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Salvaged Spruce Nightstands

 

The caramel of this wood is just below the surface and not much deeper than that.  

For over a hundered years, this wood worked.  On edge, these 3 x 10s spanned long distances, and, unseen, provided the stories of a church in Queens. It's nice to think of this wood now in retirement, now in forms usually reserved for less industrial lumber, wood less-filled with knots and checks.

It is expected still to provide structure, though, now in a form to indicate the close of a day or as the setting for your lamps and evening drinks.  The sawmarks are old and honest, and their form and handles clean and simple.  You will be comforted by them, perhaps most in that moment between when you turn off your lamp and when the glow these bookends to your bed fades away.  

Flush and Nesting Redwood Tables

 

     

I've decided to present these pieces a little differently.  Two clients asked me for tables made of salvaged watertower redwood, and both clients were curious about the process of how the wood goes from salvaged planks to finished tables.  And since I documented the process a little more thoroughly for and because the clients mentioned how much they enjoyed seeing the tables come together, I thought I would share them with you in the same manner.  

My girlfriend accompanied me to pick up the redwood and was surprised by it's rough state.  Having seen the picklebarrel table, also made of redwood, she was surpirsed that this wood could be transformed in such a way.  I realized that this is one of the pleasures of working with salvaged wood.  It looks so rough, but you know what lies beneath.  Moreover, roughness, which makes it at first seem unattractive, is actually the very thing that I think makes it so pretty.  It's wonderful to run these rough boards through the planer and take off just a bit of that once rough patina so that you are left with beautiful streaks of black and other patterns contrasting with the still vibrant wood below.  

 

  

Flush Table

For the Flush Table, I picked out the wood that seemed to go together nicely, but you don't really know what the wood will look like until you take the patina off.  

 

  

 After the order of the wood was selected I glued and clamped the pieces together.  

 

I set this aside and began work on the base.  I, unfortunately, did not take very good pictures of the legs being constructed and then mortised and tenoned for the width of the table; however, here is a sequence of pictures that shows the length of the table being joined and reinforced.  

 

    

With base complete, I fit the top and make any last adjustments before sanding and finishing.

And here are some pictures with the table finished.  The clamps were there to hold it in place before the base was attached to the top.

     

This table will glow with a bit of candle light.

Nesting Tables 

The nesting table was very fun to create and has one of my favorite design details of the furniture I've made.  The clients for these tables were a couple and one of them was a musician.  They were looking for way to maximize and beautify their space and improve his music station.  So, we decided to go with a very simple design, similar to some metal nesting tables.  My favorite detail came when I started thinking about how to reinforce such a simple table.  There needed to be support in the corners, where the legs meet the top.  I thought of adding square blocking, and then it occurred to me that since it was going to be used for music, I could strengthen the table and add a subtle reference to music.  I would add three splines, like the three black keys that are grouped together on the piano. 

 


But I jump the gun.  The tops for both of these tables are continuous, so if you put them side-by-side, everything will match-up.

 

I jumped the gun again.  Here are the legs and tops joined with a simple butt joint.

 

To reinforce this butt joint, I setup a sled for the table saw at 45 degrees that allowed me to cut the grooves for the splines.  This was quite a spectical, and I wish I had asked someone to take pictures of me with the whole tables going over the table saw.  Here are some pictures of the splines after the grooves were cut.  

   

Here is a picture of the tables pulled out just before I finished them.

Without stain, the wood takes on beautiful, rich colors when oil is applied to them.

 

Here another picture of the tables completed with a wax finish.

 

 


Bookshelves to Ponder

    

How well do you know the objects that were in your room as a child? While trying to get to sleep, how many hours did you spend considering the marks on your ceiling, walls or objects in your room? This bookshelf was designed with those valuable hours in mind. The live-edges, contrasting wood grains and colors bring the gentle complexity of nature into the child's bedroom. The puzzle-like joinery provides the human-element of wonder to this piece. 

Reclaimed Redwood Table and Cupboard

 

The young couple who purchased this table came to me with a very New York City situation.  They had just moved into a beautiful one-bedroom apartment, and they were looking for a way to make the kitchen/livingroom feel a bit more like two rooms without sacrificing too much of the valuable space.  The female in the couple is also a very good cook, and she was looking for a bit more storage for her kitchen.  The male in the relationship is a writer, often works from home and was in need of a nice table for these long hours infront of a computer.  We worked together and came up with the design for this table and cupboard combo.  The table provides a place for both of them to work.  It's narrow design breaks up the room, offers a desklike environment for him and great counterspace for her to create and then serve wonderful meals.  The breadboard endings on the table provide visual reprieve for the table and cupboard's 9' length.   

The wood for these pieces is also very special.  This wood is was salvaged from an old pickle barrel that was 10' tall and 16' in diameter while it was being used, beginning in the 1940s.  Working with this wood was a real pleasure, and its salt deposits glittered while I was working on the wood.  Here is how the wood appeared when it came to me.

You can see the salt deposits on the side that was once the inside of the salt barrels.  I left a bit of the salt deposits on the side of the cupboard.  

The colors are brilliant in this wood and I'm looking forward to the next pieces made of this wood.  

Maple Table with Walnut Drawer and Catbox 

 

     

This client just bought a place and leaving the world of the renting, and having invested in a home that suited her, she decided to chose furniture that suits her, as well.  The first piece she asked me to build was the catbox that you see in the last photo.  This box fits perfectly and hides the plastic the liter box the cat is used to.  

The pictures of the maple table were take at Tompkins Square Park en route to the delivering it.  It was nice to have one of my pieces out in public.  Two people stopped and might commission me to do work, and one person warned the person who was with me deliverying the pieces and taking pictures not to take it because it might have bed bugs.  She assurred her that the piece was bedbug-free, as I'd just made it.  I assurred her that the piece was impervious to bed bugs.  This is, of course, a complete lie but would be a pretty good marketing tactic.  What am I talking about?  What have I become?  

The maple was a pleasure to turn after the resinful heartpine.  The walnut drawer is edged with maple, and creates a nice contrast.