Wednesday, February 27, 2013
My intention was to do a "how-to" blog for this table. I failed miserably at that.
After reading my earlier posts about this table, I came to the conclusion that the whole "how-to" thing is just plain boring.
At the end of the day, I'm no teacher. Hell, I'm not even sure what I'm doing half of the time.
So here's a blanket "how-to" statement for anything you want to build...
1. get a idea (not as easy as you think)
2. get materials (not as easy as you think)
3. do whatever it takes to make materials look like the picture in your head.
4. the end.
Back to my table...
I bought a wood worker bench from the 1940's off craigslist for $180 a year ago. It's massive, with the big wooden vise, and 70 years of abuse and I love it. I can't really see it because of everything I have piled on it, but this bench and me are gonna be together for a long time.
Anyway, this table I built is sort of a tribute to that bench. If you saw them side by side you would think they were a set.
I aged the new table to match. Paint spatter, splits in the wood, rough and smooth areas depending on where one would work on the table, hammer marks, etc.
I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, nor do I care. It's kind of like one of those baby's that you see when you go out to dinner, that has a uni brow, and crazy hair, and is like 20lbs over weight for a healthy baby, and doesn't cry but makes bizzare barking noises...It's a little disturbing at first, but by time the check comes, you've found the beauty in it.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Let me re phrase that...my original idea for a saw horse table base was a failure.
It's only a failure because I actually attempted to do it, but could not complete it.
I had planned on making all these sliding dovetails, but to cut both parts of a dovetail at a 15 degree angle wore me down.
Now, don't get me wrong...I got one done, so it is possible to do, but to allocate 36 hours of chisel time on a joint that most people won't even notice is...well...it's stupid.
So I cleared my head and moved forward, and came up with a great base none the less.
I've spent the last couple of days aging the piece, and with any luck I will take it back to the shop to spray a dull rub finish.
Even in it's current state it's pretty cool, It looks like some old coot made it in a cabin in Alaska like 50 years ago, which is exactly where my vision was for it.
The picture up top??? I just thought it was a cool photo and it has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
In between pulling that little piece of fabric out of my butt crack and shuffling through the Taylor Swift anthology, I managed to produce a piece that explores my softer side.
In the beginning, the idea was to use a chunk of wood that I would usually throw away, and try to incorporate something unconventional in order to create...well...SOMETHING.
So while in the bubble bath, surrounded by scented candles and thumbing through the latest VOGUE, I had a vision.
Now I'm a manly-man. I like flannel, the UFC, old motorcycles, guns, and the furniture I make reflects that. But it was time to make something a little softer, something where a woman would stop and say "oh, that's cute!" (which by the way...I usually find it offensive when someone says that something I made is...cute)
In all it's estrogen infused glory, I'm pretty proud of it.
I could really go on and on about this piece, but I have a mani/pedi appointment.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
So here's the deal...
1. $25 for one
2. 3 for $60
3. I will do special orders, like if 3 mounted on one piece of steel, or 2, or whatever.
4. I will ship (for up to 3 single ones is a additional $5.60) But I'd rather you come by and have a cup of coffee.
5. they are made to order so please allow 3 to 5 days just in case I'm busy.
6. paypal or cash
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just so you know, they are hand cut, hand polished, welded to hold up to around 20000 lbs.
so they're perfect if you want to hang a couple pick up trucks from them
Oh, and they're not blurry in real life (my camera phone sucks)
Monday, February 18, 2013
But I don't when it's 16 degrees outside.
Sunday was a day dedicated to the mortising, otherwise known as digging holes in wood.
I managed to knock out all 8, even though there was a moment there when I thought that this step should really be completed in the shop or when it's above 30 degrees.
I didn't completely set the dutchmans flush because the top has to be oxidized first and my hands were too numb to label them, so I just kind of tapped them in.
So. our top will sit for a little while, until we get the base made.
The idea for the base is to take a simple idea, and complicate the hell out of it.
What we're going to make is a saw horse style base.
I've slammed together hundreds of saw horses on job sites, but this one is going to incorporate some tricky joinery.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Even though it was freezing outside and my nose was leaking all over our table top, I managed to plane the top to get it as flat as possible, got a rough sand on it, shaped the edges, trimmed the sides, and got to work on some railroad spike hooks for the front of the table.
The hooks are 2" long, welded on 1/4"X2" plate. They will be mortised and installed on the front edge of the table to hold a purse or jacket or whatever it is you hang up when you walk in your door.
They came out really cool, so I think I'll run with them for a little bit and make some coat racks, and towel bars and stuff like that.
Today....if it warms up, I'm going to try to mortise in all those dovetails.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
I jumped ahead a bit and got the dutchmans cut.
The dutchman's are 3/4" hickory. The ones for the top are 4" long and the sides are 6" long.
They are going to remain in a natural finish to contrast the top once we oxidize the top.
So today I plan on unclamping the top, clean up the sides, hand plane the piece to flatten it out, and give it a rough sand.
Tomorrow...start mortising in for the dutchmans. Which is going to be pretty tedious because there are a lot to cut and they are pretty deep.
There's my weekend in a nutshell.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Believe it or not, THAT is going to be the top for our table project.
It's a 4X8 post courtesy of COMM ED.
I just want to put it out there that it's NOT stealing if you leave things laying in the street.
What we're going to do next is...
1. cut it in half
2. clean and sand it (fun, right?)
3. plane one edge of both pieces
4. moisten the edge and glue the bejesus out of it.
"Just glue it? That's it?"
Yes, young Jedi's, Just glue.
Because...we are going to solidify it with a series of hand cut dovetails. 5 of them to be exact.
The dovetail process will be documented further in the future steps.
I will also add some more photos documenting the steps in step one when I actually get around to executing them.
I know that you all are oh so excited. (insert chuckle here)
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
In the weeks to come, I've decided to embark on a project that will push my skill set.
I plan on documenting the process and posting along the way.
2 things are going to come out of this.
Either a really bad ass table will be born which I will attempt to sell for a retarded amount of money at some point, or...it will be a huge disaster in which I will chuck all my tools in lake Michigan and embark on a career of making latch hook rugs immortalizing the likeness's of Snoopy, Garfield and those weird little Precious Moment kids.
Wish me luck.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Number one on that list is waiting.
I'm a reasonable man, and there are a lot of things in life where "waiting" is just part of the equation, like...waiting for a pizza, waiting for the sunrise, even waiting for the bus...
But at this point, I'm waiting on parts for 3 projects. 3 projects that are just parked, haunting me, laughing at me.
Somebody explain to me how my girl can order a costume for a photo shoot at 6pm and the next day it's here. Like magic. Like Amazon doesn't even use a postal service, they just teleport that shit to your door.
And me....I order 3 different parts from 3 different places, and I'm going on 3 weeks with my dick in my hand and cobwebs in my mailbox.
Amazon should just sell everything. Period.
So why is there a picture of such a awesome bench on this post???
I meant to talk all about it, but I decided to use my blog to bitch and complain instead.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Sometimes my head can get ahead of my hand, so there comes a time when you have to pay "simple" a visit.
It was sort of refreshing to just work a big chunk of wood into something useful.
I added a couple of walnut dovetails for a little contrast as well as to secure a couple pretty big splits.
The steel base was a little tricky because you have this 100 year old piece that has all these natural curves and movements, and to be quite honest, I didn't feel like doing that much math in order for it to seat perfectly on the base.
Sometimes I see these rustic pieces that have been machined and manipulated to death in order to be perfectly level, plumb, smooth, etc. And those pieces do have their place, but sometimes...in order to preserve the organic character and showcase the life of the piece, one has to take off his hot shit craftsman helmet and embrace what is perfectly imperfect.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
I didn't really "find" it...I bought it. I paid next to nothing for it. In fact, I've spent more money on a flannel shirt. (I can almost feel Laura rolling her eyes right now)
The fact that I paid jack shit for it was the reason I planned on performing surgery on her to make a lamp.
I wasn't planning on jamming a rod in the neck and slapping a socket and lamp shade for the head. I was going to surgically remove a 3" deep rectangular section from the abdomen and carefully implant a light.
This whole grand vision was going to represent a woman's inner beauty, and the purpose of the light was to actually take away from the naked form, to de-sexualize the woman and force you to look inside her instead.
Pretty fuckin deep, huh?
Yeah well...I couldn't do it.
I didn't have the heart.
I didn't have the heart to destroy art to make art.
My intentions were well placed, but there is a artist ethic involved in there somewhere.
Granted that whoever carved this gorgeous piece is more then likely dead and gone and wouldn't fart in his coffin if I did chop her up, There's a respect for his work and his hand that I feel compelled to honor.
So mister dead wood carver...out of respect to you, I will walk away from this one.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
In it's previous life it was a slab of ash wood.
They must have been working in a new blade at the mill, because they pulled the piece
back and forth giving it the "cathedral cut".
There was so much dirt and grease on it that it took almost 3 days to clean.
After working it into a really cool coffee table, I put it up for sale because I had no room for it.
This grungy hipster couple came to buy it. I'm not one to crack on my customers, but man...
They had no personality what so ever! I may as well have sold it to a bucket of water.
I have a odd personal attachment to the things I make, and USUALLY the people that buy my stuff are pretty interesting. They also show a flicker of excitement when they pick up a piece. In fact, I've even had a few do that quirky jog/walk thing to their car (maybe they had to pee or it's because I live in a shitty neighborhood).
You see, there's a lot of mental gymnastics that go into my pieces. I mean, what you see as a table or lamp or whatever, happens to be more. It's a time stamp, it's a moment, it's a memory, it's a mistake or a new learning experience...for me. To you...it's a fuckin table. I get it, and I respect that. But do me a favor....blow a little sunshine in my butt, crack a smile, do a jig...don't act as if I just sold you a paper clip. Show a hint of enthusiasm, because I don't even know you and you're taking home a little piece of me.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
3/16X2 steel witch hickory shelves and a couple walnut Dutchman joints
I will custom make these. Price varies on size, wood species, and a few other factors.
This particular set up would run about $225.
I wish I had something witty and profound to say about them, but they're just cool shelves.
I guess I could have made some shit up in a lame attempt to make you chuckle, but don't you worry your pretty little peepers, I got stuff cooking on the burner. I mean, these next 3 projects are kind of out there.Not just out of left field, more like going to left field and doing peyote in your grandmas wedding dress.
Monday, February 4, 2013
It"s a excellent question because I fucking hate light.
If I could live in one of those places where it's dark 6 months out of the year, I would.
I also have absolutely zero interest in lighting or lamps.
So, back to the original question at hand...
Here is why I make so many lamps...
Understand this first, I love furniture, more so, I love to make furniture.
I love the technical aspect, the organic aspect, the feel, the touch, the placement, the style, etc.
Once all the saw dust is swept up, and the chair or table or bench or cabinet is delivered and set
in the perfect spot for all to adore....IT'S DEAD. Yep, I said it, dead, I mean in all reality, that's the end of the road for that shit.
Now don't get me wrong, it will have it's admirers and you may receive many of compliments on how hip and stylish you are, but it's kind of a one shot deal.
Here's a example...I made a beautiful table. 3" slab of live edge old growth oak with long sexy hairpin legs. It's really a great piece, but ya know what...it holds my TV and ninja turtle figures. That's it. The mighty Oak that stood for 150 years now holds my stupid fucking TV.
Now a lamp on the other hand, comes alive every time you tweak that little knob.
It bathes you in a warm glow and says to you, "you're home now, you're safe, lets forget about
the events of the day, lets relax and watch some stupid fucking TV on that beautiful dead ass table"
As well as function and purpose, it can also be a piece of art that commands that you view it and admire it. It's a cocky little bitch that screams "look at me!"
From a creative aspect, the possibilities are endless. You can turn anything into a lamp. I can make you a lamp out of a paper bag if I so desire.
At the end of the day. I don't make lamps so much for the light, I make them for their life.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
I'm addicted to shoes.
A shoe addiction can be kinda cool and interesting, but my addiction is not.
You see, some people collect shoes in many styles and colors and what not,
but me....I collect the same shoe, boots to be exact. Not much variation, I collect brown boots.
What the fuck does that have to do with this skateboard contraption you ask?
This is a shoe shelf I made.
While I'm happy with the design, it doesn't hold very many pairs of shoes in our house.
It would be perfect for a home with normal people who have dress shoes, work shoes and gym shoes.
I'm a stubborn bastard so I'm convinced I can cram 15 pairs of boots on it, and truth be told...I can't.
At least it looks cool, and that...can go a long way.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Do I own a horse?...nope, I'm from Pilsen homie.
But for a moment there, I had to have one.
Searching craigslist (yuck) I found one for $35. Being the obsessive compulsive
that I am, I basically drove to the moon to get it.
Once I got it, I had no idea what to do with it. I mean it's cool and all, but it's a saddle.
It goes on a horse. I still don't have a horse.
Living in the city I'm surrounded by steel and concrete, garbage and dead leaves, plastic bags stuck in dead trees blowing in the breeze.
What better way to bring a little hillbilly chic to the concrete jungle?
Friday, February 1, 2013
Strike that...I bought a cheap ass steel bender.
It actually works great once you chuck the instruction manual right out of the window.
I refuse to be defeated by pretty much anything. so me and this new tool had our moment together, but now, we are the best of friends.
We still have our arguments, but together he and I were able to agree on this cool little 2 teir table which is made from hickory and 3/16 X2 steel bar.
I love Hickory. It's safe to say that is my favorite wood.
Here are 2 things you should know about hickory...
1. it's hard///like real hard...like petrified wood hard. like a bitch to sand or mortise or drill through hard.
2. did I already say that its hard?