Woodworking & projects

Dining Room Table
Long story, but basically, we bought a dining set with 6 chairs and a table with a damaged table top. On purpose. ;-)  I ordered a glue-up of 6/4 cherry from New England Hardwood- 80” x 38”. Larger than the original, and as big as we can fit in our smallish dining room. There will be a leaf too, another 18” or so. Lots of sanding, lots of finishing, lots of rubbing out the finish with pumice and parafin oil. About 2 1/2 months, with a week of vacation and a week of travel thrown in. The full photo gallery is here. I think it was worth it.

Silvertone remount
My brother plays guitar- he recently rediscovered an old tube amp- a Sears Silvertone, to be precise, that he had when he was a kid. It had been mounted in a cheesy plywood box, and he decided he wanted to make it a new home- something a little classier. So we designed a replica of a classic Fender Tweed amp/speaker combo. MDF, Fender tweed, Ox blood speaker cloth, Silvertone amp and speaker, asstd hardware. Way too many pictures on this one- click here for the photo gallery. I can’t take all the credit for this- he did much of the work.

Kitchen Cabinets
When we moved into our house, we knew we needed a hood for ventilation. It just took us a few years to get around to it. ;-)  I made a few renderings to test out various designs and finishes- luckily we were able to find a laminate that was a close match for our existing (mid ‘70s) cabinets. 3/4 maple plywood, laminate. To see some of that process, click on the picture, or here.

LCD Monitor
My company used to build LCD monitors, but we’re out of that business now. I picked up a panel, the asociated electronics, and a bunch of mounting arm samples when we cleaned up. As it turns out, I never change the height or angle, so I could have made a fixed base. The wood is an exotic- I picked up a single small piece while buying some other wood from a dealer. This project pretty much used it up, but I think is was a good fit. The computer is in the living room, so appearences are important. The backplate is from an old plotter.

Portable Pavilion
My wife needed a booth to do her massage therapy from. Rather than buy something, I figured I could make one pretty easily- epsecially if I bought a pneumatic brad nailer! Any project where you get to buy a new tool is a good project!! This is one of four identical corners that are tied together with long rails around the top. The grills in the middle are half lap joints, glued and nailed, and then fit into grooves in the uprights Built from decking mahogany, unfinished. Click the image for more pictures.

Computer Table, 2nd Grade Classroom
When I visited my sons classroom, I saw that they had three computers that were placed on two desks that were tie-wrapped together, with the middle user straddling the tied legs. I offered to build them a new table. The dimensions were fixed by the location in the room, and it was a facilities requirement that all new furniture be on wheels to facilitate cleaning. I tried to make a design that would create three separate spaces in the limited length of the table. I also made it a knock-down design. The legs unbolt from stubs on the tabletop, and the cross brace unscrews.This was the first time that I crossed over my 3D hobby with my wood working hobby- it allowed me to play with the proportions and curves until I was happy with the overall effect. Constructed from multiple layers of plywood. Finished with formica.Click the thumbnails for more pictures.

Tansu Style Cabinets
Another wedding present- inspired by the step-style tansu cabinets of Japan. Designed to hold oversize books and games. The two cabinets are mirror images- they can be set this way, with an inner step, or swapped to create an outer step. Each cabinet has two flipper doors on the bottom two shelves. Birch plywood, birch edging. Mahogany detailing on the doors, maple kick board. Water based poly finish. The picture is assembled from two snap shots taken in a small room- sorry!

Cherry Coffee Table
This was built as a wedding present for my best friend. The construction is very similar to the boot changing bench above- the legs are mortised into a thick top, and then a framework is built to the legs. The drawer slides in either direction to allow access from both sides. Solid cherry throughout, except for the drawer pull which is purpleheart. Tung oil and oil based poly finish. Click thumbnail for more pictures.

Book Shelves
The criteria for these book shelves was that they be inexpensive (competitive with metal shelf standards), quick to build, easy to install. Uprights and standards are oak. A single 1/2" dowel pins each standard to the upright. A piece of 60 grit sandpaper is contact cemented to the flat of the standard to prevent the shelves from slipping off. (Not recommended for California) The shelves are birch plywood with iron-on veneer edging on all visible edges.

Cookbook Stand
This is the second incarnation of a basic cookbook stand. I built the original several years ago- it was put together with screws into endgrain, and didn't collapse for storage. Eventually it simply collapsed permanently. This model addresses the size issue- the leg folds into a groove in the back to allow for easier storage. Overall the construction and design is pretty clean. Curly maple, Plexiglas. Tung oil. Click thumbnails for more pictures.

Aquarium Cabinet
This aquarium stand holds a standard 55 gallon tank on top, three 10 gallon tanks underneath, and has storage space under the copper lined plant annex on the left. The cabinet doors have no visible handles to discourage small hands- I installed magnetic child-proof latches on them. I built the hood to house four 40 W fluorescent tubes. What is visible is actually just a skin, inside is a frame of 2x4's to bear the weight. Maple, rosewood veneer, copper. Water based poly, tung oil.

Aquarium Stand
Boot bench

Click the picture (or here) for more pics.

Boot Changing Bench
Our home has a narrow front hallway which we partially floored with slate. The bench was born out of the inconvenience of sitting on the floor to change between inside and outside footwear. I found some two inch thick oak, but it wasn't quite wide enough, so I laminated in some maple. I designed the support structure to have an Oriental feel- and to have enough space above the stretcher to hold the "inside" shoes. There are many subtle angles in the support structure, which intimidated me into letting the project languish for some time. What I finally ended up doing was ignoring all the calculated angles and just building to by eye and feel-- no plan. I was surprised and pleased with how well it went together. Blind mortise and tenons, halflaps. Oak and maple, Tung oil finish.

Jewelry Chest
I like this piece as much for the history of its materials as I do for how it came out. A friend and I were making a trip to the home improvement center when we spotted an old electric organ on the curb with the garbage. We completed our trip, then returned and picked it up. At home, I filled a garbage can with old and dusty organ guts, but ended up with a small collection of mahogany, some solid, some veneered, and several maple footpedals. The carcase is mahogany with one strip of maple. The drawers are maple, and the pulls are carved mahogany. Hand cut dovetails, recycled molding, and velvet lined drawers. Finished with tung oil.

Jewelry chest. Click for more pictures

Click the picture (or here) for more pics.

Kids Foot Stool
The stool was a request from a relative with a three year old who wanted to be a little bit taller. It is very stable, and I like the way it looks, but it is really too heavy to be moved around by a small child. Half lap joints, bridle, blind mortise and tenons. Oak and maple, water based poly.

Recycling rack

The Recycle Rack
This is one of the first things I built. When our town instituted curbside recycling, we started out with three paper bags on the floor in the kitchen. Effective, but not very attractive. The bag concept worked, but I wanted more organization, a smaller footprint, and a better appearance. Thus was born this rack. Wedged through mortise and tenon, half lap joints. 3/4 poplar, stained brown on the uprights, water based poly over all.

[Wood] [Jewelry Box] [Boot Bench] [Cook Book Stand] [Coffee Table] [Computer Table] [Pavilion] [Kitchen Cabinets] [Silvertone] [Dining Table]