Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Heavy Cherry Trestle Table

The opportunity to make a big, heavy cherry table became the opportunity to meet (arguably) the best specialty supplier of cherry from the heart of the Appalachian forests (on the PA and NY boarder): Max Greeley of Rawood. It wasn't easy to find cherry slabs big enough so that two, book matched, would be able to make up the 44" x 102" top. Max has all sorts of amazing stuff.
A stack of big cherry logs to be milled.Here are the two slabs for the top as part of the ten foot long boule cut log.

The slab flattening process: a floating router that slides on rails. This contraption is part of the amenities available at The Urban Tree Forge - the big studio where I rent shop space.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ellipse-fest 2010: Brought to you by Archimedes

I'm making several ellipses, each a different size, as parts for a dining table. Enter the trammel of Archimedes.

Here it is in action

With this trammel, the X and Y dimensions are adjustable to allow for endless variation in size and shape of ellipse.
In place of the pencil, will be a router for cutting out the shapes.

Something about precise geometry really gets my neurons firing.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Inlay Outreach

This low cabinet has been a spare-time-filler ... for about 2 years.

Now I have an incentive to complete it: I have an opportunity to show it in a store-front-turned-gallery space during the Three Rivers Arts Festival as part of an Urban Tree Forge collective show. You can see it and other pieces at 929 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.

It's made of Peruvian walnut with wenge inlay.

Here's a shot of the inlay progressing:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The story of my stool sample

Continuing with the Salt restaurant stuff- I was asked to make a prototype of the stool to see just how much abuse it will be able to take. I used some oak from trees that had to be taken down from Riverview Park here in Pittsburgh.

These logs were procured and milled by Urban Tree Forge. I rent shop space from them and therefore have access to a bunch of urban lumber.

Here is the bookmatched set of boards that will make the stool
Here are the parts glued up:
If this was a one off I might do the dovetails by hand. Because I'll eventually be making 36 of these at once, I'll use the dovetail jig to speed things up.

A good fit.

I added a dowel near the bottom and a two inch wide piece of wood across the bottom of the seat from side to side to prevent racking.

Here it is all glued, sanded and coated with a post-cat lacquer. For a minimal additional cost, I could add my patented "Gum-guard" chewing gum resistant undercoating. It's a pretty sweet deal.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Salt of the Earth Restaurant project

Wunderchef Kevin Sousa is opening a restaurant: Salt of the Earth. I'm happy to be able to contribute to the function and look of the place. I've been working with him and architects Doug and Liza Cruze on designs for three large communal tables and seating.

The tables are going to be monoliths of white oak and steel. One of the main objectives was to allow flexibility in how the seating can be grouped. The area under the tables are going to be completely open thanks to a steel substructure strengthening the thirteen and a half foot span. The edges of the tables will be joined with dovetails.