On Display

London Potters Guild ::  2013

LPG is kind enough to display my entry / condo cabinets, for April-ish.  It’s great to see the woodwork with pottery on them, & in such a beautiful showroom.  This guild has regular potting classes, lots of teachers, & a passion for the craft & art.  When 2 studios work together, everyone benefits – & I imagine customers are excited by seeing new possibilities.

With their positive attitude it’s no wonder LPG is finishing renovations to double their space.  I’d especially like to thank Genet Hodder & Jenn Jack for taking the initiative – to search out new things that make pottery look great & help out local craftspeople!

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Samples

Cabinet & Stain Samples  ::  2012

Minature cabinets for customers to see hardware options & construction quality.  One cabinet has Blum soft close undermount slides, the other has standard side mount slides.  The crackle finish is a surprise – the cabinet looks standard white, until you get close & see the texture.  The Doors are maple, but I want to try bamboo or an exotic wood later.  White face frame kitchens with wood doors are rare, but they really pop the grain of the natural wood.  It’s as if the wood grain has a picture frame around it.

The stain samples are all made from Lee Valley – General finishes – low VOC waterbourne.  Dye stains are hard to work with, but have a vibrant colour that highlights wood grain.  Pigment stains are easy to work with, but hide the wood grain a little.  Most of these samples have a bright red or yellow dye stain, with a pigment stain on top.  This way the background red or yellow colour comes through the top colour.  This gives the sample warmth & depth.

Tail Lights

Truck Rack  ::  2012

Knock-down plywood rack for truck bed.  I’d thought about using posts to make a rack on top of the truck bed, but it would have to overhang the tailgate by 2  1/2 ft. for support of an 8 ft. sheet.  I can always make the other rack later, so the truck would have 2 levels.  For now this one is more compact & meets these criteria:

  • with tailgate up, has to fit in a 6 ft. opening
  • with tailgate down, has to pull out & support a 8 ft. plywood sheet
  • clears wheel wells
  • has to break down for storage
  • a tarp can easily protect the sheets

Spoil the Countertop – Spare the Caulk

2 Sink Vanity  ::  2012

Finished the install for bathroom cabinetry today.  Solid cherry doors with a medium dark stain, baltic birch drawer boxes, clear coated maple interiors, all water bourne low VOC finishes, all blum soft close hardware.  The structure is plywood, with base support directly under each gable.

Blum undermount drawer box slides are finicky to install, but when finished all drawer fronts close themselves to a home position – instead of several fronts being slightly closed, these always close to the same place.  This means the cabinet doors and drawer fonts look carefully positoned all the time, like a showroom cabinet.  Being undermounts, you cannot see the slides, they are hidden underneath the box.

The customers are a great couple in the city, they teach, play & repair musical instruments.  Later they will install a band of tile above the countertop.  The gap between countertop & wall is properly sealed – taping on either side of the gap before caulking is important.    This is a detail that should not stand out – because when it is done improperly (with a wide thumb smear of caulk) the poor job is eye-catching, especially when mould begins growth under the thin layer.  In this case, not noticing anything, means the job is done correctly.

This project was a good test of shop work flow.  Some corrections are now being made to accommodate 4′ X 8′ sheets of plywood, and door hing boring.

Zeugma

TELEPHONE / ENTRYWAY CABINET  ::  2012

Finished assembly of the prototype, leaving 5 more to put together.  This project is for 6 solid wood cabinets that hold a telephone & books.

The idea is to put the phone book / address book on the top, the phone in that open space below, and the cabinet below is for storing stuff you need when going in and out of the house.  But the design is open to repurposing, making it useful for a variety of locations around the house.  Just a da** useful little cabinet.

These side and back panels are similar to my cutting boards, being narrow strips of wood glued together.  Time consuming.  The wood is from a local farm, and some of the components have cracks and other defects in them.  Instead of hiding these defects, I’ve decided to highlight them.  I’m finding that material that has been milled properly can display a crack or wormhole, and make the cabinet look more alive – that it came from something alive and was part of a natural process.  In a way it illustrates a literary concept of zeugma, in this case bringing together raw and refined elements.

Post & Beam

Potting Bench  ::  2011

The frame for the potting bench is up, the next step is cedar shingling.  The tall frame will have a spruce box suspended in the middle of it, for garden tools etc.  The short frame will have modular countertop pieces for potting.  The sink and garden hose will be fun to fit.  My mortiser had a workout, and the new table saw is doing just fine!

Boredom Table

Short Table :: 2010

Waiting for excavation crew to come and do their good works, am naturally bored.  Made a table for beside my corbusier lounge.  Now when I switch between binoculars and coffee I am free to view then ponder the odd lives of our urban livestock.

Cat Control Centre for World Domination

Cat Bed / Perch / Mat :: 2006

How does one get a cat to sit on woodwork I’ve spent a few hours making?  Make sure it’s heated, of course!

Cats like heat, & are basically untrainable.  Accept it, or get a dog.  This stand has Arts & Crafts / Greene & Greene inspired joinery, is made with quarter sawn white oak, stained a standard brown, and coated with Danish Oil – & holds a heated mat.

The mat is an important purchase – the ones sold for cats are of the blanket variety, are easily damaged, & last one year.  Maybe.  Interior / Exterior mats of hard plastic are designed for dogs, come with a fuzzy cover, & last for years.  Our cat owns this thing for the entire winter.  Have 2 or more cats – watch them Sumo for dominancy!