Sunday, July 29, 2012

there is more to ... Design-Your-Door ... much more !

This stained glass door panels, designed
by Zoleta Lee, portrays the Pacific Ocean
which is located about 100 yards from this door.

When my client starts making design decisions for their door, they not only consider the design of the door and the wood to be used, they also get to consider and use whichever style and type of glass that they may wish to use in their project.

They may wish to use stained glass to portray a scene they wish in their door. 

This stained glass by
It portrays a clients painting of the Carmel Coast

These are Prairie Style stained glass lites.
They enhance a Prairie Style Door and
let in a nice organic light.

Or they may wish to allow lots of light into their home without sacrificing privacy.  If that’s the case there are many interesting styles of clear obscure art glass that can be tempered and insulates and used in doors, sidelights, and transoms

These doors have double satin-etched
frosted glass, to insure privacy and
let in enhanced light.
This art glass is called
Crocodile Hide and is quite
beautiful and interesting to view.

There is also clear glass, that when beveled, adds a degree of character and distinction to their doors and sidelights.  It is very affordable to have beveled glass these days, because it can be done with machines and not all by hand.
Here is beveled glass on an Old Growth Redwood Craftsman door with sidelights

Glass can also ad texture to a theme that is portrayed on a door.  The glass can look like water in motion and enhance a surrounding carving.

This is our new door called The Essex Entrance Door
It has an overlayed, cross-banded Redwood panel.
This panel was carved by Patrick Doyle of Mendocino, CA

Frequently I will create a “self commissioned” door to add to my
 Doors For Sale  section of my website.  I create these doors because I like their design and it is often the case that some visitors to my Site have discovered it late in their building or remodeling project and cannot wait the short time to make their door(s).  When I make a “self- commissioned” door, I often leave the glass loose or none at all so that the client has the opportunity to choose the glass to be used in the door.  I may show a door with a Frank Lloyd Wright style of Prairie Design Glass and the client may wish a different  hue or color to the glass or even a different design, or just a clear or clear art glass in the door.  Isn’t that the point of allowing the client to Design-Their-Door?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 ............ For Real !!

Thought I’d point out that I really give my clients the time and opportunity to design the door for their home, store, or lodge.  We meet, usually over the phone or the web, and there is a series of questions to find out if I’m a real person or a factory rep.  They usually see a door on my SITE (link) that they envision on their home .......... but with a “few” changes.  I frequently draw 2, 3, or 4 versions of my clients ideas and slowly but surely we narrow down the design until “it’s just what they wanted”.  I am happy to draw and redraw versions until I come up with the fulfillment of the clients dream door, that is my goal.
and turn it into Custom Doors

I have an entire section on my Site to drawings that I have drawn for clients and not yet created.  .......... I think you’ll see that I’m happy to draw ideas for you.......... ‘till we get it right.

The theme and glass color in this door, was designed by my client in Alaska.
  The upper white and blue glass signify the sky and clouds 
above the setting sun on the ocean and horizon.
The gold rays were laid out (exactly) by my client,
 and only he knows their exact meaning

I realize now, that the one of the pleasures of  "going to the office" each day. is knowing that I can play a part in fulfilling my clients vision and dream for their home of office.

This is an idea I had for an interesting
custom entry door.
I make a few doors each year, just because I want to.
I call them ....... "self commissions"

I want each of my clients to see their dreams and “spirit” in their door.  My doors are designed and constructed to last 100 years.  I make a statement on my site, and I try to live by it.

                         "To sacrifice quality, is to deprive future generations of our craft"

Friday, July 20, 2012

Where Does the Salvaged Lumber and Green Sourced Wood come from?

Today we have become aware that all things are finite, except love and eternity!  That includes the forests of the world.  I have 4 grandchildren and I want them to have the opportunity to experience our forests as I have ............ so .............. I think I’ll leave them the trees that make our forests beautiful.  I have discovered, that with a little effort, we can find plenty of wood that can be “resurrected” an other sources that can be purchased from sources that replant and manage their forests as stewards of the land and forests, not pillagers.

Why salvaged or recycled wood for doors?  Many of my doors are Old Growth Redwood that was logged on the Mendocino Coast over 100 years ago.  We all know what a durable wood Redwood is, so it’s no wonder that logs that we left on the forest floor are still viable and make wonderful lumber.  Many times the trees were fallen down a gulch that was too steep for oxen to retrieve the logs.  Other pieces of logs were left on the forest floor because they were just to big to get onto a wagon and they would not split (easily) into smaller pieces.

This is the end of one of my door boards.
you can clearly see that this tree was
fallen by an ax over a 90 years ago
These logs have been laying on the forest floor
for many decades, and still have beautiful lumber.

All of my “figured” (fancy) Douglas Fir came from one log that a friend found in a “cull” (reject) log deck left out in the woods to decay or cut up for firewood by the local.  It had rot running throughout the log, which is why it was put on the cull deck, however there was still hundreds of board feet of beautiful salvageable Douglas Fir.
Here is a 5 foot diameter Douglas Fir log that we salvaged
from the forest in Humboldt County
I do buy Mahogany and White Oak from a hardwoods dealer about 3 hours from my home in the Redwood Forest.  All of the Mahogany that I use is sustainably harvested by Green Lumber Companies and the White Oak is harvested and replanted in the same ecological minded manner.  But the most important fact is that I travel down to “the big city” when a lumber container comes in and I hand pick and choose every stick of lumber that I have used in everyone of my doors.  There is just no other way.

Is it straight enough?  Is it vertical grain?
Are there any knots?

we scrape the paint off the board ends to find
the vertical grain sawn lumber .... very few

............ and I only choose the best quality wood I  can find .......... and if it isn’t of the quality that I demand and my clients deserve ............ I’ll just walk away and hope for a better day.
One more note you should know, I only use vertical grain sawn lumber in my doors.  It is the most stable and least likely to warp, now or in the next 100 years.  Make sure your doors are not made with random sawn or engineered wood with a veneer fascia. 
 Quality still matters.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Path to making a door that would last the tests of time

I’ve always wanted to do something “special” for a client .......... something that will mean a lot to that person and myself.  I found that feeling when I made some furniture pieces but I never found a “path” for my furniture that I could travel.
The doors became an adventure in construction style and then designs.  I started out making simple doors with lumber from the local lumber yard.  My tools were a tabelsaw, joiner, router (for the molded edge and round corner), and of course a sander.  They were basic and if I could find some figured wood (curly or ?), all the better

This is a Redwood door I made for this home.
 I made the doors. windows, and cabinets.
This is an early interior door that
 I made using a router and a shaper

Also, I was making dozens of Redwood windows for my building projects and for other contractors and homeowners.  I made casement, double-hung, and larger picture windows, all out of VG Redwood that I could buy right here in town (Fort Bragg-Mendocino, CA).  As time went on, I  found myself very interested in the beautiful style and architecture of Greene and Greene and even made some windows “styled” after the Greene Brothers.

.......... the interesting side effect from researching the Green Brothers is learning their respect for continuity in design and the dedication to craftsmanship in their construction, from stone work to fine furniture to the hand-woven carpets.  If that generation can respect their craft that much, so can this generation and my children generation too!

With that inspiration I developed a dedication to the creation of woodwork with integrity, craftsmanship and “soul”.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I have to start somewhere!

In the making of Our custom doors, there is always stories and footnotes that are attached to each project, so it was suggested that I might start sharing some of the experiences and "adventures" in the making of unique custom doors.

Let's start with the ethic that is the behind each door.  My goal is to make a door that will last the client for many decades and several generations to come.  For several years I made furniture, but never found that style that took hold of me and pointed into my creative future.  Then I realized I still had to make a living, and it had to be by working with wood.  I went back to doing carpentry and home construction and my clients asked if I would make the cabinets for the house I was building. So I made his cabinets and many more for several years.  
These are California Oak kitchen cabinets with hand-planed dome panels
 that I made for James Krenov and his wife when they moved to the U.S

I became interested in building doors when those same new home owners asked If I made doors.  My answer was, sure ........... then I’d go and figure out how to do it, the right way.  Over the years I have developed several new procedures that allow me to build a elegantly designed door that utilizes craftsmanship and structural integrity with a traditional or contemporary design.  I will try over time to share and explain some of the new procedures and techniques that I use everyday in the making of all of our unique custom wood doors.

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