I made this custom solid oak coffee table last week. I really enjoy making tables, and oak is one of my favourite woods to work with, so it was win-win! I chamfered the angle on edges by hand using my trusty No. 5 plane. Very happy with how they turned out.
I made this pine coffee table not too long ago. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I'm a fan of the whitewashed pine look. Very Scandinavian. I don't like when pine goes a dark yellowish/red colour. The legs are also solid pine— painted grey.
Here's some pics from a recent job I finished. I fitted out a complete room with birch plywood and laminate cabinets, bookcases, furniture, and seating area. I really enjoyed this project. The customers are delighted too, which makes it all the better! 😎 Peace ✌🏽😉
Tom Sachs famously said it. "Always Be Knolling". This is part of my "Knoll wall" in my studio. It just basically boils down to keeping your workspace (and consequently your headspace) free, clean, and clear while you work. It means everything has a place. You don't spend time looking for stuff, or waste time as you build. I can't stress how important this is when you work from a small studio as I do. Every square inch has to be used efficiently.
It's people like you reading this, that keep craft alive. I am truly appreciative of the time you take to read my blogs, share my instagram, twitter, or facebook posts, and recommend me to friends and family. I am just one man. I am not a big corporation, or a large company with a marketing budget. So when you share my services through word of mouth it really helps. All any of us are really trying to do is provide a living for our families, and to be happy in what we do. So thank you for helping me to provide a living for my family.
If you know anyone that may need my services, please don't hesitate to show them my website. Thanks a mill.
Here's some images of a recent custom furniture build I did. I absolutely loved making this coffee table. Using beautiful, solid hardwoods and making furniture is my favourite part of my job.
A client from my home town of Celbridge, Co. Kildare had come to me with an image of a coffee table she had seen and was considering buying. But there were a few issues that stopped her from making the purchase. The table she had seen was a little larger than she needed for her space. It was also made from oak. Even though she loved oak, it didn't complement anything else in her living space -which already had some walnut in it. Oak was going to clash with the palette in her room.
So I designed and made this piece. She absolutely loved it! I wish I could have captured the look on her face when I delivered it to her. It's such a great feeling knowing you've taken great care and worked hard to create a great piece that you can be proud of, and then for the recipient of your work to love it and cherish it is really special.
Loved doing this one. Peace and love.
In no particular order...
(i) CONSISTENCY: Make sure your piece is consistent. Don't mix lots of materials. Keep your palette simple. Try to keep to the idea of your piece.
(ii) BALANCE: Ensure that the components of your piece are balanced in scale & proportion. For example a table with 100 mm thick legs and a 12 mm thick top will just look odd.
(iii) LONGEVITY: Design a piece for strength, longevity, and the worst case scenario. Imagine someone standing on your coffee table, or stepping on the bottom shelf of a cabinet to reach something. Use good joinery techniques, and quality materials.
(iv) ONE IDEA: Have one idea per piece. Try to stick to a style. It's very difficult to pull off a mid-century modern, rustic, traditional, minimalist dining table! What would that even look like?!
(v) SIMPLIFY: Simplify everything. Materials, components, ideas. Strip away anything that isn't needed until you have the purest piece possible.
(vi) EFFICIENCY: Design your piece to be made simply, quickly, and efficiently.
(vii) IGNORE: Ignore any or all of these principles and have fun! It's just woodworking. :)
Today's post is short & sweet.
When designing anything, whether it's buildings, furniture- or even cars, consumer goods or fashion items, your choice of material is critical to your design. I choose to design and make with wood for a number of reasons. The main one is that wood is magical :)
I believe there's an innate connection in all of us with wood. It's hard to resist rubbing it, running your hands over the grain, and gulping in the unique smell. In recent times we've embraced other materials such as plastic in a flawed way. Basically, a material that has been designed to last forever is used in instances where it is instantly thrown away. But the properties of wood are almost magical. A wooden piece treated with respect and care can last centuries. On the other hand, if wood is left to the elements it will weather and disintegrate, naturally degrading back into the earth from where it came. There is no doubt that this is truly special.
Everything ever made was designed. If you nailed together some scrap pieces of wood to make a shelf -you designed it. Woodworkers are designers but many don't realise it, or give themselves enough credit. It takes skill and creativity to imagine something and then to make it physically. But like all skills, creativity and imagination can be improved upon. If you're a woodworker, don't underestimate your design skills. If you just jump in and start making with an idea in your head, try sketching first. If you already sketch try technical drawing. If you can use a t-square and set squares to produce technical drawings you are well on your way to being able to use 2D/3D CAD software and eventually producing photo-real renders. I'm not saying you need to be able to do all these things to consider yourself a good woodwork designer. But being able to avail of all the tools available to you will help you explore your ideas further. You will be able to constantly develop your ideas before you even open the door of your woodshop. This will lead to better designs and better finished pieces. Not to mention happier clients, and a happier you!
I predominantly make tables. It's very rare I'll take on a different type of project. In fact I turn down most requests that aren't tables. But it's good to see a different part of my woodworking journey, and see some of the other things I've made throughout my career. Take a look below!
Hi. I'm Dónal. I'm a furniture maker, carpenter, and woodworker. This blog is a way for me to share my work plus some of my thoughts on woodworking in general.
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