Sunday, November 29, 2015

sometimes we forget .. live and learn

so, i built this table sometime in 2013 ... the base was from the antiques show at brimfield, mass., and it was pretty cool.  the concept was a round table with a silver dollar inlaid in the center.  it was a busy time, and maybe i wasn't thinking 100% clearly, but anyway, i cut a plank of 1.5" reclaimed oak into four sections and glued them up into a circle without thinking about seasonal movement over time.  it made it through one set of changes, but last summer, it absorbed enough moisture that the weakest joint failed and opened up by about 1/4".  below is an email i sent this morning, and when i finished it i thought, 'ah, instant blog post'  ... cautionary tale here with a happy ending.

click the photos to enlarge them ...

hi nina ...

sorry i didn't get the table fixed for t-day weekend, but it was not a small effort.  i'll put the silver dollar back in tomorrow and we'll be good to go. 

c u soon ..

here's what i did
 we cut the top into four sections and cut veneers off the bottom and top so that it will still look the same.  i wasn't thinking things through the first time.  we made the top in the winter, and when the table absorbed ambient moisture from the air in the summer, the planks got enough wider that the outside circumference was too 'short', which is what caused the weakest joint to open up.  using veneers will prevent that .. 
should have thought of that, but hey, live and learn.
 so we had the 8 pieces of veneer and the cores
  and then we cut the edges off the cores and joined them to an mdf top
rejoined the veneers
and glued them back on, one at a time ... then after a little sanding and refinishing,
 once i get the silver $ back in there it'll be good to go ...

Friday, November 27, 2015

another claro walnut slab coffee table

coffee table #2 for this month ... a fine cut off from the big slab that passed through here on its way
to miami. it had a pretty big crack, but it also had some incredible crotch figure.
in the end it finished out to be about 40" long x 64" wide.  short and sweet ...
it came off the right end of this one
tah dah ...
i still have one cut off left ... +/- 36 x 42 x 3" thick in the rough

smallish, but nice!

Friday, November 13, 2015

a 'white' oak bed

we finished this one up last week and it will be heading for cape cod as soon 
as the house is finished ...
click the photos to enlarge them ...
we had an inspiration image from the designer, and we played with several different
layouts including ones that aren't shown in the drawing above
sam welded up a nice steel base,
and chris layed out the headboard from the drawing
lots of white oak pieces, lots of grooves and lots of spline
almost ready for the frame
mitered and glued and screwed on from the wall side .. 
some minwax pickling stain and some water based poly to keep the oak white
and we're good to go ... 
looking forward to seeing it with the mattress and duvet.  it should be sharp.

i made that door in 1978 ... sort of the same ...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

a live edge claro walnut slab coffee table

 we finished up another claro walnut slab coffee table last week
polished steel 2" tubing base with some squiggles.  we're starting to use the squiggles
 more and more.  people like them and in my opinion, they add 'fun' and 'lightness' to the design.
click the photos to enlarge them ...
the coffee table above is in my own house and that was the inspiration piece for 
the base design the clients finally chose.  we did offer it with the base on the ends as shown
in the cad drawing above, but with the thicker slab, it seemed to feel better
 to have the base under the slab rather than at the ends ... 
i had some fun making the scale model .. a photo of the slab, painted mdf and brass wire
and sam welded up the base .. we're waiting for the house to be finished soon to deliver it ... 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

a moveable wall

we made a rolling wall recently.  never made one before, 
and it turned out to be a really cool object. 
 a local gallery, helmholz fine art, in manchester center, vt. had an opening recently in their new location, a wonderful, open space with dramatic high ceilings and lots of light.  similar to my own house, open spaces have, by definition, few walls, so one can run out of places to hang art pretty quickly.
enter the rolling wall.  inspired by a conversation the owner, lisa, had with ramsay gourd, a local architect, she described to me a 'T' shape with wheels that could be moved as shows and artwork change. 
seemed simple at first.  all we had to do was build it in the shop and move it into the gallery 10 miles away.  we started with the short end above, two pieces of ultralight mdf with two pieces of ultra light 1/2" sheetrock .. at 4' x 7', it turned out to be anything but 'ultralight', and we realized a wall 8' x 7' 
would be pretty hard to move out of the shop and into the gallery.
so, most of the ultralight was cut away on the cnc before the sheetrock was applied, which 
helped a bit, but it still wasn't all that ultralight when we were finished.
add some trim, some joint compound and paint, and it turned out to be still a pretty substantial object.  we buried some solid wood in one end of the big wall and used four 6" timberlocks to connect the two pieces which allowed them to be disassembled for moving.  trevor made some little pine plugs to cover the connectors on the cnc and we were all set.  the move went pretty smoothly once we figured out that we couldn't attach the wheels til we got the thing together.  below are the cad drawings ...

happy ending.  about 150 square feet of additional, flexible and moveable wall space and
room for many additional paintings on display ...  stop in if you're in manchester.  it's next to ben and jerry's, brooks brothers and vineyard vines on route 30.  it's a great space filled with great art, and a little of our fine furniture is on display there too ... fine art and ben and jerry's; you can't go wrong there.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dorset Custom Furniture's New Blog

"Welcome to Dorset Custom Furniture's new blog. Here you will find new projects we are working on, recently completed pieces, and other useful information regarding our furniture and designs. We have a wide range of many styles from Beidermeier, Federal, Traditional Country, Contemporary, Arts & Crafts, Japanese influenced, Greene and Greene and many more. All of our work is 100% custom made and designed from the ground up with the clients. We look forward to working with you on your custom piece."

i think will wrote that introductory blog post for me back in october of 2007.   my, my, my, who knew?  here we are, 8 years and eight hundred and seventy six (!!!) blog posts later, on the first of november 2015.  it's been a long, fine ride, and while i tend to lose focus and slack off from time to time, i think i'll keep writing for at least the foreseeable future ... i like it .. the nostalgia of it, the record keeping of it, the diary function of it, and yes, the occasional comments from readers like you.  it seems a worthwhile undertaking.  so, thanks to all you 303,368 visitors who have read 1,963,322 pages of it for spending time with me, and hats off to all of you.

my very best regards,

if you are new to the party, here's a link to a few of my personal favorite blog posts.  'most popular' are over there to the right side.  also below the popular posts are the 'categories' where posts are grouped by subject.

and at the top of the home page up in the right corner there is a link to our on line SLIDE SHOWS ! with some links to their corresponding blog posts ...