Sunday, December 10, 2017

741 French Country E.X.T.E.N.S.I.O.N dining table - with two leaves

We designed and built this extension table for a local lady who LIVES to host lavish dinner parties, and who, in fact, had her small but very charming cottage remodeled and a wall removed just for the purpose of holding such parties among food-loving friends.  It was a 20-year, long term dream to have a custom table built for the purpose.  She participated in the design, and it was truly a pleasure to build this piece for her and her husband.  It seats 8 closed, and it opens to 11 feet 8 inches long with two leaves.
For flexibility, either one or two leaves can be used:  one is shown here.
And here it is closed, and at 94 in long and 36 inches wide, it fits in their rather narrow dining room and will sit 8 people.
The center opens here, at this joint.  All these details around the apron are carved by hand.
The leaves are fitted in this manner, and an attached breadboard borders each section of straights.  I love this look, and I think it gives the table a nice, clean, buckled-down look.  It reminds me of good leather work.  Our clients own a collection of hand blown tall stemware for serving wine, and they desired a perfectly flat table that did not have our usual slightly-uneven surface and slightly knobby pegs, which I thought was essential for an aged look.  So on this one, we took great care that the leaves fit flat and most importantly will remain so throughout the table's lifetime.
Here is a close view of the top boards.  When we delivered the piece our clients served us an espresso which we gladly drank (it was about 11:30 at night I think) and I spilled some on the table to baptize it.
Shown here is the finish sample we used to get this very unusual, cool mushroom aged finish.  At first our client did not see any finish samples in my collection that she liked.  "Too yellow".  But down in the bottom of the box was this random piece of old carving that looks as if its finish is almost completely worn off.  And that is how this terrific color was born, and it looks wonderful in that room and it shimmers under incandescent night lighting.  It is of course a living finish, and so it will be durable and water and wine and food-proof.  
An isometric view.  The finish is meant to look dull and a little dry.  
You can see on this end view that we like to leave some evidence of "hand".   All our work is hand done the old fashioned way - Buck cuts the legs on the bandsaw and then shapes and carves them with hand tools.  This is the only way we know to get the right look.   It leaves us with very subtle variations in the curves, size of beads and shapes of each volute.  
This table is available in many different finish choices, and we will work with you to determine what is the ideal length for you.  In the meantime, please get in touch with me (Suzanne) by email or phone at 503-816-5316.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

723 White harvest table with reclaimed Oregon barnwood top and an antique finish

This one is an original design by us, and was built, finished and shipped to a family in Georgia.
All of these shapely elements on the base are hand carved.  Solid poplar base is hand shaped with a scalloped apron and hand carved bead; Aprons are gently slanted outward and curved so that the transition into the leg is graceful and fluid.
Top is reclaimed Oregon barnwood that has been given a nice medium warm tobacco finish.
Here is what this barn wood looked like "before", while under construction in the shop.  The large patch was placed there to eliminate three awkward defects in that board, which was otherwise good.
Here is another view of this barn wood.  The antique texture and color will have to be replicated over the edges which have been shaped with a router.  The top will have to be cleaned, smoothed, hardened and colored without losing the rustic qualities of the original wood.
A close view of the resulting top.
Here is a close view of the end in the "under construction" phase showing how the apron tilts forward at the smile and joins the leg in a nice smooth swoop.
And with many layers of distressed paint.  We started with a light olive, then a heavy bodied dove grey and followed with a Swedish white. 
A close view of the end.
Showing contrast of this gentle, warm off white with the pure white background.  This table can be ordered in any size / color combination, with a natural top or a painted one.  We can also do a solid alder natural base and natural top.  The size shown here is 38 x 108 x 30h, and this is a great size and an elegant shape, and here is a link to order.  

Friday, October 20, 2017

714 Extension table for a banquette in a small California home

Here's one we designed, built, and finished for a couple in California with a small house and an eating nook.  It is a 56 inch long table which accepts (4) 5-inch wide leaves.  The leaves are placed in the ends here, on top of pull-out arms, and these fit together in tongue-and-groove fashion, as you can see between the breadboards and main top.
This is what it looks like without leaves.  56 in long x 38 wide is a strange looking size, but the piece was built for function, and once it was placed in its proper context, I was surprised at how natural it looked.  A perfect solution for someone who likes the simple look of straight tapered legs.
The end view, showing a very large side overhang.  This shape is essential for a built-in banquette, especially one built in an L configuration.  It is impossible to get a traditional four legged table (with normal sized overhangs) to work next to a banquette, due to the necessity of sliding the body in and out of a bench seat.  This is why pedestal and trestle forms are typically used in that scenario.  When we scooted the legs inward, we didn't know how it would look.  There's a precedent for this sort of shape in Shaker design, but the aprons are usually quite a lot wider, which we wanted to avoid due to the potential of knee-banging.  In the end, I was surprised at how much I liked this form.
A view of the entire top, showing all four leaves in place.  This is solid alder, and we have colored and distressed the piece so that it looks old.  The husband lived in England and knew what authentic tables were supposed to look like.
A closer view of one corner of the top, showing texture and color.  The target sample for this piece was a small bit of carving which had been collecting dust in my workshop.  The finish was all worn off and the little piece looked dry and very old.  It is tricky to get a fully coated penetrating finish to read like an old dried up bit of millwork, but we did the best we could.
The resulting color became one of my favorite new looks.
A 3/4 view
And here it is, placed in its proper context next to the built in bench.  Harry approves and has apparently claimed it as his.  Isn't this a nice spot?  Light and bright and cozy all at the same time.  
If your cat would prefer such a table as this, here is a link to pricing for this length / width.  Please get in contact with us for other sizes or designs.  We are happy to talk with you about what works in your home. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

683 Custom millwork for a house on Cannon Beach

A fun project for a house on Cannon Beach, Oregon.  Custom guardrail and handrail for this bright second floor "aerie" which sits way above the ocean and looks south toward that picturesque haystack rock.  The floor is roasted white oak.  No stain or dye was added to the floor - this is the natural color of oak when it gets roasted. 

Here's a drawing of the center medallion.  There were quite a few drawings that got presented for this project, and a lot of mental gymnastics that went into the structural parts and tie-ing our work into the house.  This was not my favorite design, but it was approved, because of the nautical look to the center motif.  

Matching handrail securely buckled to the wall using these painted end caps.  The lower rail is fastened to the studs through several bronze tubes, and the fasteners are capped by chiseled square oak pegs.  The top rail is fastened to the lower rail using the same bronze tubing, and this provides a nice smooth graspable rail with no interruptions all the way up.  At the very bottom of this stairway is a French oak interior door we built for the house as well.  

 For our rail cap, the oak was selected to have the most quartersawn figure, since it's up near eye level.  The painted parts below have several good sturdy coats of acrylic paint in a deep charcoal to match the house trim.  The light is a curiosity at the beach - this is a very very deep charcoal, almost black, but the color reads like a much lighter blue grey here.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

672 Hand-Painted Faux Tortoiseshell cabinet back

Antique oak cabinet top to which we added a hand painted faux tortoise shell decorative back.

Showing entire back, unobstructed by shelves.

The plan for this piece is to use it as a liquor cabinet, storing drinks and fancy glassware.  

Close view:  it's a multiple-layer finish which begins with thick layers of yellow and ivory paints which I coax into randomly crackling and cratering

This is followed by layers of glazes and lacquers containing all of the "burbly-wurblies"

Has a medium sheen - some gloss but not garish.  Finished up with a layer of crackle lacquer for plenty of interesting texture.  

Deep and complex and surprisingly neutral in appearance despite the strong egg yolk yellows.  A daily Rorschach test - what do you see in the pattern?  Links coming soon for purchase.  In the meantime, please use the "contact me" button on the top right of this blog for any questions about this.  Many, many potential ideas:   cabinet backs / mirror frames / decorative drawer fronts / door panels / anything that can be worked flat is fair game, and finish samples are available by mail.  Thanks for reading!  

Friday, July 29, 2016

666 Cherry cabinet for Vinyl Record collection storage

Dimensions 57.75 x 20.25 x 49.5 h.   A friend of ours who is a music lover commissioned this cabinet from us to store his vinyl record collection.  He and his sweetheart are setting up their household together and this is their first "significant purchase" as a couple and also their first commissioned piece.  

Built from cherry solids and veneer and given a rich finish that shows off the cherry chatoyance.  There's a lot of color on this piece, but it's mostly dye which will allow the nuances of the grain to show through.  It was meant to be vibrant.  This finish method could easily be applied to any other pristine natural piece such as a round table, or other furniture - and can be done in other colors or other species.  

End view showing grain.    As a clearcoat, this has a non crust, penetrating finish (Waterlox, satin) applied using my own method.

Drawer interior:  divided down the center
Stores two stacks of records, face-out, side by side, record-store fashion.  Drawers are 16.75 in deep.

Heaviest-duty undermount full extension slides were used - as each drawer is expected to hold 90 pounds of weight.  
Couple more photos showing how this drawer setup works in practicality

And it is fastened to the wall for safety so won't tip.  Thanks for reading - Here's a link for PRICING & AVAILABILITY -- and please use the contact button on the top right column here if you have any questions about this piece.  

Saturday, December 26, 2015

642 Best farmhouse table ever

Classically-proportioned farmhouse table newly built by us with an authentic rustic finish.  We love the extra wide gently shaped aprons on this one.

This one has pegged joints and a breadboard end -- shown with the finish sample.

As always, finish samples are sent to you for selection in your own home and lighting - finishing is done to match the selection, shown here clamped to the top.

Meant to have a very heavily distressed look.

Close study of real antique finishes reveals that the most soulful finishes are those with plenty of subtle color variation.

There are no shortcuts - this finish is achieved by a very labor-intensive 35 step process.

Another piece of like ilk but slightly different color

A series of pictures follows which shows breadboard construction method in our shop.