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!"