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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Custom Mahogany Office Counter Installation

I posted an earlier entry concerning a custom counter I was creating for a customer. below I have posted some pictures of the finished product. For a look at the construction of this counter you can follow this link:


Here are two photos of the finished counter in my shop.
This is a photo of the office space before the counter was installed.
Here is the same view with the new counter installed. Another view of the new counter.
A third view of the new counter. Below the counter you can see the braces I put in for support.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Renaissance Revival Walnut Plant Stand (Ca. 1870)

I recently picked up a Walnut plant stand that needed to be repaired and refinished. At some point this stand had been repaired and refinished. The last person to refinish it used a random orbital sander on the table which left orbits in the wood. A vigorous sanding by hand should solve the problem. The main problem with the table was a crack in the top. The underside of the top was missing a large wedge of wood so I did not feel comfortable simply gluing it back together. The repair I made utilized butterfly patches, which are patched that are bow tie shaped which straddle the crack. these help to keep the top from coming apart in the future. the photos below show the removal of the old finish and the repairs to the table.

Here is a photo of the table as it came to me. This photo shows the crack in the top.
The table after the finish was removed and the loose parts were separated. After the top was glued up I cut the butterfly patches and laid them out on the underside of the table. You can see the amount of wood missing from the underside of the table. The top side came together pretty well.A close up of one of the butterfly patches.Using a Forstner bit and a chisel, I carved out the space for each patch to fit into.The patches glued in place. The space is made a bit shallower than the patch so that I can then plane off any excess material making the patch flush with the surface.A close up of a butterfly patch installed in the surface.The three patches installed and the crack filled. This will all be touched up later to hide the work.

Here is a photo of the table being glued up.

Walnut and Maple Cutting board

About two weeks ago I was asked to make a cutting board for St. John Regional Catholic School in Frederick, Maryland for a fund raising event they are hosting. The cutting board is made from Walnut and Tiger Stripe Maple and measures about 9" by 16". It is to made to be used on one side and has rubber feet attached to the bottom. Here are some pictures of the process.
Here is a photo of the individual pieces laid out for gluing. This photo shows the cutting board being glued up.After the glue dried the cutting board was planed flat. The next step was to cut off the excess material from the edges and sand the top. I also beveled the edges on all four sides to remove any sharp edges.
here are two photos of the cutting board after mineral oil has been applied. Mineral oil is a food safe finish and unlike vegetable oil or olive oil, does not become rancid.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Built in Custom Mahogany Office Counter

On occasion, I am asked to build custom counters. The counter I am currently working on is for a reception area of an office. the counter is made from MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) faced with a Mahogany veneer. The Counter will replace two existing counters and connect to two sliding windows which separate the office from the waiting room.

Below are some photos detailing the construction of this counter. I will post a photo of the counter once it has been installed.
In this first photo the counter (upside down) is being laminated to a second piece of MDF that will make the overall thickness 1.5 inches.
A photo of the counter (right side up) cut to shape.
In this photo a half round or bull nose molding is being applied to the edges of the counter to give the counter a look of solid Mahogany and also to round any sharp edges.
A photo of the counter with the molding applied and ready for staining.
A photo of the counter stained. The color will be much lighter once the finish is applied.

Cherry Dining Table with Seven Leaves (Ca. 1950)

I recently picked up a dining room table made of Cherry which expands to accommodate seven leaves. In addition, each end has a drop leaf which is supported by a gate leg. The nice thing about this table is that it can be used as a small kitchen table or a full dining table.

The finish on the top surface of the table was scratched and worn heavily so the finish had to be removed. The finish on the legs and apron was restorable so that will get cleaned and waxed. I have included below photos of the removal of the finish as well as the preparation of the top surface for the new finish. The owner of the table was looking for a good all purpose finish that can withstand daily use and be relatively maintenance free. After discussing the pros and cons of French Polish versus Varnishing we decided to put a durable Varnish on the table. For a discussion of these different finishes and the pros and cons you can follow this link to my website:

The first two photos show the damage to the finish.

Here is a photo of the original finish on the table. The drop leaves have been removed to be finished separately.This photo shows the removal of the finish from the table.When the finish was completely removed the table needed to be sanded to remove surface scratches. the surface on the right has been sanded. You will notice that the color is lighter. That is due to the fact that the top was stained and the sanding removed the old stain. Once the top is completely sanded, It is stained to match the original color.
The drop leaves with the finish removed and fully sanded.The leaves during the staining process.The top (and leaves) after they have been fully sanded.
The top and leaves during the staining process.

I will post photos of the table once it has been finished on in a future post!

New facebook Page

I wanted to let all of my readers know tha I have created a Facebook page devoted to my buisness. On the page I post recent posts on my blog and answer questions and comments readers might have about their furniture. to sbscribe to my page simply follow the link below and click on the "Become a Fan" Icon.