NEW ETSY WEBSITE COMING SOON!! Now under construction!

February 5, 2013

Barnwood and Hammered Copper End Tables

Just out of the woodshop:
the set of Hammered Copper and Barnwood end tables to match the coffee table I made for Gus a couple years ago. These things are COOL! As usual, I hate to see them go out the door after all the detail and hard work that went into them. I DO however, have a set of prototype tops that I'll probably end up making legs for, so I can have a set myself. (the cobbler's children have no shoes, right?)
As usual, these feature mortise and tennon joinery, reclaimed pine barnwood, and hand hammered and treated copper. The finish is a natural high end antiquer's wax, used over the copper too. It will show stains and wear, to give the pieces more "livid in" character that I really like.

Hand hammering all the upholstery tacks, before fiishing. Seriously tedious.






Some of the boards still had nails in them from the original siding lives they used to live. I didn't have the heard to remove this history, so I just finished right over them. Pretty cool.

LOVE LOVE LOVE little details like these defects in the wood.



Side by side. These two are going to REALLY make the couch jealous of all the attention.




A little buffing work


Dry-fitting all the joints.

I saved all the plans, so if you decide you can't live without a set of these end tables, let me know! I'll build a complete living room set for you. Hopefully soon I'll be adding a sofa table to this line up as well, available for purchase.
Right now turnaround time on an order is a couple weeks, so get your orders in soon.

January 30, 2013

Beer Sampler Serving Trays

A few snapshots of some serving trays I made for the a local pub. These are used for taster glasses when someone wants to get a variety of beers for comparison. Made from English Walnut, with a live edge on one side.


I LOVE this walnut- the heartwood/livewood contrast is so cool.

Type 3 waterproof woodglue, combined with stainless steel fasteners ensure the feet will never come off.

Doing some customer satisfaction research.
I highly recoment taking notes when you do a sampler- by the time you get to the end, you forget how you felt about the first few!

January 23, 2013

Lathe Stand Build, from repurposed materials

The woodshop was on on a Christmas "blackout," so I didn't want to post any work after the last one in order not to spoil any surprises! It just took me a while to get back into the swing of posting. I have quite a few projects to post, so I'll try to not to overwhelm everyone in one single post.

Here's the construction of a solid table (key word=SOLID) for the mounting of the hand-me-down Rockwell-Delta Lathe, made in the 1950's. Total cost out of pocket for this lathe stand: about $30! SWEET!

 Here's the finished product! Super solid base, heavy duty mortise and tenon construction, gravity mount motor, and a tool rack divider. Follow along below and see how I made it:
 Here's what I started with. It's an old chunk of glue-lam left over from shop construction. When I first knew I was going to build the lathe table, I brought this piece in from outside, where it had been sitting for years. I dusted the termites off with a blowtorch (works great!) and put it on the lumber rack to dry for about a year.

After pulling all the nails and staples, the glue-lam was run through the planer to clean it up. It BARELY fit! Perfect!

Then I began the work on the feet. I had a few prototypes already from a conference table I built several years prior. I first established the edge of the bottom recess for the feet...

...then using a dado blade on the table saw, I roughed out the rest of the recess.

A little clean up with my favorite Stanley low angle hand plane, and the feet were mostly done. The reason for the recess is that with a flat board that contacts all the way across the floor, you will have all kinds of wobble. Recessing the middle section will allow for varying floor hieghts not to affect stability as much.

With the feet done, I moved on to tackling the angled tennons (big square pegs) on the legs. This was my first try at it, and let me tell you, it's not a simple process!

the legs mounted in the feet, getting ready for layoing out the mortises (holes) in the worktop. I REALLY wanted to build the entirely from repurposed materials, but I also ran out of 4x4 stock, and didn't want to sacrifice on longevity. The legs ended up being the only wood I had to go out and buy specifically for this project. 

First fit of the legs and base into the table top. Just a little trimming, some final touches, and she's ready for glue!

The recently glued assembly. The tennons fit so well into the mortises, and the top was so heavy, there was no need to clamp it all together while the glue dried.

Same as the first picture. I forgot to snap photos of the process of making the tool rack , but here's the lathe mounted up and secured to the table top. It's a super solid Rockwell-Delta, from the 1950's. Its a bit cumbersome to make adjustments on, without the new flashy cam-locks and such, but it'll work just fine for me!

For the tool rack, I used the cut off ends of the 4x4 leg pieces, cut at an angle, and secured with a tight friction fit followed with Timber Lock lag screws. Normally, I would have incorporated a mortise and tenon fit here too, but I was already way over on time, and this saved me an entire day's work.
Close up of the tool rack dividers, made from 1/8th inch backing stock that had a little water damage. I knew I kept this stuff around for a reason! Each slat is individually mounted in a saw kerf recess cut on the table saw, divided by leftovers from some reclaimed material from old Brazilian shipping palates.
The motor is an OLD Montgommery Ward's motor, mounted with a fan belt from the auto parts store, hung on repurposed door hinges. (The fan belt was the only other item I specifically bought for this project.) To adjust the speed, you simple move the belt over the proper wheel on the motor, followed by the oppposite on the lathe. Viola!

November 9, 2012

Sculpture work- Moai

I've had this chunk of wood sitting outside the house for about a year now. I walked past it every day coming and going from the house, and it always bugged me that I hadn't done anything with it. I don't know if I was watching Discovery Channel or something, but I saw an image of the stone head carvings on Easter Island off the coast of Chile, and that image linked itself in my brain to this round chunk of pine. That was 2 months ago.
Since then, every time I walked past this piece of wood, I felt a presence of a face wanting to come out. It was kind of erie. So yesterday, I took the plunge. I hefted it onto my shoulder and packed it on back to the shop. I still had a temporary pallet/table sitting outside, and knowing I was about to make a real big mess, decided this was where the action was going to happen.

I started with a few lines drawn with a permanent marker, then just jumped in with my angle grinder.
 The face, really starting to take shape.

 Fine tuning his features. Still some work to do.
 Remember the "My Little Buddy" commercials from the 80's? Me and my new pal.
The blade on the angle grinder is a Lancelot blade- two disks with a slot for holding a chainsaw chain, and makes short work of rough carving. (Thanks for the tip Uncle Ron!)
Did the whole carving with this tool- no sanding, no chiseling, just fired up the grinder and let 'er rip! 
The completed Moai head sculpture in his new home, keeping watch near my front door. I plan on painting the eyes like they do on the real ones, just to creep out the neighbors a little more.
A little tid bit on the original sculptures- They're found on Easter Island, off the coast of Chile. There's not a lot known of these guys, and were originally thought to be just head sculptures. When they started excavating them, they were found to be whole body sculptures, the rest was just buried underground! The tallest so far is 33 feet high, weighing in at 82 tons. They're found all over the perimeter of the island, keeping watch. (Thanks, Wiki.)

October 30, 2012

Copper work

I finally broke down and bought new copper for the copper end tables I recieved an order for 2 years ago. I was REALLY trying hard to find reclaimed copper, like I used in the barnwood/copper coffee table (find it here: barnwood-coffee-table.html) I guess I'll have to settle with the satisfaction that these were remnants of other people's orders... but they still cost an arm and a leg!

Brand-spankin-new copper w/ a vinyl layer protection.

With vinyl layer removed, ready for the heat.

First sheet under the torch.

 No crazy photoshop, no altered colors. This is seriously how they look when the sheets are cooloing.

 A little magic tarnish coating for splash effects.

Apply ball peen hammer,then repeat... around 300 times...
 Scuff sanding the high spots with some 220 sandpaper to reveal the ridges on the sheet.
...Then polishing off the scratches with some synthetic steel wool.
The hammered texture leaves all the color in the depressions, while the high spots create a series of polished ridges for a dramatic contrast.

All the sheets, lined up. Looks pretty cool.
 These are going to look SWEET in the end tables I'm making for them. More on that later...