the process + working together
working together to build your custom piece of furniture
I have been repeatedly asked throughout the years, "how do you begin to build a custom piece of furniture"? There are several ways to answer this question, but the short answer is, with a conversation, a tape measure and a sketch.
We start the process of creating your custom piece by getting together and starting a conversation about what you want. If you would like a dinner table I would ask, how many people are in your family, how many need to sit at this table at the same time? I have made several tables that are a bit higher for tall people. When we talk about your needs at the start of a project, remember it's custom so anything is possible.
What type of wood would you like to use? if you have children that are at the precious age of "destruction", I would suggest a sturdy hardwood to minimize wear and tear. I like to use only solid hardwood, and american made plywood in my furniture. I also prefer not to use stains. If you want your wood to look like cherry or walnut, then we will use real cherry and real solid walnut.
a tape measure
What size space is the piece going to live in? Do we need to consider ceiling heights, door clearance, final weight and the ability to easily move the piece? If I was going to build you a cabinet, do I need to account for oversize books, family heirlooms or a unique collection?
I would also like to measure you, maybe you are taller or shorter and need a table that fits you more comfortably.This is your custom piece, created for you, so I want to make sure I take every measurement that makes this unique work fit you best.
Most of my work starts in a sketch book, some starts on my computer and others just start with a beautiful piece of wood. For many clients, before I begin the build, I will present precise C.A.D. drawings with measurements, multiple views and an explanation of how this piece will fit together. You get to sign off on the piece before I begin. I have had other clients just ask me to build them a unique piece of work, they wanted to be surprised! For some, I search for that one-of-a-kind piece of lumber, the unique log, the crazy shape that will suit their needs and I go from there. I would like this design process to be a comfortable one, so I can work in any way that you desire.
An example of sketches and final piece shown below.
A request for a custom bowl, vessel or plate is very similar to the process listed above but much more simple. As I mentioned above, all wood is priced differently. Some wood I have to purchase, some I have dropped the tree myself and other timbers I have picked up on the side of the road. (I always carry pruning spray, a large garbage bag, and a small saw just-in-case I see a nice log in my travels). If the wood is dry I can start and finish a turning usually within a few days. If the lumber is wet, start to finish times can take up to six months to allow the wood to dry, for the final finish turning. Most of my turned pieces are done as spec pieces and available as they are when I present them on this site.