Sunday, February 11, 2018

Custom Windsor Benches- contemporary and traditional

contemporary Windsor bench, settee

I have found a nice niche in the furniture making world with my contemporary Windsor benches or settees.  While both lines that I build are rooted in tradition, my New Waltham line features natural finishes that show off the warm wood of the pieces and has a more modern look.  These work well for someone who loves wood everywhere or just wants a warm accent to contrast furniture or surroundings that are not rich in natural wood.   My Waltham line features, pieces with milk paint finishes and hand carved details that give a more traditional look while not screaming "fife and drum".  These pieces also have a warmth that is a nice contrast to an ultra modern decor while blending with a more rustic or period surrounding.  More of my benches and settees can be found at my website. 

contemporary Windsor bench
5' Waltham Bench with thin crest rail

cherry highlights are seen at edges of the rail with a
rubbed out finish
the carved "gutter" detail is part of my
painted  Waltham line.
When I paint a piece, I ask the customer if they want more or less "wear through" of the paint.  As the paint is rubbed out there is sometimes a small bit of rub through.  My favorite look is to rub through a bit more at high contact edges. This adds highlights that define the lines of the piece. You can ask for more or less of this.The bench below is a 3' version of my Waltham bench with the traditional crest rail.    This rail  results in the most traditional look of my designs. 
Windsor bench settee

This last year, I added a bench with an arm rail to my Waltham line.  This design is based on my Waltham Arm chair.  If a bench is to be used at a table, I suggest a bench without an arm rail but this design works well in a hall or a spot where the sitter does not need to slide in from the side.  
contemporary Windsor bench settee

The arm rail passes behind the back spindles as in all of my arm chair designs.  This is my "Floating Back" design.

Enjoy the snow,

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Contemporary Windsor Bench with Arms

Waltham Bench with Arms

contemporary Windsor bench settee
4 1/2' Waltham Bench w/arm rail
Up until now, my Waltham line of benches did not have arms but I made four of these at the request of a client.  I am very happy with how it worked out.  I made this in a 4 1/2' and a 5' version.  This bench is $3800. and the Waltham Bench (the one without the arm rail) is $3000.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions and do take a look at the rest of my work at
This bench is built of poplar for the seat, cherry for the rails and ash for the spindles, legs and stretchers. It is finished with black milk paint, linseed oil, varnish and wax.
The faceted seat front was new for this design. It shows up in my Waltham Side Chair seats but no where else until now. It just seemed like the right thing to do as I was shaping the seat.

Contemporary Windsor bench by Timothy Clark

The bench above just had it's arm rail mounted. You can still see the spindle tenons and wedges at the top of the  arms and under the seat. Once these are cleaned up, it will be ready for paint.

Ziggy says "When is Spring coming?"

Happy Winter,

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Cherry Pencil Post Beds

Cherry Pencil Post Bed

Over my 30 years of making furniture professionally, I have a few designs that have been mainstays of my business.   My Pencil Post Beds are one of those.  I seem to consistently make at least 2 and maybe 4 of these each year.  The bed is a lot of cherry. 2 1/2' square posts at the base with a  transition to an eight sided taper.  This transition is made by way of a carved "lamb's tongue".   The facets of the eight sided taper are scribed with a spar makers scribe and then power planed to rough out stock to get close to the scribe lines.  The final sizing is done with a hand plane.  
Bolted joints make for a solid, quiet bed.

Every bed is made custom to fit the customer's mattress dimensions and to finish off at the height desired by the customer.   At present, I offer three options for finishing off the posts.  They can be left bare, they can have cross bars (known as testers), or they can have finials.  I turn the finials by hand. The finials incorporate a 1/4" diameter steel post that sticks out of the bottom. This is simply dropped into the hole at the top of the post. No wooden peg to break off.

The rails are joined to the posts with an exposed bolt that makes a very solid joint that will not wear out. If the bed were to "loosen up" over the winter due to wood movement, they can simply be tightened.  I discovered this design on an original Shaker meeting house trestle table that was made to break down for storage. I loved the practical honesty of the bolt. There was no attempt to hide it behind a brass decorative plate or to sink it deep into the wood.  It was celebrated for what it was. The right material for the job.  I do offer a completely hidden bolt design but there would be an extra cost as I have custom nuts made for the bolts and the woodwork required is time consuming.   I prefer  to see the blackened bolt as a detail that contrasts nicely to the warm wood.  Check out this and other designs at
Queen size bed with finials.
Posts after final shaping ready for finish sanding.

Detail of the post and finial.  

Enjoy the crazy weather we are having.  Rain and 50 degrees yesterday.  Today, 15 degrees and a snow storm. 

Lucy says, "Just enjoy the weather!"


Sunday, October 29, 2017

One of a Kind - Live Edge Bench -

By its very nature, Live Edge furniture results in one of a kind pieces.   This one leans a bit farther in the one of a kind direction.  After months and months of building my usual designs, I made this piece as a fun "no rules" exercise.  When I began, I was not even sure that I would make a bench and had planned to make a small table out of one end or the other of this live edge slab.   As I was ready to cut the plank, I started to appreciate the center part of the plank with all of the "character".   So, on a whim, I cut off the ends and left a 57" length with the "character" right in the middle, deciding that it would be a bench.  Realizing that the center would not be strong enough to sit on, unsupported, I decided to give it a center leg.   The stretchers that support that center leg come into it at an angle to echo the curve of the seat.   As I turned the legs,  I designed as I went having nothing in particular in mind.  I turned the straight collar section at the joints, stepped it down for a tapering run to the bottom and top.  I really like the graceful curve of the seat. This would be strange normally but works beautifully as it is the natural curve of the tree.  This bench is available and is priced at $1800.  Let me know if you are interested.  

The knotty section in the center was stabilized with epoxy and while textured at the edge, it is smooth to the touch.

I think of it as a bench for a mudroom or hall but here it works as a coffee table.

Ziggy says- Happy Fall!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Windsor Benches Going Like Hot Cakes

Each year, I seem to have flurries of order activity of certain items. One year, I have a string of beds to do, then a few dining tables in a row or a number of case pieces. Some years, all I do it make chairs.   This year has been the year of the Waltham Bench.  I have been doing these one after the other in different finishes, colors and sizes.  Dare I say, "trend"? We'll see.

I do like making these and while the 5' bench is the one that I make most, I have made it in 6', 4 1/2'. 5 1/2', 3', 3.5' and I am in the process of making a 4' version of this bench.  I make it with a more traditional tall crest rail but the thin rail has been the most asked for lately.  Even though the thin rail has a more modern look, it is still a very traditional form.   Stay tuned for one with arms.  I have a new order for 4 of them.

Here are a few pics of recent benches.

photo by a PA client

6' Waltham Bench in Federal Blue- see Park Hyatt pic below

The federal blue 6' Waltham Bench can be seen at the Park Hyatt in Washington DC.  This color can look a bit gray blue in some light or electric vibrant blue in other light. The bench and three custom low back chairs are off to the left.
pic from park hyatt photographer
Enjoy the wet weather,

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Evolving Windsor Chair Designs at

My latest adaptation to the more modern of my Windsor chair designs is the addition of stretchers as a means of supporting the legs.  I will still offer the laminated leg supports but I was ready for a change.  All of my chair designs can be seen on my website here.  The legs and stretchers are rough turned on the lathe and then hand planed to the final shape on the shaving horse.


Enjoy the cool weather.  We have had a chilly week but temps should be more reasonable later this week.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

New Windsor Bench and Rocking Chair at

The last few years have been very busy in my shop.  I am starting to realize that I need some help. In the meantime, I have been plugging along and doing some of my best work. Here are two new designs that are adaptations of previous designs.

The New Waltham Side Chair Rocker which I also call the Musician's Rocker,  replaces my previous side chair rocker. The New Waltham seat is larger and more comfortable and the look works for me. You can see it here on my website.

Next up is my latest 3' Waltham Bench which this time has the thin crest rail which has been very popular over the last few years.  I originally thought that this design was impractical since it was so small but this one was for a mudroom and is a great place to get in and out of shoes as you place your bags or other stuff on the bench next to you.

Ziggy continues to entertain me in the shop.

Have a great holiday season.