Wood Lover Wednesday – Persimmon

As I was picking up some walnut from my local AdvantageLumber.com for a bench I’m building, I spied this incredible wall of Persimmon wood slabs! Isn’t it magnificient?! I don’t think you have to be a wood geek like me to see the beauty in this White Ebony. In a perfect world, I imagine Persimmon as an incredible piano veneer, it’s movement echoing that of the music played, but in reality it’s not very workable since it’s Janka is 2300, prone to bugs, and constantly flexing.

persimmonPersimmon has very wide, pale yellow sapwood with it’s very thin heartwood being brown/black in color. The heartwood is usually less than an inch wide with a straight grain & medium/coarse texture. Persimmon is great for wood turning, making for stunning golf club heads and small objects. I might just have to find me a lathe! ;D

 

Wood Lover Wednesday – Bocote

For this thrilling addition of Wood-Lover Wednesday, we’re going to learn about the beautiful Bocote! Though this species is native to Mexico & Central/South America, I only had to trek as far as AdvantageLumber.com to spy it’s magnificence! Take a look!

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As you can see, Bocote has a yellowish brown body with brown/blackish figuring on flatsawn areas as well as ‘eyes’ that, unlike knots, don’t present any machining issues. Bocote darkens with age and has a Janka hardness of 2,010. Sparse amounts of silica means that it machines pretty well & it’s not oily enough for gluing to be a problem. It’s zebra-like contrasts lend itself to being used to build Fine Furniture & turned objects. Keep in mind that Bocote is quite heavy & somewhat expensive, but it’s stunning grain is worth every penny if you ask me!

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I’m envisioning bookmatched ‘faces’ as a table top, or heck, you could frame Bocote and call it a day! ;) What stunning masterpieces would you form with Bocote?

Wood Lover Wednesday – Cocobolo

For this Wood Lover Wednesday, I traveled to my local lumber supplier to sneak a peek of some stunningly beautiful Cocobolo. Thanks to the awesome folks at AdvantageLumber.com, this humble wood lover was able to snap a pic of this gorgeous Cocobolo slab!!

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Cocobolo is a very dense, tropical hardwood (Dalbergia retusa) & is extremely oily with a floral odor. It’s heartwood is an orange/reddish brown color with a figuring of irregular black stripes. Only the heartwood of this beautiful tree is used, tho as you can see in the above pic, the sapwood is a creamy yellow with a clear delineation in between. Cocobolo is known to cause allergic reactions because of it’s high oil content so a mask is advised while working + if gluing up, I recommend wiping surfaces to be glued with acetone to attain proper adhesion. This wood stands up to water very well, making it ideal for knife handles and gun grips. It can be polished to a lustrous, glossy finish & has a Janka hardness of 2260. Due to Cocobolo’s amazing resonant properties, it is a fine choice for acoustic guitars. Not much of this rare wood exists out of national parks & reserves, so it’s uniqueness is worth the hefty price tag.

Yolo! Splurge on some Cocobolo & share your wonders here! ;D

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Wood Lover Wednesday – Walnut

Welcome to my first ever Wood Lover Wenesday! Each Wednesday I’ll be featuring some wood species info & pics in order to learn my woods & swap photos with fellow wood lovers! Feel free to share a link to your favorite wood of the week pic!

Learnin’ –> Walnut has a dense (janka – 1010), tight-grained timber which makes it perfect for furniture, turned carvings, and lutherie + it’s burls are prized for making incredibly beautiful veneers. Walnut can range in color from creamy white in the sapwood to dark chocolate in the heartwood. Walnut is purplish-brown when air-dryed compared to a dull brown when kiln-dried, both of which are stunning in this wood-lover’s eyes!

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Here’s a shot of the walnut top of the Fine Furniture table seen here that I recently built. I LOVE how you can easily see how the tree was sliced and even where branches were growing out from the trunk!!

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My First Fine Furniture Table

I’ve always enjoyed designing furniture… I LOVE the whole design process, from gathering inspiration to bringing a concept to fruition! Before this week though, I had only been able to doodle my designs since I didn’t have the know-how to build my wooden creations. Thanks to my time at Franklin Street School of Woodworking in Tampa and the expert tutelage of Kate Swann, the world of Fine Furniture Building has been opened up to me. I designed, selected lumber, jointed, planed, ripped, chopped, and formed said lumber into the table that would start my Fine Furniture building career! My time at Franklin Street went by in a flash since I was enjoying myself soooooooo much! Do I love Furniture Refinishing? Of course, I do! But, it seems like a natural progression for me to finally build all the designs that have only lived on paper up until now. So, without further ado, here is the first table that I not only designed, but was able to BUILD out of walnut & quartersawn sycamore!!!! Hope you like it! :D

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For this table concept, that will start a series of work for me, I tried to show emotion (in this case, impatience) and movement with leg placement. Keep an eye on my Etsy shop for future furniture designs up for sale! What emotion would YOU like me to convey in furniture form?!

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As a dive into the amazing world of Fine Woodworking under the expert tutelage of Kate Swann & Franklin Street Fine Woodwork, I find myself so eager to fulfill my dreams of becoming a Furniture Designer/Fine Furniture Maker, that I’m pushing myself to be perfect right out the gate… I have to be continually reminded that it’s not a race, it’s not a contest, then I allow myself to slow down and enjoy the process… at that moment that I can see that the turning of a raw piece of lumber into a square slab of wooden perfection is incredibly rewarding. I have always been a wood lover & now through this amazing process of taking lumber through the jointer, planer, chop saw, and table saw, it seems that wood now loves me back! The grain patterns that emerge through this process conceptually mesh with the furniture design in my head, planets align, and my soul is lit on fire… time stands still and speeds up at the same time as I realize that I could (someday, with a ton of practice), actually be good at this thing that I’ve wanted to do all my life! Now if I could just turn this passion into a career, that would be bliss! :)))

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“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

It’s sooo haaaaarrrrdddd to say goodbye… to furniture!!

A classic Boyz II Men song comes to mind every time I sell a piece that I’ve painstakingly refinished. Dramatic? Yep, sure am, but justifiably so… I happily put my blood (albeit only a splinter’s worth so far, knock on wood), sweat, and tears into every piece that I work on. pencil_beforeA piece of me goes into each piece, if that makes any sense, hehe. In fact, if I had it my way, I wouldn’t sell my most recent work… I would have a lovely circular foyer where this beautiful table would rest right smack in the middle of, properly dressed with a vase of fresh flowers on top along with a gorgeous rug and my little guys’ shoes strewn about underneath. But, alas, I do not have a foyer (pronounce it the hoighty toighty way while reading, please), so therefore this beauty is up on the auction block. *insert sad face here* Though it does turn my frown upside down when someone falls in love with my refinished pieces and gives them a happy home!  Here’s hoping this table finds a new owner before I swoon any harder!
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W O R K

This beauty was a wobbly, dinged up, sad-lookin’ wooden doorstop when we met, but I bathed her in 4 coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s ‘Typewriter’ milk paint (adding bonding agent in the first two coats) & topped her off with some clear Briwax. The end result is a super cool finish that looks exactly like it was sculpted from a huge block of no. 2 pencil lead & I ADORE it! But, no! I cannot fall in love!! I am selling it since I don’t have a foyer… maybe I should just move so I can keep it! ;)

 

 

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Santa’s gone & didn’t hire me on as Elf in Chief

Hey there, y’all! I’ve been taking a looooooong hiatus on my Furniture Refinishin’ since my boys have been on so many breaks at school… it has been a blast playing online, rockin’ out on video games, and ridin’ scooters all day, but I feel incredibly guilty about not working more! Actually, not sure if it’s guilt or just missing refinishing pieces! I love what I do! I will never get rich doing it or ever become Elf in Chief in Santa’s workshop (my little guys’ dream job for me), but I’m ok with that! I enjoy being a humble Carpentress & I hope 2015 is full of splinters and paint-soiled jeans for me! Reminds me, here’s a snippet of what I’m currently workin’ on… a not-even-close-to-being-done console/desk + an ‘upholster me, please’ Danish Modern chair! ;D

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Happy New Year!!!

Live Edge Walnut Slab Console Table

live_edge_3_sombSo, I’ve always wanted an entryway console table, a place to throw keys, change, sunglasses, etc. when I get home… but, it’s a little hard when you don’t have a formal foyer, lol! Despite that, I tried to create an official entryway in our home using this console table I built, shoe basket, a rug, and mirror! :D

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This was a fairly easy build… I didn’t have to chop the tree down and plane the slab, hehe! For the top, I simply found a live edge piece of walnut online, finished it with two coats of high gloss spar urethane, glued a piece of plywood under it to ensure that none of the live edge bark falls off since I don’t know what season it was cut down in + I made a cleat for the install by cutting a rectangle out of this plywood. Then for the rest of this piece, I simply built, veneered, and stained a drawer box out of 3/4″ birch plywood for my little guys’ sunglasses & attached the box with screws onto the underside of the slab. I probably would have left it floating if I didn’t have little monkeys in the house. ;) To finish it off, I added a single hairpin leg to give it a cantilevered look & a modern feel!

What feeling does your home’s entryway convey?

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Mid Century Modern Dresser Refinish

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Is it just me, or is Mid Century Modern design swoon-worthy?! It seems to just look better with age, proving that clean lines and beautiful finishes never go out of style! Cue this stunning walnut & brass American of Martinsville dresser from their Dania Collection by designer Merton Gershon! I couldn’t love it’s louvered drawer fronts more and they weren’t damaged, so I simply painted the chipped up exterior of the piece. This was such an easy refinish… slapped on some ‘Artissimo’ Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint & hemp oil to match the existing furniture I built in the room & called it a day!

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It took longer to style all my favorite gaudy nautical accents around this piece than it did to paint it, lol! I think the brass lizard and seagulls from BrassandTeak’s Etsy Shop suit it perfectly, the watercolor is an abstract beach sunset that I painted (hit me up for a custom color landscape of your own), and the vase & jewelry box are a couple of my favorite finds from west elm.

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I am over the moon about how this piece turned out!

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