Stu's Table; Part 1

This whole time I've been toiling away with Warren's Walnut Console (which is in the finish room right now), Stu has been patiently awaiting progress updates and pictures of his table (which has been equally active in the shop).

It's going to be a beautiful table!  Stu and I have been communicating for quite some time working together to develop the perfect living room table for he and his wife.  They have a very clear vision for how it will be used in their home and we worked together to come up with a really nice piece.  I enjoy working with Stu, and I'll be a little sad when this project is done.

It's solid cherry, and such a lovely shade of pink right now - I hope he sends me pictures in a few months as that cherry starts to darken naturally to the stunning red mature cherry furniture is known for. 

I plan to glue the table up Saturday, need Nick's help since the lower shelf needs to be part of the glue process as the fit is too tight to work it in after assembly.  I really don't like to do glue-ups solo... The stakes are too high. 

Here are some progression photos of the project:

Rough cut layout; getting the colors right... 

Dryfit:  The first assembly after all joinery is cut. Checking fit and square before I scrape and sand parts.  I can now get some final dimensions for the lower shelf and drawers. 

Stu and his wife had a particular drawer pull design they liked.  I'd never seen it before and it really is quite pretty so I made those yesterday.  Here's the pictorial process of how I made them:   (they were a fun little project)

I need 3/4" thick cherry for these pulls; this is cutoff stock from the lower shelf.  In this photo I am milling the stock to thickness.

The pulls are 3/4" thick by 1" tall; original stock is now ripped to 1".

Fun with the router table; a 1/2" deep and wide cove finger hold, a 3/8" radius on the front, and a 1/8" radius on the back gets the stock ready.

Cuts to length and end profiles traced on.

Have I mentioned that the band saw is one of my favorite tools?

Pulls are ready: finished sanded to a silky 320 grit.  I made a couple extra, just in case...

Warren; in the homestretch...

The last week has been really fun working with all this walnut.  Love me some walnut...

Assuring random color and widths throughout the assembled piece.  Measure thrice, cut once...

Warren's console came along nicely last week.  There's something about working with walnut that is almost zen-like for me. I just love working with it, the color, the smooth way it cuts, it's heavenly smell, it works with hand tools beautifully...  When you clean the rough boards up it's like unwrapping a gift to see what you get, then when you oil the boards for the first time it's like unwrapping another gift... 

Okay, so my obsession with walnut might be 'slightly' over the top, but I'm not embarrassed by it.   Projects like this is what makes my career change all worth it - I smile all damned day...

Warren's console is definitely in the homestretch.  After spending the week cutting and gluing, scraping and sanding; the panels were all ready for joinery and assembly this weekend.  A case this big is a two person job; this sucker is gonna be heavy.  So Nick and I spent Saturday morning getting the panels prepared for a Sunday am glue-up.

Cutting the mitres on the panels... 

We're groovin': for splines that is...

One thing I realized this weekend; I love doing what I'm doing - but I love it even more when Nick is doing it too (even when we are competing for shop space or a protected table saw set up; if you're woodworker you know that can start an argument).

Sooooo; back to Warren's console.  It's going to be beautiful!  That's not just me and my walnut obsession speaking.  Boik said so too when he stopped by today for some quick router work for cable clearance on his shelves.  And if Buzz Boik says so; it is so!

The homestretch:

Dryfit (twice); got to be sure before you get any glue near your work... 

Clearance for a custom steel support bracket I had made last week.   No picture of that, but we did have some fun with a torch earlier today.  It's in the finish room getting all dolled up with some black paint right now.

Ask me to tell you about the steel place I went to;  So cool (and scary). 

Perpendicular clamping pressure is essential. Cutoffs from the panels glued to 1/4 plywood are perfect for assuring this console has stunning mitered corners.

And, we're glued...  Took a while, because to do it right theses things should.  Anyhow, next time you see this console it'll be finish sanded, oiled (gift #2) and ready for finishing touches (i.e., drawer and delivery).

I suspect I might miss this piece... 

"Frankenconsole"  (aka; you can NEVER have too many clamps)

Trying to get the hang of this blog stuff...

I need to get more disciplined at setting aside time to share notes about the progress being made in the shop.

But, I am busy having too much fun!   My body is very sore; 20+ years of working (very hard) in the corporate setting used an entirely different set of muscles.  Walking to the coffee pot, carrying my laptop around, opening file drawers...  Ha! 

I'm getting a work out every day now, feels great and the soreness is starting to go away.  Gonna have real muscles soon :)

So anyhow...  About The Projects: 

I completed and shipped 2 last week.  A bench to Denver, and a very large cooktop cover/cutting board (43#) to Boston. 

Cherry Bench with Cherry Burl veneered panels.

Cherry Bench with Cherry Burl veneered panels.

I have one project wrapping up tomorrow that will also be headed for Massachusetts early next week.  A cherry storage bench - a very pretty bench. 

The burl panels are really going to pop when I put the finish on it tomorrow. Can't wait to see it.


And then there's our labor of love: "The Boik"

 This entertainment center (actually we're building 2) has been underway for a long time.  This was a ground up design where we incorporated several elements that we had never done before...  Ample learning opportunities on this one.  We've done a fair amount of head scratching - built a couple cool new jigs, and now we're almost there! 

Cherry Veneer Case with ebonized Maple Veneer interior

Cherry Veneer Case with ebonized Maple Veneer interior

 "The Boik" is pretty cool (just like folks we're making it for);

  • A sleek frameless modern case perched on an ebonized maple post modern base.
  • Sliding Glass Doors covering the component areas
  • Adjustable Shelving
  • Thermo controlled cooling fan for the component area. 
  • Recessed back with cable management
  • Drawer casings that can be moved/arranged in any configuration right along with the shelves (or removed altogether and stacked on the side) 
  • Cherry veneer case with musical note marquetry cut into the end panels and center drawer face.
  • Matching speaker stands.

I can go on and on, mostly because it has been so much fun building them, and they are exceeding our expectations.   Picking up the tempered glass for the sliding doors tomorrow. I am hoping to have pictures of the completed project late next week.

What do you think of it so far? 

Ebonized Maple Base

Ebonized Maple Base

Repositionable/Removable Drawers

Repositionable/Removable Drawers

Musical note marquetry; same veneer with the grain shifted. In some light you can't see it, in other light it jumps right off the case at you.

Musical note marquetry; same veneer with the grain shifted. In some light you can't see it, in other light it jumps right off the case at you.