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Pickwell Leaf Storage Table in Walnut With Curly Maple
Monday, October 22, 2018

A New Look For An Old Favorite

The reverse tapers, under cut bevels and contrasting accents have made the Pickwell Dining Table a favorite with my customers. The leaf storage system, as illustrated in this Walnut and Curly Maple example, provide convenience and versatility. The two 18" leaves allow for four extra place settings and store away neatly in the base, after guests have left for the evening. Four sturdy 500lb slides will allow you to effortlessly open and close the top using one hand and the top will not sag. Give me a call so we can talk about designing the perfect table to fit your home!

The Pickwell Leaf Storage system on the inside - Leaves are stored directly inside the table.
The Pickwell Leaf Storage Table with the leaves in place.
Walnut sideboard.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Design Potential of Matched Veneers

The Walnut sideboard featured in this week's blog shows running matched veneers in the doors, sliced from a single piece of crutch grain Walnut. This beautiful repeated patterning could not have been achieved in solid wood.

During the 20th century veneering sometimes became, justifiably, associated with mass produced, cheap furniture that would not stand the test of time. However, for centuries, veneers have been used to adorn the finest and most expensive furniture. And much of the finest custom furniture continues to be built this way today. Beautiful, but unstable, woods can be controlled by slicing them thinly and gluing them to a stable substrate.

The key difference, these days, is that modern adhesives allow us to be confident that the veneers, once glued down, will not lift or peel away from the substrate. In addition, the substrate materials we now use are completely stable and will not move, unlike the solid wood substrates of old. These two fortunate advances in woodworking technology, allow us to incorporate veneers into our designs with confidence.

I think the benefits are evident in this handmade sideboard. You can view similar pieces by visiting the Pinnacle Collection.

Running matched crutch grain Walnut door panels
Solid Walnut for the sideboard top
Tiger Maple top and Cherry base
Regency Drop-Leaf Dining Table
Monday, April 2, 2018

Working With Clients Is The Best Part

I am truly fortunate - not only do I love my work, but also get to collaborate with some very nice people! Here's a recent testimonial from my clients, Sharon and Gary, who now own the table featured here:

We contacted John last fall to inquire about a design for a custom dining table that would double as a desk for our den. The design process was enjoyable and he offered some great perspectives for us to consider. With each design iteration, John was quick to get back to us to keep the process moving. He invited us to participate in each step of the construction, including coming over to look at the grain of the wood once it arrived! He was spot on for the estimate of the final delivery and notified us if he thought there might be a delay. We now have a beautiful drop-leaf table/desk. The quality of the construction, the grain of the wood is all beyond our expectation. We will work with John again – it was a wonderful experience!

Working closely with my clients, listening to their needs, and designing custom furniture that fulfills those needs is a challenge that I relish. It keeps each day fresh and interesting. The "AH HA" moment that comes when a design solution finally presents itself is a real thrill.

This Drop-Leaf Regency Table has a flitch-matched Tiger Maple top (which means the boards were cut from a single tree as a set) and a Cherry base. These two woods compliment each other beautifully on a piece of handmade furniture, just as they do standing side by side in the forest.

Regency Drop-Leaf Table in Tiger Maple and Cherry
Beautiful flitch-matched Tiger Maple top
Leaves Up
Ellyptical Regency Pedestal Table
Friday, February 2, 2018

Ellipse, Oval or Racetrack and the Tale of a Pedestal Table.

Designing this custom pedestal table has brought up an America vs Britain language difference, which has been hotly debated in our home. To me (a Brit) an egg is a type of oval, symmetrical with a single long axis and a continuously changing curved circumference. The table shown here is elliptical, being symmetrical along two axes, one longer than the other. (Apogee vs. Perigee, but that's altogether another debate.) Then there's the racetrack, which has straight sides and half-round ends. In America, as I understand it, oval is synonymous with racetrack, even though we agree this table is ellyptical.

The Mirriam Webster defines an oval this way:

1: An oval figure or object (Not very helpful). 2: A racetrack in the shape of an oval or a rectangle having rounded corners.

That wasn't satisfactory to me, so I turned to my trusted Concise English Dictionary. Oval is defined as:

1: Egg shaped or ellipsoidal. 2: Closed curve with one axis considerably longer than the other, eg the Surrey cricket ground.

So there you have it, NASCAR vs Cricket. It all comes down to sport, as usual, and the debate continues...

Let's discuss a new handmade dining table, coffee table, or occassional table for your home. As the customer, you can call the shape anything you like!

I used just about every clamp in my studio to laminate the aprons.
The pedestal bases.
Base detail.