Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cherry Trestle Bench

A client asked for a trestle bench to go with my Trestle Dining Table.   It was impossible to scale the trestle structure down exactly as it would be much too weak but I was able to incorporate many of the  details that the table has.   The edge treatment for the top and base is the same as that of table.    The bench needs to be very strong as it is under more stress than a table with perhaps more than 300lbs of leaning, shifting, scooting humans at each meal.    The backless design also works well as sitters can climb in and out from the back without  the need to scoot the whole bench out.  
My exposed bed bolt design makes for a very sturdy trestle to beam joint.  The joint also has a glued mortice and tenon. 

The trestles are constructed with wedged, through tenons top and bottom. Very strong.

Steel hold down clips keep the top attached to the base.  I had  these made by Rob Grant, a local machinist who has helped my out in the past with other metal work needs.  

Robert Grant or Orwell, Vermont made the hold down hardware for me.  He works fast and delivers them in a nice little wooden box.

Everything in place. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Evan's Table

the table looks more orange here than in reality but cherry is very light when it is new. It will darken with age.

This is the Boat Top Table that I just made for a friend of mine from college.  The time consuming part of this table is due to the curved aprons that follow the same curve at the sides of the top.   First the aprons must be laminated into a curve and then the tenons that join them to the legs must be cut.  I suppose if I made this table all the time, I would have set up a jig to do this joint on a machine but since the last time I made this table was in 1999,  I did the joints by hand.  Planning is critical because I needed a large flat area in which to lay out the joint and to cut the joint.  The table top was perfect for this.   It allowed both ends of the curved apron to lay on the same plane so that they could be marked square to each other.
a solid plank is sawn into thin flitches which are laid out here for glueing.

the flitches are clamped over a form that I made in 1999 and have not used again until now. I was lucky to still have it.

the glued apron coming off of the form.
the rough lumber for the table top
final glue up of the table top

Two glued up aprons

set up to cut the shoulders of the tenons for the joint to the legs
the saw runs along the clamped scrap piece to make a nice straight cut. The tenon shape can be seen  marked on the side of the curved apron.

after the saw cut is made, the tenon is sized with a rabbet plane.

the curved apron joined to the legs

the rough table top glue up is made even with a hand plane, planing across the joints until they are all even

after rough sawing the shape, the top is propped in place so that the edges can be made true with a hand plane.

the ends are also planed smooth with a hand plane

sometimes other small jobs need doing.  my guitar was dropped on the input plug and a hole was punched through the side.  I glued on a cherry patch to reinforce the area.

a string of large rubber bands make great clamps

reinforcing corner braces and a center cross piece are added for strength

the table top os held in place with wooden buttons that allow for seasonal movement

and there we are

And,  in case you were wondering, the guitar is all fixed and working nicely.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Waltham Rocker w/ Thin Crest Rail

This latest variation of my chairs is my Waltham Rocker with a thin crest rail instead of the traditional crest rail.  I like them both but I have to say that this thin rail fits my minimal early American sensibilities.

These two were requested by a client who had seen my Waltham Rockers at the Park Hyatt in Washington D.C. 

Below are a few more shots of this chair.

Diving in Lake Champlain yesterday.
Enjoy the great weather.


Monday, September 1, 2014

New Windsor Chair Design and Happy Labor Day

Well I am finally getting to the end of a big backlog of work.  I had many chairs that are over-due but they are finally all built have been shipped.
One Cod Rib Rocker went to Germany.
8 New Waltham Arm Chairs and a Cod Rib Rocker went to Washington state.
2 Waltham Arm Chairs and a 5' Waltham Bench went to Missouri.
1 New Waltham office chair went to Ohio.

And this latest design went to Nova Scotia, Canada.

It is an adaptation of my New Waltham Arm Chair.  Most of my new designs come about by way of requests from customers.   This client requested a tall fan back and an arm rail with straight ends instead of the rounded ends that I usually do on my Waltham chairs.  I am very happy with how it looks and it is very comfortable.

Here is a note from the client that I just got after the chair made it there.

"Thought to let you know the chair arrived in great shape, and I am enjoying and loving it as I write this. Many thanks for making this beautiful chair."

I am calling it the Tall New Waltham Arm Chair as it has a back that is 10 inches taller than the regular arm chair.  This one also has a minimal arm rail without the round 'hands' that my regular chairs have at the end of the arm rail.  Click here to see this chair on my website.

It is Labor Day , so I hope to get out on the water sailing today and not to work. This from a few days ago.

Yesterday I finally took some time to dig into my 1946 Massey Ferguson tractor that has been sitting since early last winter when the water pump self destructed.  There is always some project that needs doing.

Enjoy the Day.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Early Summer Workshop Update

The Trestle Table w/ leaves six New Waltham Side chairs and a New Waltham Side Chair Rocker were finally delivered to California a week or so ago.  Things are still cranking along though.  Eight New Waltham Arm Chairs that are bound for Washington state will be getting their last couple coats of oil.  One Cod Rib Rocker that goes with that order, should be constructed today and a second one that is bound for Germany is coming together nicely.  With that will be a custom new Waltham Arm Chair that will have a tall back and no 'hands' on the arm rail.
Closely following that is a 5' Waltham Bench and two Waltham Arm Chairs that are bound for a spa in MO,  The parts are all roughed out for these so they won't be long.

I have been coaching my son's soccer team this spring and our final games are this weekend.  It has been fun but it will be good to have that time back.

Next up will be 4 New Waltham Side Chairs going to New Jersey.  These go together relatively quickly so should not be too long.

I just visited The Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont where I have a couple of rockers and sat in my Cod Rib Rocker.  That really is a comfortable rocker.  It has a very long smooth rock.  I don't have one so it has been a while since I have sat in one.
One of the Cod Rib Rockers going together.
windsor side chair rocker
The New Waltham Side Chair Rocker that went out to CA.  It is small for a rocker but very comfortable. It sits more upright than normal rockers so it can be used at the dining table or desk.

Daughter, C, with some colors of early summer.  I could tell you what the flowers are but I'd have to ask someone.  I just like the way they look.

Looking from the back yard to my shop.  I love this time of year.

double size windsor chair
I made a double size version of my Waltham Side Chair this spring for a PR event for the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. No, that is not photoshop at work.

Son, Ben, at work sanding floor boads for the new project boat. They are all painted now and ready for the boat that I have not had time to touch. Ben is a great worker when I can wrangle him to help.

Siri being hauled off of the trailer and flipped by my family.  Reunions are useful.

Mom and Dad sitting on one of my 5' Waltham Benches at my brother's house.

Trestle Table w/ leaves
The Trestle Table w/ leaves attached, that went to CA recently.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Work Schedule- It is not Amazon.

I am finding myself a bit behind at the moment.  A bunch of new orders came in at the end of last summer and fall.
Here are a few shots showing the leaf edge that mates to the end of my Trestle Table w/leaves.  I use an antique molding plane to make the concave edge.  This is just another example of details that cannot be made by pushing wood over a power tool. The extension portion of this table has set my schedule back a bit so I want to apologize if this has caused any inconvenience to my other clients who are waiting for their work.

There do not seem to be many businesses like mine these days.  One person, just getting work done as it comes. At times, I am right on schedule but other times a job takes longer than expected and I do understand that that can be frustrating.  Today we (myself included) expect to a quick response from those we contact or place orders with.  
I have learned though that those who work on their own live with a different time structure.

I just contacted a sawer about buying a live edge slab of walnut and I did not hear back for about a week.  I almost completely forgot that I had contacted him when I did eventually get an answer.

I have one supplier of sand paper who I have never spoken to.  I have worked with them for the last 16 years or so.  I used to leave a phone message (they never answered) and a week or so later I would get my stuff.  It always made me nervous since they never acknowledged that they had received my order until I got it.  Now, I order by email but the same rule applies. No response.  Sometimes they email to say that it has shipped.  Sometimes not. The trust factor is interesting and satisfying that it works.  This supplier has been a welcome mystery in my life.


So, this is what I have next on the schedule.

Currently shaping seats-   8 New Waltham arm chairs for the state of Washington

Just glued up seats for -  

1- New Waltham side chair rocker for California
1- Custom desk Chair for Nova Scotia
2- Cod Rib Rockers- one for Washington state and one for Germany

Then a Cod Rib Arm Chair for MA, 4 New Waltham Side Chairs for NJ, a dining table for MA,  2 Waltham Rockers for RI, and a Low Post Bed for ME.

The finished concave surface.
A bit to my chagrin, these latest posts about this table have netted some interest.  I have recently received three inquiries about this Trestle Table.  Hopefully, I will move a little faster on the these next tables since it is fresh in my mind.  Orders seem to come in bunches.  I did a few beds last fall, then it was benches, then a gaggle of chairs and now the tables are having their turn.

Raining today.  A good day to grind out chair seats.