FURNITURE and STUFF

I make stuff; all kinds of stuff. It’s all I know how to do and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Unfortunantly restoring Morgans is about the only thing I’ve ever documented. Given that I spent eight years in university as a studio art major and another thirty years as a mechanical engineer that is not much of a record. That is particularly so since there is very little creatiity involved in auto restoration. It’s just copying. So this little corner of the website is my brag. It is just some of the stuff that I’ve designed and built over the years. Nothing really special (mostly furniture because it’s under foot daily) but thankfully it’s something other than Morgans. Click on any image to start a slide show.

THE RED TABLE

So OK; it’s black now. First built in 1986 or so it is still serving us well. The top is two sheets of 3/4″ plywood epoxied together. The bases are made from plywood forms that are used in the manufacture of corregated boxes. everything was epoxy coated and finished in red auto enamal. By 2018 the finish was showing its age so I repainted it black with silver fogging, gold leaf and spatters. Needless to say, it is difficult to photograph.

MARTOONI TABLES

What do you do with chunks of wood and metal left over from various Morgan restorations? Well since the beginnig of the covid years Kathi and I have religeously observed MARTINI MONDAYS. Before covid Monday was our night out at a favorite restaurant. When everything shut down we continued the tradition at home. I make a better martini anyway and I now have something that can be made with the smaller chunks of material. A bit further on you will see what happens to larger scraps.

Note: I usually make a CAD (computer aided design) model of everything I design before actually cutting material. After too many years in engineering it’s just a habit. I will include the computer images of many of the following projects for comparison to the final product.

WARREN’S MARTINI table

Claro Walnut wood turned and shaped with Stainless Steel structure. Warren and Jackie are neighbors/friends/drinking buddies that appreciate a good Martini. I thought they needed an appropriate end table for thier libations

I liked the martini table I made for Warren but did not have one for myself. Another block, this time rectangular and stainless steel solved the problem.

Note: these walnut scraps were unuseable for most applications because of large knots that went through the entire 2 1/2″ thickness. I filled the holes with clear casting resin making “windows” through the part. Classic engineer’s solution: “It’s not a defect, itls a feature.”

The BENCH

Robin and Mark gave me two 9′ planks of 2/12″ thick Claro Walnut. Exquisite stuff; aged 100+ years. Most got used for Morgan interiors. The knotted stuff became incentives for furniture projects. The Bench, we actually use it as a side table to the sofa, is 5′ long and 17″ high. Like all the walnut projects it had open knots that I filled with clear casting resin.

It is finished in automotive clear-coat the bench has one natural edge, complete with wormholes, and one edge dressed with a second walnut slab.

SHELF

the last chunk of the Claro Walnut slab was 9′ long, pretty narrow, and with several knots going all the way through. Too good for firewood but what to do with it? Ah…….. the wall in my bedroom is just over 9′ long! I added a polycarbonate strip with a recessed strip of LED lights in the back and under the resin filled knots. With the added timer the shelf doubles as a nightlight.

Walnut shelf in bedroom

KATHI’S COFFEE TABLE

Got myself into a problem with this one. Well over 25 years ago we had a bamboo and glass coffee table. It was not appreciated by Kathleen and I promised to make her a ‘proper’ replacement. Over the years I drew up literally hundreds of designs. Some she vetoed, others I didn’t like enough to put in the effort. Last year (2022) I got inspired by a big chunk of left over walnut in the shop. I didn’t want just another wood table top so many concepts were explored before the final result.

Just a two examples of the MANY computer designs explored.

Some got pretty bizzare

And the FINAL design:

You probably noticed that there is no wood……………. Hmmm.

BRITISH OFFICER’S CHAIR

I did not invent this one. Apparently the British army devised a chair for use on campaigns that required no metal, knocked down for transport, and adapted to irregular surfaces. I knocked off the concept but gave it a bit of my own style.

I made eight chairs; four each in cherry and walnut.

BEDROOM SET IN MAHOGANY

Daughter Robin bought a large amount of 2″ thick African Mahogany for a project. The stuff warped like crazy when she tried to saw it to smaller dimensions (African Mahogany has screwy grain and is prone to warping). So the stock ended up in my shop. The bedroom set below was designed to take advantage of the thick stock.

This is (obiously) the bedframe. Mahogany is short grained and not very strong so I chose to incorporate steel framing for structure.

And the six drawer dresser that goes with the bedframe……………

ANOTHER GUEST ROOM NEEDED A BED AND DRESSER……..

I wanted something a bit different this time. And since no one was giving me any fancy wood I cheaped out and made this set with Poplar.

The poplar structure is finished in a transparent white paint that was wiped on and the plywood fillers are yellow paint. Gold leaf highligts the routed details on the legs.

This is a vertical version of the mahogany dresser. I made the drawers for both at the same time.

SCULPTURE

Now this is really ancient history. My first and only surviving stone sculpture. It is alabaster, 19″ high, carved entirely by hand in 1970. I left it with a friend when I left LA in the early ’80s. Years later made a return visit and found it propping his garage door open. Hmmm……….

A BEDROOM SET IN CHERRY.

If only I had taken pictures before putting the pieces in the bedroom. It is really difficult to get a clean shot of the big pieces but these will have to do.

In the late ’80s Kathi and I bought a contemporary styled four post cherry bed from a specialty shop in Cambridge. I made a six drawer dresser and amoir to complement it (made them because there was no way we could afford to buy something suitable.)

So this is the dresser. Cherry with purple heart handles and accents.

7′ High and a bit more than 4′ wide with two drawers it has served well for 25 years.

Solid cherry structure with cherry plwood panels. Trim is purple heart and there is inlay on the inside.

Bedside table in cherry

IAN’S GUITAR

This section began with the Red (er… Black) table. I had the black paint treatment with the gold leaf and misting in mind for a while but was hesitant to do a table size project. Ian is a friend and neighbor. He plays a pretty mean guitar. One of his instruments was “uncomfortable”. I reshaped the guitar body for him and gave it the black/mist/gold paint treatment. He is still talking to me so I guess it was OK.

Ian and the black guitar

Rolling Pins… Really?

Ok; not very exciting but the back story is fun. Way back in 1973 we were house sitting in Santa Monica for an artist that was spending a year in Japan. There was a shop on the property that I had access to. I’m not one to miss an opportunity so I bought a bunch of hard maple, milled it, glued it and made a butcher board type table. At 4′ diameter it was a significant endevor. The four legs were turned alder and were attached by wedged oak dowels. A learning experience: Wood moves with changes in humidity. Two legs were located on the table centerline, inline with the maple strips. The table top bowed a lot during damp seasons and flattened in the dry. The legs would lift and the table rocked. We added and removed wedges regularly until…

No more rocking. I cut the top to 3′ diameter with only three legs. So what about those rolling pins? Well I’m not about to just throw away a nice chunk of turned alder.

A Bed Frame I made for Daughter Robin

My how time flies (nd I don’t think having fun has much to do with it). According to the inscription I made this in 1999. Cherry with plywood filler panels.