I designed this sofa table to highlight the extraordinary grain and color of black limba, a sustainably-harvested African hardwood. The clean geometry and the flush-mounted aprons and table top allow the grain to define the piece. The long, tapered legs and delicate bottom shelf introduce a feeling of lightness, balancing the heavier top.
The piece is 48"L X 14"W X 30"H and is finished with hand-rubbed boiled linseed oil.
I made these end tables from black limba lumber and veneer left over from the Sofa Table. The undulating grain of the veneer produced a striking starburst pattern framed by the solid wood edges. The reverse taper makes the grain appear to flow around the legs.
The tables are 22" in diameter and 20"H. They are finished with hand-rubbed boiled linseed oil.
Mid-Century Modern Television Cabinet
My clients wanted a widescreen TV cabinet that would match their mid-century modern house, but it had to fit into a wide, shallow area below a large picture window. I designed this piece with two sliding bypass doors on the left, which house media drawers and electronic components, and two additional media drawers on the right. For this piece, I recommended quartersawn sapele for its long, ribbon-like grain and lack of knots to emphasize the length of the cabinet.
The cabinet is 65"L X 21"W X 20"H and is finished with a hand-applied hard-drying oil. Shop photos and details of the construction of this project are on my blog page.
Figured Maple Entry Bench
Browsing through my local lumber supplier I found this beautiful 2" thick figured maple in the regular maple stacks. I created a simple design for this bench to emphasize the natural beauty of the wood. The grain flows up the side, across the top and down the other side as if the board has been folded to create the shape. I sanded the piece to a very fine grit and finished it with a hard-drying oil, which really shows off the figure.
I can make benches or tables like this with nearly any species of hardwood. The dimensions can be modified to fit your needs, decorative details can be added, and the finishcan be varied to give a softer or rustic look.
Art Deco-Style Octagonal Table
This table was inspired by the Art Deco steeple of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, built in 1932 in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle (photo below). The table features a wide-aproned octagonal top that "floats" inside the legs. The octagonal shape is recapitulated in the decorative elements on the tops of the legs and evokes the architecture of the church steeple. The table is made from solid maple and maple veneer and finished with water-based urethane and black paint.
The photo of St. Joseph's is from the DazzlingPlaces.com Explore Beautiful Seattle website which can be found here.
I particularly like the Skyscraper furniture of Paul Frankl, an Austrian-born Art Deco furniture designer who worked in New York City and Los Angeles. The first piece is a copy of the Skyscraper Step Table made by Frankl in the late 1920s and currently in the Decorative Arts collection at the Brooklyn Museum. I had only the photos and overall dimensions from their website to complete my design. The piece is made from painted poplar and the joinery is dowels.
The second piece is a large bookshelf I made for myself in the same style. It's made from maple plywood with shop-made solid maple edge banding. The finish is a hand-applied water-based urethane.
I made this walnut and maple box as a required project in woodworking school. The assignment required splined miter joints, but the choice of material and box size was up to me. I had previously found a small piece of very dark walnut with beautiful grain discarded in the wood waste bins at the school and saved it for a future project. I don't know why anyone would have thrown this away because it ended up making a very nice piece.
The box measures 8"L X 5"W X 4"H and is finished with hand-rubbed boiled linseed oil.
I have two great friends here in Seattle who are event decorators (e.g., weddings, corporate events, holiday parties, etc.). I made these pieces according to their designs. These are quick, fun projects of "stage set" quality rather than high-end fine woodworking. The advantage to clients is that they are custom size and specification at a reasonable cost.
The first 3 photos show decorations designed by John at Aria Style for a local organization's holiday party in Dec. 2013. I made 27 wood frames ~10'H X 2'W with 9 lights per frame, which he painted white and filled with color gels to create a giant circular chandelier and 3 triangular pendant lights. The frames are made from poplar and required 540 floating tenons to construct. They really didn't look like much until John worked his magic on them. I think they turned out great!
The bottom photo is a DJ table I made for Choice Linens that was used at a corporate event at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum at the Seattle Center. The goal was to make a lightweight table that's easy to move but sturdy enough to support turntables operated by energetic DJs. It's made from 1/2" plywood and poplar painted matte black.