Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Projects done for LePigeon restaurant prove durability

Shown is a set of two communal tabletops we built for LePigeon restaurant.

We rebuilt and refinished this solid walnut top as well.  The idea was to test the farmhouse finishes we had developed in a rather severe setting, where they would get heavily used.
Love this illustration by Chad Crowe.  This pretty much sums up the experience.  It's a pretty lively place and no one has time to fuss with furniture.
The tops were hand planed and the ridges left by the planing tended to wear; however stains and glass rings remain absent.  The tables retain this naturally worn appearance years later with little to no supplemental care.
We also built and finished this large antiqued mirror with antiqued copper leaf frame.  A chemically antiqued mirror was chosen so as to reflect light but not be too harsh.

Andy and Gabe were GREAT to work with.
They wanted another one for Little Bird Bistro.   Upstairs, it got a BIG table top.  The guys decided that during banquets it could serve as a banquet table and at other times it could...
Could... what??

Hang on the wall!  

605 Mirrored Treillage, antique finish

A mirrored treillage 75 x 80 inches brightens up a darker porch in Portland.
There are several layers of paint:  deep brown followed by rust then gunmetal, and given a distressed, chalky, aged finish.
These sections come apart and this middle section here lifts off the glass so that the glass can be easily cleaned.
Showing chippy chalky charcoal paint at base.
Here is one of the key pictures inspiring the project.

A few of the sketches.  The challenge was getting the mirror to be at face height.
Me, working on this in the shop.
Built of solid cedar.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

607 Captured Live-Edge

607 - Unique in the industry, a "captured live-edge" dresser features solid panels joined on the vertical

Designed by me and built by Buck for a friend / colleague.  51 L x 24 w x 65 1/2 h.   A departure from our usual but we are  totally comfortable with this style and medium.  This piece in our opinion begs to sit alongside an entire body of work.

The woods used are Oregon Walnut on the dark side, and Oregon Myrtle on the light side.  Eastern Walnut top and base.

Right side.
Here it shows some of  the crazy boards we used for this project.  These were all considered "seconds" and not much better than throwaway wood.  Thicknesses varied widely within each board from one end to another, and there were some unusable places that had to be cut away.  The dresser was built as a demonstration of the fact that curvy boards can be used and joined together just as they are, in order to save massive amounts of wood from being wasted.  Normally, curved boards are considered waste and are burned or chipped.  Unfortunately, the sawmill in this case decided to at least attempt to get these boards somewhat linear, and therefore cut off parts that we might have considered prime.
Playing with the beginnings of a rough layout.
The finished piece stayed true to the original idea, as well it should.  (Unless Suzie changes her mind)
A stack of the final boards, rough-cut.
It was my bright idea to have the "wild" corner look as if there was a tree growing up the side.  Toward this end, a single board wraps the corner.  Having solid boards arranged perpendicular to the long edges of the drawer is quite technically challenging. 
Isn't this figure wild?  All the colors are natural and unaltered, except for oiling the wood with multiple coats of penetrating finish.  It shows how much variegation we can expect in our lovely native Oregon Walnut.
This shows the joint between the walnut side and the lighter Oregon Myrtle side.
The wildest place on the Oregon Walnut side.  Does it look like a kiss?
In comparison with the Oregon walnut on the front and side, the Eastern walnut (top and base) is relatively tame.  We used this lovely Eastern walnut deliberately on the feet and top, to "frame" the wild picture in between and to visually ground and stabilize the piece.
A drawer front showing a cross section of the joint; a tight tongue and groove.  Joints on the thicker top are double tongue and groove but unfortunately don't show very much because of the darkness of the wood.
Drawer construction:  We decided that slips of raw steel made the perfect pulls.  These are finished so they don't rub off black onto clothes, but as much of the patina was left as possible.
View showing pulls, front, and top. 

From a bird's perspective, the top appears lighter than the front, but from normal human viewing angles the top and the feet are equally dark and the front is a bit lighter.  This picture shows the curvilinear joints of the top.  Each of these is a double tongue and groove joint.  Some are rather radically curved such as the joint that goes careening around one of the knots toward the back.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

633 Enormous table for Brown Design Group

Another lovely table newly made to order by us with an antiqued finish.  
This one is 11 feet long and 4 feet wide (30 in h.) and is a bespoke order for a client in LA.
The size of the legs was carefully considered - a delicate look was desired and yet they needed to be sturdy enough to support what turned out to be a fairly heavy top, braced from within to support a delicate looking but very substantial cutaway apron.
NO SAG over 11 feet

It was also necessary to reinforce the legs using a steel tension rod, inlaid into the back of the leg where the stress would be the greatest.  A strip of wood is then inlaid over this to hide the brace. 
Shaping the leg
Much time and care was taken in the finish to get this color, which is on the darker side, to show plenty of sunshine

Pictures of the top and apron show round pegs and "cracks" and "gaps" between boards.  All of these cracks and gaps are done for antique effect.
Close view of "cracks" and a spline between each board at the ends.

fake worm holes, fake cracks, fake wear and tear
Of course it gets a living finish so its family can relax and enjoy eating without worry!