Customers' Scrap Book #3
Bachelor's Living Room
Continuing work for an old friend in the Bay-Area. These two coffee tables add to the remote-control table did this summer (lower-right).
Maple and ebonized oak. Vaguely Greek-Revival, vaguely Gustav Stickley, and a little mission thrown in for good measure.
One Girl's Memorial for Another
My niece Bonnie's best friend Megan -nothing to say but to say it- died of bone cancer at the age of 13 and Bonnie wanted to make herself a memory-box.
They were on the the same swim team so much of what Bonnie had collected is swimming related. Swim-caps, pictures from meets, and even one swimsuit the two of them designed from the scraps of other ones. She and her Mom and I then mounted it all in one of my smaller jersey cases and put it on the wall of her bedroom. I'm rather proud of having been a part of it all.
Legs for Fossil Slabs
I do get some interesting commissions. These cherry William and Mary style almost-tables are for an old client of mine. A few years ago I made Clive a Queen Ann coffee table for his collection of antique microscopes. But now he has gotten himself a couple of big old slabs of some kind'a rock, (sedimentary?) with very old dead things embedded in them. Ugly-ass animals that look like plants and animals that look like giant unearthly bugs. The tables are sized and shaped to match the stones and made out of cherry to match his office and the original coffee table.
A Pair of Drawer Cases for One SERIOUS Coin Collection:
These cases are for John of Florida who collects coins -rather a lot of coins. There are 46 drawers that make up about 112 square feet. The cases are dark mahogany stained oak about 2 feet wide and a little under 3 feet high. They are custom made to go under the windows in his office.
Home for a Collectable Chess-Set
I didn't make this display table, but I can take credit for some technical support. Letha made it for her dad and did a terrific job. Wood etc. from the local home-center store and some simple box joinery. You can't see it in the pix, but there is a sheet of acrylic over the top to protect the chess- men. The legs are particularly nice I think.
O Scale Model Trains:
Sometimes simplest is best. Phil built on his dad’s childhood O-scale train set by building a collection that honored his dad’s 20 years of service with the Frisco Railroad in Springfield, MO.
Case for a Slide Rule & Instrument Collection:
Another big case. Allen -just up the road a piece here in Colorado- collects slide rules and engineering instruments. Beautiful brass and rosewood stuff.
No one uses slide rules now that calculators are so powerful and so cheap -but they were wonderful and useful things and Alan has one of every type and purpose, (for pilots, civil engineers, navigators etc.). And THIS is precisely what makes for a great collectable.
This is a mahogany case. 11 drawers on full extension glides There is a gang-lock through the sides. The corners are coopered and pretty cool, but the pix doesn't show it. Those are big, fat, beautiful brass eggs for pulls, -the kind that just feel good in your hand.
Every wood worker must -at some point in his or her career- must make two things: a 4-post canopy bed and a guitar stand. The later takes a lot less wood, but given that this one is made with 3 cold laminated members, I doubt it took less time then a wood bed would. (?)
Anyway, what we have here is walnut, maple, mahogany, oak and some birch plywood for good measure.
Oak Jewelry Box:
Seems a bit curious to call this monster a 'jewelry box" but I'm not sure what else to say. "Jewelry chest" perhaps. Stand just over 4 feet high and just a little less then 3 feet wide. Has 28 drawers in colonial maple stained oak. It's for Marsha in Pennsylvania. She is going to do her own inserts from material I sent her. This is to say she is buying the fabric 'cause I am not good at fabric, but then she is going to drape her fabric over inserts she is making herself from wood and cardboard materials I cut for her. Should be lots of fun -in an arts 'n crafts kind'a way. Check out my article on Home-Made Drawer Dividers.)The important thing is that she gets EXACTLY what she wants for her HUGE jewelry collection.
Cherry Case for a Knife Collection:
This custom case is for Phil's knife collection. A couple of interesting things going on here. For starters, Philip plans to finish it himself so it's leaving my shop 'neked.' Cherry is one of the prettiest wood -once it's finished- but dull as dish-water un-finished. So what I did before I took the pictures is to wipe it down with a damp cloth. Gives you a hint as to what it will end up looking like.
Additionally, Phil has some extra special knives that will lay on the top shelf -a shelf hiding behind a false front drawer. Also, the 5 top drawers are museum style, -slide in and out extra easy- and the bottom 4 ride on glides. Makes for a stronger drawer to hold a little more weight. Phil will be doing the knobs himself and hence the dull grey-primer. (I vote for red w/ gilt faces.)
It stands about 48" tall on Hepplewhite legs & apron and each drawer (and shelf), is lined with blue velvet.
Here it is in Phil's study after he finished it. Nice work big guy!
Closable Custom Case for Action Figures:
This may seem a little dull, but Rick's collection of action figures will fit perfectly in this case and be protected from UV light (the acrylic in the door) and his kids (you can just see the hasp there on the right side). But what is not so apparent -and perhaps just as important- is how it will fit into his home. He had me make it just so -a little over 3 feet high and a little under 3 feet wide- to fit perfectly under a counter in his dining room. He tells me this makes his wife happy and this is no small thing.
Coin Collection cum Guard-Dog:
This case holds Stan's coin collection. That's Sully on top guarding it. Looks like Sully would rather be guarding it from the floor in front, but she is a trouper about it all.
This is a LARGE ARCHITECTURAL case, in oak with a trim top and finished with simple shellack. It has 13 #1 interchangeable drawers and a single #2 at the bottom.
I built this table for my buddy Kyle back in San Jose. He is an engineer but despite this, he has a pretty good aesthetic -so we collaborated on it. It is the first of what may be as many as 5 related tables for his living room. The house is actually a Spanish Colonial and, while it's not clear exactly what style this is, it suits.
It's maple and ebony stained oak. Left it to him to pick his own drawer pull. The bottom shelf in carefully designed to allow his cat, "Rat"(?), to hide under or shed on top of. Whole thing is 24" high, 32" long, and about 12" deep.
Custom Sewing Chest:
This is a custom piece -shellacked oak sides and stained poplar for the hinged top & drawer fronts. The top two drawers have 7 slots, each carefully sized to hold embroidery floss cards / skeins / reels / whatever. I borrowed some and find each slot will hold about 40 cards times seven slots times two drawers makes for 560 little plastic do-dads with prettily colored thread. The third drawer has 5 slots. The picture shows yarn. Frankly, yarn is too big -at least the yarn I found to photograph the case but you get the idea. The bottom 2 drawers are open.
Family Heirlooms -MK II:
This is the same Grandfather as memorialized in a Piece of Harvey Family History in my previous Customer's Scrapbook. My mother's father was a railroad engineer 'bout a million years ago. I barely remember him but I know him to have been a gentle church-going man. None-the-less, his employer -the Union Pacific Railroad- issued all the engineers a set of brass knuckles. Mind you, this was during the depression and things were different then. But a engineer with good pocket watch was not at all a cliché.
I made it from a 5" x 6" Riker-mount and contemporary maple frame. I tossed the poly-padding and spent a few minutes with my scanner and PhotoShop to do the background. The watch hangs from a piece of copper wire threaded through the top of the mount and the brass knuckles were hot-glued in.
These belong to Pam of South Carolina. She evidently takes duck hunting pretty seriously. She also take breeding and training dogs pretty seriously too. Have a look at some of her beautiful children at Boyken Spaniel.
She sez the shadow-box was out of the box I shipped it in, onto the wall, filled & arranged, and the picture taken in less then 30 minutes.
A Couple of Coffee Tables:
Dang it -photography -or photography as I do it- just doesn't do justice to pretty wood sometimes. Here we have a little Queen Ann in walnut for a thimble collection and a federal in antiqued mahogany for a collection old pocket watches. Both are real pretty -much prettier then their pictures.
George, from back in San Jose (why do I keep getting customers from the Bay Area now that I moved from there back to Colorado?) -but George has a wonderful knife collection. He has a wife he seems to be fond of too. This was kind of a rush job because his wife said that if he didn't find a place for his knives then better then all-over-the-darn-place, she was going to throw them all out.
This is a simple particleboard cube case with little feet and a trim top -painted in flat black. Dramatic and handsome
This Maori jade club belongs to Clint in San Diego. It's about 12 inches long and weighs a good 5 pounds. Clint keeps it locked with a small padlock on the side.
The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. In the Maori language, 'Maori' means 'ordinary' -as in 'not a god'. Admirably self-aware I'd have to say.
Drawer Case for Beads in Africa:
This case belongs to Inayat who is a missionary in Lagos, Nigeria. Quite an epic to tell you how we got it there, but that's a story for another time.
Nigeria is on the southern coast of the northern part of Africa -the part of the continent that faces toward Brazil. Sort'a. Lagos is the largest city in Africa. Also, I come to find it's where we get the advanced-payment or "Spanish Prisoner" scams from.
Inayat has nothing to do with these, though. Inayat is into designing jewelry and she uses my drawers -the ones on the right-to organize her beads. No telling what the cat does, but its an authentic African wild cat that Inayat rescued from a pack of hyenas and raised from kitten-hood. If you believe that, I will split my father's $350 million estate with you if you send me $5000 so I can bribe the Nigerian authorities to get it out of the country.
I am particularly pleased to be able to add these pictures to my Customer's Scrapbook. You have seen the casework before (below) but only in my shop before I shipped them off to Judy. Here we see one of a matched set of two drawer cases in her home -being guarded by Margo.
Judy collects two things, brail slates and small souvenir models of famous or important buildings. Brail slates (sometimes called tablets) are used by blind folks to write in brail. You can see a couple-three in the middle picture.
The little buildings aren't used for anything so utilitarian, but Judy has so many of them that she had me make a duplicate of an original mahogany case that she had filled up.
If you are very observant, you might have noticed that there are no words on the labels on the drawers. Look very closely and you can see shinny little bumps. That's brail too. Notice the German shepherd dog and put it all together. Yep, Judy is blind, as is her husband. She don't let that slow her down none though. So-help-me-God -she took the pictures. Also measured the original shelf display-case so I could duplicate it. (And did a damn site better job with both the camera and tape-measure then some of my sighted customers -thank you very much.)
She has lots of fancy initials behind her name -indicating far more dedication to, and patience with academia then I had. She is in charge of stuff at an important national institution. I won't say which one, but it's dang impressive. Kind'a makes a body think, don't it?"