Earlier today I worked out a bench prototype from the previous version that I’m fairly happy with. The interior designer I’m working through for the client is also ready for me to start cutting some wood.
I’ve added two arm rests that pull from the heavy slab look and the 10 degree angle plays out on a variety of elements of this design. The other adjustment is on the side pieces, that lost a significant amount of mass on this version.
This 1:5 scale bench design (actually 1:4.5) is from some scrap cherry, but the final piece will be in sapele. Dimensions are 60″ wide x 32″ tall x 20″ deep. The bench will use a combination of 6/4 and 10/4 thicknesses.
Still plenty to work through on methods of attachment, details and edges. Considering draw bore pins to keep everything in place over time on the major joinery elements, since it’s going to be exposed to the elements. And yes, I sanded the parts and sprayed some shellac on it. It reminds me of those miniature chairs you can buy from Design Within Reach.
I admit, I’m a horrible sketch artist, particularly when it comes to furniture design concepts. And I’ve been lazy to actually take the time to learn Google Sketch-Up. Shame on me. However, I have recently begun working on some 1:12 scale mock-ups for a commissioned bench project. I tend to work well with design concepts when I can touch and feel it.
The overall idea is to go with something that matches the customer’s preference for chunky, slab pieces, but not to make it look too heavy. I’ve got some pretty nice pieces of 10/4 and 6/4 ribbon sapele for the project, which should also weather well outside. So along with the usual design challenges, I also have to keep in mind that this piece, no matter what, has a limited lifespan living outside. Moisture changes and wood movement play into the overall design and construction strategy. Comfort is the other consideration – the customer is looking to sit and read the paper on this. Lots to think about for sure.
So a good part of this has included some back and forth with an interior designer, online research, and some help from publications like Jeff Miller’s Chairmaking and Design and old magazine … Read More »
Last Friday morning, close to two dozen woodworkers and wood enthusiasts descended upon a local wood source here in Cincinnati – Midwest Woodworking. The unassuming building from the outside houses some of the most impressive displays of wood hoarding and industrial equipment in the TriState region. Anyone present who had never visited Midwest WW had a glaze over their eyes in amazement. Here’s a Pinboard I’ve compiled of some of the sights from Midwest WW. The majority of pieces I’ve built in the last 4 years come from wood purchased there as well.
Chris Schwarz and I have written extensively about this goldmine as a source of materials for projects like the Anarchist’s Toolchest (perfect wide white pine) to his recent campaign furniture class that benefits from long, wide and clear South American Mahogany that would even make The Renaissance Woodworker look twice. My personal favorite is the sapele supply.
The owner of Midwest WW, Frank David has been out of commission lately due to some health issues, but he directed three of his employees remotely to run a morning of wood gluttony. For hours, folks dug through the decades old piles of mahogany, pine, sapele and walnut -pulling out boards as wide … Read More »
I recently wrapped up my latest project. It’s a TV console made from walnut and some sweet 5,000+ year old German Bog Oak veneer I got from Midwest Woodworking here in Cincinnati.
It sits 26″ tall and is 42″ wide x 20″ deep. The dovetailed case is nothing more than a larger version of my Traveling Anarchist’s Tool Chest flipped on it’s side. I laminated two pieces of 6/4 walnut together for each of the hand shaped legs. I went with a more organic feel to the legs to balance out the boxiness of the case. The sliding door panels each hold a Bog Oak veneer book matched panel.
The best part of this project was removing my 10 year old black vinyl laminated P.O.S. that held our TV before.
The panels also seem to match our carpet’s olive and brown tones as well – bonus.
I love wood, so anything 5,000 – 10,000 years old is bound to be pretty interesting. Woodworkers have a variety of options for materials to chose from that fall under the “ancient” variety. Whether you are using 1,000 year old-growth wood dug up from the bottom of a lake, or 50,000 year old giant Kauri logs from New Zealand bogs, they all tend to have some pretty interesting characteristics. Combine the anaerobic environment of a bog that halts the decomposition of organic matter, with a tree whose structure essentially sucks up the surrounding minerals (extractives), and you’re going to find some amazing wood.
My latest haul from Midwest Woodworking here in Cincinnati was from a stash of small veneer flitches of German “Sprecher” Bog Oak. The pieces were smaller than 24″ long and about 11″ at their widest, somewhat limiting, but perfect for my latest project. The natural color is simply spectacular. On one sheet alone, the outer portion of the tree is almost charcoal black, but then transitions in and out of olive, brown, tobacco and tans – all with the characteristic medullary rays you’d expect from quarter sawn oak. This wide variation in pigment figure may have been evident … Read More »