Sunday, October 28, 2018

over the hump day 10 / 28

i think in the future, october 28th will be known as 'hump day', a personal holiday for me,
celebrating the transition to semi retirement.  office furniture in the new office ... all customer
furniture either delivered or on the road for delivery early this week.
and there was A LOT of it that had to leave in the last two weeks ..

there was the burl stuff .. a giant burl wall piece about 5' high x 6' wide
pictures on my instagram page ... 
i will post them here tomorrow
and along with that installation were two 'floating' side tables and
a 45" x 8' burl sculpture/mirror .. the clients selected the wood personally 
and let me just have at it ... great project, great clients!

and for the same clients,we also made an unusual claro walnut 
wall piece, and we'll add some side tables
for that once the room is finished ... 

and we did a complex drawer replacement project there after the clients installed a 
new commercial grade gas stove ... our part was easy, the vent, not so much!

and then there was the claro walnut stuff .. just a 45" x 122" table 

and a small one, only about 30" x 60" for different clients ... 

and a 36" x 108" x 1.5" walnut top below, with a nice 'brown finish'  i realize now
that i never even took a photo of the top of the table .. the base
is a commercially available piece selected by the designer and installed on site.
and then there was the 60" round we've been
holding till the apartment in nyc was finished ...
the builder says he'll finish 'this week' .. same design as the one below,
but 60" instead of 54" and dull instead of semi gloss ...
and we delivered a long held project, some of which we finished in the early summer ..
the mahogany table above and the 54" round game table below ..

worth the wait though .. it went to a spectacular restored
5 bay boathouse on lake george, about an hour and a half west of here.
lake george is famous as a summer retreat, hosting in the past
such luminaries as georgia o'keefe and david smith, 

you can read more about the boathouse project at this link
it was an amazing, almost hard to believe project. worth a read ..
almost forgot this one .. we finished it a couple weeks ago but it just was delivered the week before last .. super little mid century table in a super spot ...
what else?  a couple of interesting repairs, a new skylight, appliances, and an apartment
in the main shop building for will.  we also moved his workshop to the main floor
and finished the new office .. 

the six months in 1999 when we sold our house in arlington in april, built 
a new house in the summer, moved my shop into its current location and moved into 
our new house in november was pretty intense, but we were all 20 years younger then.
the last four or 5 months have been a close second.
 and i am 20 years older, which counts for sure.
all smiles now though ... 😁

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


lately, loyal readers may have noticed that i haven't been posting very much to this blog ...
big changes are afoot here  ....  as of now, i am stepping
back a bit from almost 40 years of custom furniture making ... 
i am not 'retiring' per se, but after a four month warning to the guys,
 i no longer have employees in the wood shop, and i am giving
most of that shop space over to our son will and his business,
seeders instruments ... 
his business is growing, and there was no room in the current 
shop configuration for him to expand.  i informed my employees back on 
memorial day that i will soon be back where i started in 1979, working by myself on
things i can handle by myself, with the occasional assistance from sam or will 
rather than the wife, kit, who helped me in the shop a bit back in the 70s.  no more 14' slab tables or (probably) pool tables.  no more payroll and payroll taxes. no unemployment tax and simple iras and health insurance. no paid vacations, and all the responsibility that goes along with having three or four employees.
i will certainly miss them and the 'socialness' and brainstorming sessions in our workspace, 
but at 71, my 'executive function' seems harder to summon, and the naps on the couch after lunch seem a bit too short.  fortunately, i have had plenty of time for golf and paddle tennis and tennis over the last few years and i am in shape for more of that.  hopefully the body will hold up.  

so, 18 years in this space, a few over 20 in the last shop ... what a mess i have created.
but i'm working through it now ... cleaning ... reorganizing ... rethinking ... it is an amazing process.
i wish i had had the time, money and brain space to put the thought into
the shop back in 2000 that i have put into it in the last 3 months ...
over my entire time in business, it seemed there was always 
another project to design, a job to get, a schedule to organize, etc. etc. and i just let
my employees wing it in the shop.  i have been pecking away the last few months, nights and weekends ... organizing the lumber, the veneers, the clamps (!), redoing the dust collection,
etc. etc. etc.  i have moved my office out to the finish building,
 and Will started moving his tools and benches into the main shop last monday .  
we have done a lot, but there is still lots to do ... looking forward to it!

so far ..
before .. it almost looked ok til i got into it ...
i got rid of the radial arm saw, (free to a good home), and redid the exhaust for the 
chop saw, two sanders and sent a branch to the cnc upstairs ..
cleaning out the closet and moving the office ... 
probably the biggest effort so far ...
old office
before we could move the office, we had to make a place to move it to ..
the finish room seemed the obvious choice .. 
serious editing involved
on the opposite wall, we needed some new, bigger windows .. a new desk,
and we moved two computers and got them all talking to the laptop at the cnc
tetris jigsaw puzzle of will's upstairs banjo shop
first, we had to deconstruct and clean up 18 years of dust in some places
step one ... move some benches around to make room for will's stuff
this was at the end of last week .. much more organized now
i had to dust off and move the models out ..
i'll probably keep about 15 or so and give the rest away ..

so, if you think you might need that short piece of cherry or burl, or some of 
those old photos you took in the 80s and 90s, take my word for it and 
start thinning the herd now ... it won't get easier .. trust me .. 
more to follow as we progress ... 
and, we are still working ... 
more on that later ..
 new skylight
stop in if you are out and about ... 23 goodwood lane.
on your left, one mile up danby mountain road from route 30
ceilings are all repainted ... starting on the walls
ready for wall paint in the former office ...

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Art Manchester

i will be tending the Art Manchester gallery tomorrow from 11 to 5:00.
it is located in the former hickey freeman store, at the foot of center hill road, 
next to tumi, and across from ben and jerry's ..
i have a couple pieces there that have been languishing in the upstairs 
of the metal shop since last year about this time ... 
come and check them out .. the table above is my 
'homage to david smith' coffee table.  it is loosely based on his sculpture series
titled 'circles'.  painted oak slab top, painted steel base ...
no reasonable offer refused!!
artwork above by dona mara of the mettowee makers, rupert, vt/
here's another coffee table ... a single piece of crotch walnut,
about 32 x 42, reclaimed chestnut base .. 
again, i am accepting reasonable offers one this one too. 
and right across at helmholz fine art, i have this fine claro walnut dining table for sale
and a nice claro walnut desk with a drawer and a satin polished steel base 
below are more views of the art manchester gallery ..
pottery by lauren axelrod and others
ray finan's table ... chairs by

other woodworking by members of the guild of vermont furniture makers ...
                                                                      lots to see ...
and i think i did mention that it is right across the street from ben and jerry's

Friday, June 22, 2018

startspace opening 6 23

there is an opening at startspace in manchester tomorrow, 6/23/18, from 4 to 7.
i will be there with perhaps 17 other artists for the 'summer show' of abstract
and non representational painting and sculpture .. 
more information on the 18 artists exhibiting at

lots to see ... come by if you can ...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


where does the time go?  it's almost the first day of summer !!
since my last blog post on may 22nd we have been ripping through
lots of projects including some that were in the works a month ago.
below is a sample of some of the more interesting ones
a nice walnut coffee table .. 40 x 60 x 18 with two drawers
a beautiful job on a king size cherry pencil post bed by trevor
first time running the pencil posts and mortises on the cnc
safe and perfect .. gold star for trevor
 and i got some time in on the lathe for the finials .. 
first time i turned anything in  quite a while ... 
kinda like riding a bicycle, but not quite ... i'm a little rusty ...

 and the metal shop has been particularly busy the last couple of weeks
sam installed this railing high above lake george today .. 16' 7" long ..
and he made some parts for another railing before this one .. 
same  builder, different house
lots of parts
lots of railing too
and tyler did 5 repairs the week before last ..
this chair was a family heirloom and needed some love
like some new front rail tenons
tah dah .. ready for another hundred years
and the cutest little chair about 18" high ... 
it needed a disassemble, reglue and polish 
and we installed vanities 3 and 4 on the vanity project
chris has become the resident vanity expert .. 
danby imperial on site now by bennington marble and granite
ready for plumbing by GSK climate control this week
and we picked up the 'thoreau cabin project' bed from sandy sherman chair caning yesterday
beautiful job by tyler and sandy
and today tyler and i finished the reproduction rocker for the cabin ..
though i have made a lot of windsors over the last 40 years, this one was
the first in this style and the first windsor in about 15 years
talk about rusty for sure .. 

quite the four weeks ...