17 Dec

Modern Rustic Farm Table

Modern Rustic Farm TableToday I delivered this 3″ x 6″ modern rustic farm table. The client gave me a picture of what she wanted and the dimensions of the table top and let me run with it.

The top is made of beech salvaged from a barn in Ohio and the legs are made from poplar timbers salvaged from a barn in Alabama. Both are beautiful with many natural features and color variations.

The beech lumber used for the top was planed, biscuit joined, sanded and finished with penetrating tung oil. A few larger imperfections were filled with wood filler before sanding. The legs were planed square, cut to length, and finished with tung oil. The aprons were cut from the same lumber as the top and attached with glue and sunken wood screws.

Hanger bolts were used to attach the legs to corner cut outs in the top. Corner supports were attached to the apron with glue and wood screws.

This project was very enjoyable and I am looking forward to seeing the client’s rustic kitchen redo she plans to build around this table.

12 Nov

Tractor Stool Rides High

Tractor Stool from Desing Within ReachNew to the Design Within Reach catalog is the Tractor Stool Collection made from top-grade American walnut and inspired by old-timey tractor seats.

I love the mixture of straight lines and subtle curved seat carved out of a block of black walnut. The finish looks supremely natural and will likely age very well. In the two taller versions the footrest is covered in black leather.

I am tempted to give this type of wood shaping a try in my workshop, but it looks like alot of work to get the seat curved in the right places. And the pressure to get it right would be significant because you know a block of nice wood like that would not be cheap.

As much as I love these, I will not be buying them for my home. The price is $1130 for the short one and it goes up as the stool gets taller. Best I can do is maybe to try it for myself with a lesser species of wood.

01 Aug

Coastal Living Idea House Toasted by Lightning

One of the coolest Idea Houses I worked on is now toast. Lightning started a massive fire that burnt the River Dunes, NC home to the ground earlier this month. It is a such a waste of a gorgeous home.

Saddest thing to me is that the 4′ x 7′ red oak dining table that was custom built from old barn timbers was presumably also destroyed by the fire. It was a beautiful piece—pardon my prejudice—that I really enjoyed building. You can see more pictures of the table here and there is a shot of it in the news video above.

12 Feb

Chair Caning Help

There is a new DVD set on Chair Caning that I wish was around when I was teaching myself to restore chair seats. The four DVD set ($79.99) covers the 7-step method, pre-woven cane, fibre rush, and splint-type weaving. If you only are interested in one aspect of seat weaving, you can buy any individual DVD ($24.99).

As for books, I can personally recommend Seat Weaving by Ricky Holdstock and Chair Seat Weaving for Antique Chairs by Marion Burr Sober. The former is a great resource with lots of pictures. The later is a 64 page booklet with line drawing diagrams, glossary, and easy to follow instructions for hand caning, rush weaving, splint weaving, and Shaker tape weaving.

Here are some online resources for instruction:

06 Jun

Virginia College is Class Act

Just received a thank you letter from the Birmingham Symphony Decorator Show House Design Team. The Virginia College students have learned their lessons well and listened to their mothers instructions on etiquette.  They were great to work with for starters and now they have proven themselves gracious and well mannered. Below is the text of the letter.

The 2009 Designer Show House has come to a successful close. The entire Design Team from Virginia College would like to thank you for your willingness to help us achieve our goal of creating an interesting and inviting playroom in our assigned space. We would not have been able to create our vision without the generosity of supporters like yourself, especially during these trying economic times.

The room was a child’s “Enchanted Forest” playroom and the gorgeous handmade cabinet you loaned us was the perfect addition to the room. Not only was it the correct size but was beautifully handcrafted and received many favorable comments on the quality.

Once again thank you very much for loaning the cabinet to our effort, it helped to make our room a popular and well-liked living space. We look forward to patronizing your business in the near future.

Yours truly,

2009 Design Team

Virginia College students are a class act.