Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Contents of Tables

1. 4x4x30 1/4 piece of red oak, pre-sanded and routed out 3/4" for the table supports; pictured here

2. A carefully chosen piece of 4'x8' red oak plywood. I dug through the stack to find an exceptional grain with great repetition and color variation.

From one piece of plywood I was able to assemble three table tops. I sandwiched pieces together with glue and belt sanded the sides for a clean finish with an excellent pattern.

3. The base was assembled with 1x4 oak pieces notched, sanded then pegged to the 4x4 post. Angled pieces were then fit into the routed top of the post as supports for under the table.

Finally I assembled the table top to the base by flipping the tops over then aligning and squaring off the base upside down on top of the table top. Below are final pics of the first table.

I am quite excited about actually placing these in our dining room. Art Director and I can then decide how to finish the set, whether we stain or just prime and seal them. One final sanding is still needed but I don't want to do that until we come to a finish decision.
Look for the final color reveal coming soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Time to clamp down

Though I am finished with the construction of the benches (primer and sealer are yet to be finished due to aesthetic conflict over stain) I figured I would post some photos of the process. Above you'll see the base assembly after being pegged and glued. Though the pegs are strong enough I used glue to give it a little something extra. (Sort of like the jalapenos in Art Director's guacamole!) Below you'll seer the front and back of the base before final base assembly.

Since the benches are 3 feet wide I had to assemble the tops from three separate pieces of 1" wood using dowels. It worked well but not as great as I would have thought. Much sanding was done to make the top as seamless as possible.

The final step of the assembly process was attaching the top to the base after a preliminary sanding. I flipped the top over on to the workbench and then placed the base upside down on top of that. I carefully marked out the base and the aligned the holes for the placement of 1/4" pegs. As you can see I glued, clamped and pegged the top to the base and let it set for 24 hours before doing another rough sanding.

Here I have gathered all three benches for in a mock set up of how they would lay out in our dining room. If you look carefully you'll see the beginnings of the table tops resting carefully on top.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

a fireplace makeover

well the fireplace is actually part of phase 2 of the remodel (since it's in the living room) but since we were buying paint anyway, we thought we would give it a little love.

here is what it looked like before the paint. it was a pale yellow color and had cheap home depot marble tiles around the fireplace opening. the marble was so random. it really didn't go with anything else.

here is what it looks like now. we added rust colored paint to the walls. then we primed and painted over the white marble with a charcoal gray. (the true color is unfortunately hard to tell from the photo) all of the other walls in the living room are brick so it's the only place to add some color.

we have many other plans for the living room and the fireplace, but they will have to wait until we have completed our projects in the bedroom, hallway and dining room.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The pressure's on

So I have to admit, I thought it would be the end of the summer before "carpenter" would actually get around to building the furniture for our dining room. You've heard the story about the baker's wife, right?

So now I need to get serious about fabric. A few months ago I was all set on a couple Amy Butler options...and now I fell in love with a Marimekko pattern. I didn't want to, it just happened and now I can't get it out of my head.

Here's the deal. As much as I love love love Amy Butler's fabrics, I'm going need a lot of it and I worry that I may grow sick of my color choices. So I decided to go with a more neutral color scheme for the benches and then I can go crazy with color with pillows, art work, etc.

Here is the pattern. Tell me what you think?

Here it is on a couch. I like that it's fun and modern without being too bright.

Ok. Next dilemma...keep the wood on the benches as it with an oil and wax finish or stain it a dark color? Our original plan was to stain the benches darker, but now I might feel sad about covering up the wood.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Recessionary Spending

Every morning I get up and I put on the news. Every morning the news tells me we "may" be in a recession. They're not sure yet but it is possible, so...just in case I decided I'm going to save money and make my own furniture. (That's not really true. I was always planning to build my own furniture. The recession was just a coincidence.) For the cost of an expensive piece from Ikea I was able to design and build my own benches from solid red oak.

The idea for the design was simple. Straight lines to match the infrastructure of our loft. No styles or complicated details. Sounds easy, right? WRONG. I decided to NOT use any nails or screws just to see if I could do it. Only wood. I used a simple peg system , still all oak, and eco-friendly wood glue. Here is a detail of the pegs for the front part of the base.

For the actual assembly of the bench I had to build a jig layout with some scrap 2x4 and plywood I had to demo from the jobsite. (I am building these during my down time while on my jobsite, including evenings) The jig allowed for a faster assembly of the other two benches.

I have built all three benches, one at 5'x 3', one 5'6"x 3', and one 4'x 2'. They should fill the dining room nicely without overcrowding and the 3 foot depth will make for some cool loungy seating.

PS COMING SOON...3 cafe style tables...nice!

Monday, May 5, 2008

a little more color

The next room to get color is our bedroom. Of the 3 walls in our bedroom, 2 of them are brick, so I was going crazy not having color on the wall opposite our bed.

no paint

here is a little corner so you can see it against the brick.

I can't wait to start hanging stuff on the walls.

Riley thinks the new paint color makes the room super cozy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

dining room progress

Yup. It's painting time. My fabulous husband painted the dining room. I'm super excited. It's starting to look like a room. We painted it a soft bluish gray. We wanted to go with a more neutral color on the walls and bring in other colors through art work and throw pillows that will go on the benches.

a little "before" reminder

Doesn't it make the walls look so much higher?

Doesn't our dining table from our apartment look so tiny in here?