Our latest project was this walnut table top with a painted base and turned legs. The table was 40 inches x 64-3/4 inches (the perfect golden rectangle) for use as a kitchen table in the client’s home. First we developed a pattern for the leg and turned the poplar legs on the lathe. We then quickly assembled the base without glue and only laid a walnut board on top so the client could come in and approve the table’s design so far. With this approval, we glued together the walnut boards for the top and glued the base components together. After much sanding, the walnut top was finished with a pre-catalyzed lacquer and the base was finished in an eggshell white paint chosen by the client. We applied a final top coat of water clear polyurethane on the paint for durability and ease of clean-up.
As the granite from the Texas Capitol building develops cracks and water seeps into these cracks and freezes, small pieces of the granite falls off. These pieces are called spalls and the Texas State Preservation Board collects these spalls and was looking for a way to showcase them and offer these pieces for fundraising purposes. As with the earlier Capitol oak pieces, TSPB turned to Mark to create sculptures with several of the more interesting spalls and more of the Capitol oak for bases. The mounted spall pictured here is called “Cardinal” with a copper and red oak burl base. Mark also created “Capitol Idea” with a brass and red oak base. And “Sailfish Flying” sits on a copper and red oak burl base. “Capitol Idea” has already sold even before it had a chance to be displayed.
I had to forego my blogging entries about the progress of these library shelves as I became too involved in the sanding, glue-ups, sanding again, staining and finishing to have any time left over to write about it. Now with the shelving units installed, I can look back at our documentation and retrace the process from where we left off in the last blog. The last entry showed the oak sized for the various components of the shelves. Next Mark laid out the dadoes for the units. The glue-ups were complex especially in clamping up all the components without losing square. The largest unit proved to be a very challenging glue-up. But ultimately the mitered joints came together and shelves pulled up in the dadoes. The cabinets were then given a beveled edge treatment as a finishing touch. A leveler system was also installed to compensate for the uneven floors. Several of the lower cabinets were going to have doors with a walnut burl veneer. Much time was spent by Mark and our client coming up with the best veneer matches for these doors. For such a large project, the finishing had to be done in stages with finished cabinets moving next to unfinished cabinets waiting to be stained and then lacquer finished. The client finally has his boxes of books off the floor and into his new shelves with his art pieces showcased.
From the raw material in the rough of the first photo, the rift-sawn oak boards have now been milled to a little over one inch and paired with other boards to make a good grain match in approximate 15-inch widths. After the clamping and gluing, Mark has stroke-sanded each panel and stacked them as shown in the photo. The next step will be to put them through a wide belt sander to insure a consistent thickness. After this sanding, Mark will code each board for their potential future use in the various units of the bookcase structure.
This photo shows the elm and pecan wood from trees that were cut down during the construction of the new Seton Hospital/University of Texas Medical School as the wood has been meticulously stacked in a kiln to be dried for several weeks. Landers’ Studio was contracted by Seton (and their sub-contractor J.E. Dunn) to act as a consultant on drying the wood and advising on the best means to ultimately utilize and showcase this wood in the new building. Mark has been working on rough milling the wood and stacking it properly in the kiln at the same time as working on the Oak Library project mentioned earlier. Possible suggested usages for the wood has been for use in a lobby reception desk and also as elements of a wall design and liturgical furniture in the Seton chapel.