Sunday, October 28, 2012

Phew!! .......... what a day in the shop.

I sat back, at the end of the day on Friday, and gazed at the organized chaos that was spread out from floor to rafter and covered the benches with pieces of upcoming projects.  The shop looks like a disaster, but it is all methodically thrown together (or apart).

For instance, along side my table saw/bench, as you walk in there is an 8 ft template of a transom we’ll be making soon

This will fit into an arched jamb that is above a grand entry with two sidelights.

We cleared the center bench to lay down a door (for wrapping) that will be picked up on Sunday. by a client who will travel across the state to view his new entry door

When a client takes the trouble to come to our little corner of the world I like to turn on some spotlights and unveil their door ........ it’s very rewarding to watch their reaction to seeing and touching their new door in person.

While I was waiting for some thick veneers to be sanded for a round top door jamb (coming up), I made a template for my wife make her next stained glass window.  It will have an arched top and have a Coastal Cypress scene.

By making an accurate template she is able to take her finished piece and have it set into insulated glass

Yesterday morning I finished laying out and mortising for two garden gates and they were glued up in the afternoon, and put to rest (glue cure) for at least 3 days. 

A gentleman wrote me and asked for an estimate on a similar gate design ........... so I decided to make a “couple” gates to be able to give a “real and factual” estimate.  I’ll keep you posted.

After resawing and gluing 6 pieces, we placed them in a form where they will stay for 3 days.  These pieces will make the top of the door jamb for an upcoming arched top door for a gentleman outside Chicago.

The best method (I believe) to make an arched top door is to make the jamb, in which it will fit, first and then use that as a template for the top of the future door.

Along the same forethought, I have built a round top Redwood door, making the jamb first, so I now have to make an arched stop for the top of the jamb

The 2-3/4” wide stop, mirrors the arched stop.  It even has a built-in-groove that will receive the weather stripping.

Oh yes .......... since we make arched top gates I realized that we needed arched stops for the top stops of the gates
All of my arched stops are multiple thin boards  that are laminated together in a proper thickness to match the other stops to be used in these beautiful gates.

Then there was 3 different projects (to come soon) which will require 2 layers of marine plywood to be laminated together.

These pieces full of clamps help add to the “organized chaos” as I gazed about the room.

But wait, there’s more !! ............... between my two main benches is this monolith of a solid (appearing) Redwood Plank door, on its edge with these funny clamps, pressured to plywood strips, which will have been clamped at this juncture for 5 days.

These clamped plywood strips are applying constant  pressure on two stainless steel 3” wide strips.  The stainless strips will have the 18” pulls (picture above) at handle height.  Please come back to see the finished entry door.

Last but not least, we have a very simple, yet elegant, quarter sawn White Oak door that will grace a restored miners cabin in the hills above Death Valley, California

above are the Quartersawn White Oak panels in the vacuum press. The fact is ........ I have so much in clamps, I thought I’d share the “chaos” with you.

Please visit our Current Projects Page to see some of what we are working on, and all of the craftsmanship that goes into each door.

Also, please visit Our Door Gallery to see a variety of uniquely crafted custom doors.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I wanted to share some photos

While I'm waiting to show you more progress on my house full of doors, I thought I'd share some interesting wood related photos.
    I was walking on the back of my land and noticed the Redwoods needles, from 2 springs ago, was starting to turn brown as it does each fall.  As the winter winds come,  these clumps of Redwood needles blow out of the trees and blanket the earth with a golden brown layer of retired branched needles.  The Pomo Indians say that each winter the Redwoods cry and they call these dead branchs of needles, Redwood Sorrow.

Instead of snow, our Coastal forest is blanketed with the Redwood "Sorrow" that returns to the earth to become mulch and nurture our beautiful Redwood forest.

Speaking of Redwood, our cousins to the West continent grow a third variety of Sequoia.  It is called The Dawn Redwood.  Wikipedia states "Although the least tall of the redwoods, it grows to at least 200 feet  in height. Local villagers refer to the original tree from which most others derive as Shui-sa, or "water fir", which is part of a local shrine."
   About 20 years ago I planted a dawn Redwood on the edge of our garden and today it is about 35ft tall.  Every fall it looses all of its' needles.  
All of the needles will yellow then fall off and it looks like the tree has come to a fatal end until spring comes and life and foliage returns to this nobel tree.

  We have a western Maple that grows along the Pacific range.  Its' latin name is Acer Macrophillum, Pacific Maple, or Big Leaf Maple.  And this is why.........

These leaves turn yellow, not red or orange, and then turn into this tan shell of a leaf before they return back to compost and nurture the earth.

Another cool picture that I would like to share, is a very thin slice of old growth Redwood.  I cut it off the end of a board and noticed it was so thin you could see light through it......... so I took it outside and shot a picture of this slice held up to the afternoon sun in the Redwood forest.
A simple detail you should know ......... this end cut is 5-1/2" wide by about 1-3/4" tall.  Each line you see, indicates 1 full year of growth.  Part of this trees life grew in such a dark primeval forest, that it took 45 years to grow one inch in diameter.  Imagine these magnificent trees grow up to 20 feet in diameter, and have been on this earth since before the time of Christ.

So, one day my friend Sunray was sawing a 6ft cant (block) of curly Redwood into thick veneers for beautiful panels in our doors. Well it was so heavy that he decided to saw it in half to make it easier to re-saw the thick veneers.  And believe it or not (you really should) when he sawed this 6ft by 8 inch square cant of Redwood in half, he found this......
Yup ......... that is a bullet.  But look carefully that is a bullet that was shot into a young tree, maybe over 100 years ago.  There is no damaged wood behind the bullet and this piece of Redwood was over 120 years old before the tree was logged 40 to 50 years ago, and left on the forest floor for us to find and saw into beautiful veneer, like this

But I saved the the block with the bullet to tell its' story.  If your ever in the neighborhood ask to hold it and have a look for your self.  Can't wait to make "The Bullet Wood Door" for some nice (peaceful) folks!

I've shown this picture before, but take another look.  Here is a picture of the end of a board that was milled for me by a local sawyer.

This tree was originally fallen, by a man with an ax.  How very cool.  I'll bet he would be proud that we utilized his hard work and efforts to create a beautiful door to grace a home of a wonderful family.

Then, I'll end with this
This is a picture of some hand split curly Redwood and the cut end of a Buckeye Burl.  Not much more to say other then I love Natures paint brush.

Please visit Our Website to see more of this beautiful wood.