundred bucks for the pair. click the photos to enlarge them ...
on the inside view, you can see how we cut and mitered the stiles and panels to shorten them.
 the first one of that pair i used was on my garage at the house just after i bought them and i shortened that one to 7 feet too before i made the frame and hung it.  in the photo below, i used the 'mason miter' technique on the stile and rail intersections, but on the new metal shop, i decided to keep the cope and stick joints by shortening the stiles themselves and gluing them back together.  in reality, either way is fine.
 mason miter joinery  at the red arrow
the first pair i  bought at a tag sale in the 80's for $20. for the pair.  they were already only 7' high and 4' wide.  i used one on the front of the shop above, and one on the side door on the shop porch, below.
   i think they came from the same manufacturer as the new pair, as all the joinery techniques and moldings appear to be the same ...
the joinery on the doors originally was 4, 1/2" dowels, about 6 inches long at each horizontal
and vertical intersection.   invariably, the joints loosen and the dowels can be cut with a hand saw or fein tool and the rails removed.
i rejoined the stiles and the bottom rail with 8" timberlock screws as i couldn't spread the stiles enough to insert loose tenons or dowels ... worked fine, and i'm sure it's at least as strong or stronger than the original dowel joinery.
i added a couple of dominos for alignment ...
and made a jig for gluing them up straight
mitering and regluing the panels and stiles was a cinch

and then we glued up the whole door and made some jambs .. love the antique wavy glass.  and, i've also made new doors like this for new construction.  i have some photos somewhere ... nothing like a generous entrance to add elegance to a building ... 

another restored display case

 as the work on the jj hapgood store in peru is wrapping up, i felt it was time to finish up the cases that were rescued from the original store that have been 'resting' in the finish room since july.  i must admit i was ignoring them a bit cause i wasn't sure what would be involved in getting them to look good enough to go in the new store, which is going to be spectacular.  the photo above is the closest thing to a 'before' shot i have, but when i say it was an awful looking thing, you'll have to believe me.  under the sliding shelf was a half inch of some white powder that might have been baking soda, and under that was some interesting mold.  the rotating shelf had a 1/2" hump in it and, well you can see the case door in the photo above.  click the photos to enlarge them ..
 the top of the case had a large, sort of scummy spot, that required us to strip it and restain and refinish it.  in fact, quite a bit of scrubbing and restaining on all the parts was involved.
 the wavy glass, however was all there and is unbelievably spectacular. 
 both cases in fact, have fantastic glass.
 this photo shows the hardware that pulls the shelf out as the door is opened .. 
simple, and extremely clever.
 the shelf rides on v grooves and is trapped by the runners (b) below, and drops into an opening in the tracks (a) and there is a stop on the front of the shelf at (c) that stops the door and keeps i level.  although we didn't have to disassemble this one, the whole design is screwed together, i assume for ease of both original construction and later repairs. 
    nice piece!!
and for pete's pizza oven at the store, sam made the door below, using a graphic from the website.
all good ...