Saturday, November 26, 2016

The 28 Leg Windsor Bench Odyssey

I delivered this bench to the NYC restaurant Rouge Tomate in Chelsea this last summer and much of the previous six months were taken up with its creation.  It was a very challenging project on many levels. The main challenges were physical because of its sheer size, and technical for figuring out the corners and to make the four sections function as separate pieces as well as working as one.  My back took weeks to get to normal after straining it day after day of moving the sections around my small shop.  

I started referring to it as the "28 leg windsor bench" as it was a bit difficult to otherwise describe. It is 25' 10" long and at both ends it takes a right angle turn to extend 54" from the back (of the long section)  to the end of the arm rail.

This shows one of the corner sections with the bench unassembled.

Below are a bunch of shots taken during the building process.  The order in which the parts are made is critical in a project like this since all of the parts need to end up working like a huge whole unit. There are no guides for how to do a project like this.  As far as I know, this has not been done before, so I was making it up as I went along. The challenge of making it work as a single unit is that I was never able to assemble the whole bench until I installed it in the client's restaurant.

parts for the corner sections
corner getting lined up for making the permanent corner joint

shaping the joined corner with hand
and power tools
lining up the two straight center sections

this is 1/2 of the total base.
one corner and one straight section

never a good way to work on the corner sections and notice the other two sections down the right. they are always in the way.

my daily game of large format Tetris.
they just didn't mesh together nicely
rails were created in sections.
this one of the four 90 degree corners being glued up

rail sections after glue up
crest rail corner reader to be
mated to straight sections
scarf joint of corner to straight section

Sunday, February 21, 2016

What's New? Lots!

In my digital world, Instagram has been a huge new thing.  Please take a look at my page at     It is a good place to see what is happening in my shop in an off the cuff way.  Lots of shots of things happening as they are happening.  Pretty much whatever catches my eye.  The drawback of Instagram is that I have been neglecting my blog posts.
So, here are a few things-

I got a nice picture from an NY customer, showing my their round ended trestle table that I made for them last year.  It is nice to see it all ready for guests.  The round ends allow is to seat 8 people very nicely.  A previous post about the building of this table is here-   and finished pictures are on my website here-

I made Waltham Arm chair #102 a couple of weeks ago. I am now working on #105 and 106 and will start soon on #'107 - #114.
You will notice in the picture below, I marked the chair as #101.  I just looked through my book and saw that I had already numbered a New Waltham Arm chair with an office base with the number 101. Oh well. Case of the double 101.

Below is a Cod Rib Arm Chair that I made back around 1990. I just delivered a dining table to them and they were customers from way back when I was getting started.  I made some of my first sets of chairs for them. This one had a seat glue joint that needed some attention and while I had it, I decided to replace the braces on the legs.
I do not know what number this chair is but it could be under number 20.

Currently, I am making Cod Rib Arm Chair # 118.  The drill but not shaped seat is sitting on a seat for a 5' Waltham Bench in the same condition. I have another cherry version of that same bench roughed out to the same point.  Whenever I can, I like to make more than one at the same time as there is a lot of set up for each step of the way. These benches will be #13 and #14.

Below are some of the many spindles that will go into those two benches.  32 for each bench. Lots of hand planing on the shaving horse.
Winter did not really make it here this year. It has been a strange one. So, here is a parting shot to fit the strange weather.My daughter Claire and a "her size" Darth Vader.May the Force be with you,Tim

Monday, November 23, 2015

Busy Busy Busy

I have not posted a new blog in a long time.  I have had a very busy summer and fall that has not left me with a lot of free time.  I did just start an instagram page- timothyclarkfurniture that I am using quite a bit.  Mostly, I am posting shots of work in progress right from
the shop.  You can see a small slideshow at the right on this page.

I am just finishing up a king size Painted Pencil Post Bed that will be going to Texas soon.  It is my second pencil post bed to Houston in the last six months. Interesting.   The pictures below were taken after the first coat of milk paint.  It is still gray and dull looking.  After the second coat, it will be oiled and then sealed and will have a dark look with a low sheen.

Shavings from planing out the various parts of the bed.

Below is a drawing of the huge bench that has taken up much of my time lately. It will be over 25' long and will turn a corner at each end and run for a bit over 4'.  So in all, it will be around 33' feet long. The Buddha had 33 teeth they say.  So therefore...     when I finish I may just achieve Nirvana.  Just checking to see if anyone is reading this.
The crest rail is almost completed on the end of the bench.

OK, a few shots of Stella who always keeps me entertained.

Have a good Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Curly Maple Trestle Table with Painted Base and a New Cod Rib Rocker

Last week I finally delivered this table to a very nice couple in Vermont.  Many think that I would do a lot of work for people in Vermont but usually my local work amounts to one order per year.

I was very happy to receive this note a few days after the delivery.

"A note to let you know how much we appreciate the beautiful craftsmanship and finished result of the tiger maple trestle table.  The words used by our guests were’ stunning’ and they reflect our own sentiments.  You surprised our expectations!"

A tiger maple key to match the top.

Below is a new Cod Rib Rocker with the added detail of the carved gutter around the base of the spindles.  A while back, the same client in California requested the gutter detail on some New Waltham Side chairs.  I usually only put the gutter on my painted chairs but I think it looks nice.
Don't be afraid to suggest detail additions or modifications.  Many times the results are great.

The garden is doing great after all of the rain that we had.
Enjoy the rest of July.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trestle Table w/ Round Ends All Finished

I finally finished this table, photographed it, and it is now in it's new home.  I received a call from the client when the table arrived and they were very happy with how it came out. I love those calls.  I am looking forward to seeing pictures of it in place.

On to the next projects.
I have made a lot of progress on a pencil post bed, but am waiting for some custom hardware that I need before I can finish it.
In the meantime, I have started the next Trestle Table that will have a rectangle top and a painted base, a Cod Rib Rocker, a 5 1/2' Waltham Bench, and a set of Waltham Chairs.

size- 40" wide, 74" long, 30" tallTrestle Table w/ Round Ends
cherry trestle table
cherry trestle table
herry trestle table

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Back in the Shop

Before I went in for hip surgery, three weeks ago, I started a trestle table with round ends.  The round ends posed a bit of a challenge as a hand cut radius is very hard to make to appear true.  So, I made a jig for the router and cut the curves that way.

The edge treatment for this table base and top is a round that is less than a bullnose.  A router is used to define a uniform depth and then the curve is shaped by hand with a plane.  Below, shows the edge of the table routed and then finished.

Since I have recovered I have been working on the trestle base for the table.  I am make the joints with full through tenons, top and bottom that are wedged and pegged.

This detail of the trestle foot, shows the edge treatment that all of the parts receive.

A few shots of the shop below on a nice sunny day.

Below are a couple of Cod Rib Rockers that I dropped off at the Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, VT just before my surgery.

And finally, below are some shots that show a 5' Waltham Bench seat being shaped. Another project that I finished before my surgery.


Enjoy the sunny weather. I got out for my first bike ride with my new hip.  That was really fun even if it was just 1/4 mile or so.  Happy Spring!