Posts

Project Log -- Beer Tap Handles Posted 06/20/2017

Image
My dear old friend from college owns a microbrewery and asked me to work with her to develop a new model for her tap handles.  We worked through a few designs and eventually we arrived at the prototype below.  The remainder of this post documents the process of filling the first order for 3.
The process starts by cutting the stylized tree foliage from pre-dimensioned walnut stock.  We considered using ironwood, but sourcing and expense dictates we use walnut for now.  Each blank is hand cut on a jigsaw and then shaped using files and abrasives until the shape is satisfying.  Because they are hand carved, each handle is unique.  For that reason, each handle has a serial number.  THese are numbers 001, 002 and 003.  The prototype was designated "P" and will remain with me as a model for all future handles.
 The next step is to create the handle and trunk piece.  The blanks below will need to be turned to dimension on a lathe to fit the ferrule on one end and the foliage piece…

Project Log - Historic Restoration - Updated 6/20/2017

Image
Well, it took a few years, but the great folks at Mount St. Mary's got back to me and I've been contracted to restore the entrance.  Mount St. Marys’ Condominiums in Hooksett, NH is a 100-year-old building with historical significance.  It has been a Monastery, a College and is now Condominiums.

My task will be to restore the entrance to the original color and finish. I had to research a number of other buldings in the Boston area by the same architect  (T. Edward Sheehan) to validate the original color and finish.   The project will begin this summer with the doors.  They are 2" thick and solid oak.  The remainder is planned for the summer of 2018. The entrance has been neglected for many years and the wood is severaly weathered.  Still, it's a towering and grand entrance way.  I'm really excited to be working on it. Here's a look at the weathering I'll be starting this one in Mid-June.  It will be worth following.

THE JOB BEGINS
On June 17th we started …

Project Log -- Display Cabinet -- Updated 6/20/17

Image
Here's another new cabinet project.  This time we have this lovely cabinet with an original finish, yellow paint.  The owner has requested that this be stripped and refinished to match their dining room set.  I think this is going to be one of my cooler projects because the woodwork is really nice and with a natural wood finish it's going to be a very dramatic piece.


A look at the brass hardware
Here's a detail view of the top trim.  
The first step with this piece is going to be dissassembly.  The door and side glass needs to come out before I start stripping.
All of the parts need to come off, to get access to all of the painted areas. Ready to strip
Lots of hardware Above I've removed all of the back panels and have begun the process of removing the old paint.  
Along with another project, the stripped parts are stacking up.   I've found some questionable carpentry on this piece.  I'll have to secure this joint better.
Working my way around stripping the ma…

Project Log -- Library Cabinet -- Update 6/20/17

Image
03/21/2017
I realize it's been awhile since I updated the blog, but it's not because I haven't been busy.  There just haven't been a lot of really interesting or unusual work.  Then this popped up.  Through Thumbtack I got an opportunity to work on this glass front book cabinet.  From a distance it looks like nicely figured oak, but on closer inspection . . .

. . . it becomes clear that the oak is a faux, painted on finish.  The owner and I discussed it and I discovered it's been in the family around 100 years.  I haven't been able to verify an age, but the owners believed that a grandparent or great grandparent purchased it from Sears somewhere around 1900.  

Reproducing the faux finish really wasn't a viable option, and the owner wanted to match it to the furniture in the room where they intend to use it, so we decided to remove the faux oak and replace it with a dark mahogany, assuming that the wood under the oak was suitable.

The cabinet is a little wo…

Looking for Suggestions -- Crib Closure Video

Looking for some help here.  Ideas to improve or redesign?  Leave them here or on Facebook.

Work in Progress -- Antique Writing desk

Image
This piece was painted black many years ago.  This enamel was stubborn and really gave me fits getting it out of the wood.
The piece was in really poor shape.  All of the joints were loose and it basically fell apart in my hands as I examined it the first time.  
The top piece was an unmatched piece of pine and I'm really not sure exactly how it was intended to work, but I went with the assumption the top would hinge open, so I had to get that back together and the get new veneer on it.

When I reassembled it, the frame pieces were warped, as was the pine center piece, I decided to fill the frame flush and top it with veneer.
 There was a lot of structural work to do after I got it stripped.


 So, here's how I applied the veneer.  First I had to select my pieces  Also, the filled section and the veneer had to be sealed to ensure that the  contact cement would adhere.  The next day, after sealing, I applied contact cement to both the top and the veneer and let the cement dry.  T…