Thursday, January 28, 2016

and so, it begins with the daffodils

first bunch of daffodils open on the dining room table ...54 days to spring in vermont ... 
according to the weatherman, yesterday was the last day the 
sun set before 5:00 ... the days are getting longer ..
and ms. pileated was on the suet in the sun this morning ... 
the foxes are yipping ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

restoration? ... repair? ... thoughts on time passing

well, this one was around for a looong time.  i mostly finished it up yesterday.  the oldest of the photos below are dated 7/10/13.  seriously.  we made a table for these folks in the spring of that year, and a few months later the husband dropped this table off, and told me 'no rush'.  big mistake.  let me just say kindly, that it was not in the best of shape ... click the photos to enlarge them ...
i have no idea why i didn't follow through and fix this one right off, except that i knew it would take a really long time to get it back to useful ... the main problem, (i speculate), was that the table was stored somewhere that was very damp, and the veneer on the bottom of the top came loose, allowing more moisture in.  while i can't find a picture, i definitely remember that the top was dry and cupped about 3/4 of an inch across the 18" width of it ...
so, out came the skilsaw, and i made some not quite all the way through skilsaw cuts about an inch and a half apart until i could very easily flatten it with a couple clamps and a straight edge.
at that point i put the top in the veneer bag with the original bottom veneer (you can see it in the background there) glued on to it .. that flattened it out and that's when i dropped the ball, likely intimidated by the anticipated time and risk involved in repairing the missing veneer.

so then recently, (the clients have commissioned another table), i went on to the patching, trying to find a piece of 'new growth' walnut that matched the grain of the apparently 'old growth' walnut of the original veneer.  since we had no idea of the table's origin, (italian? french?) i'm not even exactly sure what kind of walnut veneer the original veneer really is. the photo aggravates the color and grain match, and it is actually a little better and less obvious, (but obviously still obvious), in natural light.

as i was finishing up, there conveniently appeared a relevant article in the new yorker entitled ' The Custodians'.  i have taken the liberty of posting two excerpts from ben lerner's thoughful article below.  well researched, well thought out, and totally thought provoking.  a wonderful read for people like me who occasionally are called on to to rescue the old stuff. 

The Custodians

How the Whitney is transforming the art of museum conservation.

'lacunae' ... gaps .. missing pieces.  'coeval' .. living at the same time.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

a claro walnut slab table ... 1st of 2016

ok, first slab table of 2016 ... a nice piece of claro about 130" long in the photo above ...
it started out as this slab from goodhope hardwoods
we nipped off both ends and cut it back to 130".
rough smoothed the bottom and routed for the legs

first coat of finish on the top .. we did a little filling with tinited advantech epoxy ..

and jim fabricated and polished up a set of our 'standard' 'shaker style '1.5" thick steel legs

 couple close ups of the finished top here

ready to roll ... off to westchester county, ny
the next 60" round table with 3 leaves is stickered in the background ..
more on that one later

Monday, January 11, 2016

a custom oval walnut table

a client sent us this image of an antique italian table they lived with for a while ... they wondered if we could create a larger one with a 'true eliptical shape' ... they also sent the image below of a couple pedestals they liked.
so we blended the inspirations together and came up with the drawing below ... we sent them a full size cardboard template of the top for them to place in their room ...

for a minute, we explored 'altering' the true oval shape to create more 'room' at the ends, but i strongly recommended against it. we did one a few years back with a leaf.  ...
i must say, i feel it's more pleasing as a fixed oval shape.
you can see some of our other oval tables at this link
you can put 12 good friends around it, or seat 10 gracefully.
we glued up the top and cut the aprons and beads on the cnc ...
the top and aprons assembled, with 1" white oak stiffeners ... we filled in the space between
the stiffeners where the columns attached too, but i missed that photo
on to the turned columns ... we glued up two of these blanks, which weighed about 
70 pounds apiece before they were turned ... about 30 pounds each after

they were too big for our lathe, so we had our friend hannes michelsen, the original wood hat guy,
turn them ... he's about 20 minutes down the road, and we've been friends since the 70s.
 he is also selling his line of very nice turning tools and grinding jigs at his website hannes tools
trevor 'turned' the discs on the cnc and added the ply top that will be screwed
 to the stiffeners in the photo above.
altogether now
waiting for approval on the finish samples ... 
hope to finish up this week ... i'll be back then ...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

1 - 1 - 16

always nice to have a fresh start for the new year
this is the page for 1/1/16 ,,, i've been keeping track of stuff this way for years ..
if it's not written in 'the notebook', i likely can't find it,
so this has become my 'filing system' for my 'to do' lists.
click the photos to enlarge them ...
this particular sketchbook started this year in april .... 
looking back through these is another form of the 'year in review' ...
i also have also started to digitize my real sketchbooks too and you can
see a slideshow of some of my sketches and the finished items at this link
more of the day to day pages below ... with 5 people in the shop, i have to pay attention  ..

obviously, after one of my first rounds of golf for the year

and after a little fishing

june bug!

a sub list for managing the individual projects happening in the shop

i usually have about 10 things going at once .. sometimes more ..

this one was after a road trip when i was admiring the graphics of the yellow and black road signs ..
clock date .. 9/14
class of '65, 50th high school reunion
a particularly busy couple weeks

couldn't do all this without my neon markers
some modified roman numerals
a preview of the 'sketchbook' slide show at this link
and late in the fall, i started emailing and sharing my lists to the guys so they have more info
about the upcoming projects .. i've also started printing out the drawings ahead of time so 
they know what they will be building next .. we are also trying to have brief daily
meetings when necessary, but everyone starts at a different time so that can be tricky.

just trying to keep it together .... 
it doesn't actually get that much easier, even after 36 years of practice ...
write it down, check it off .. what's next?
Happy New Year!