I'll be installing this Sonoran style entry gate later this month. The wood is African mahogany with an oxidized and DeftOil finish. The grill is custom made by my blacksmith and the hardware is from Architectural Traditions.
The completed round top door with custom designed wrought iron grill and corner brackets.
The arched top window has custom stained glass by Ochoa Stained Glass.
The round top door below is made from African mahogany and will replace a worn out door. I'll take the unfinished door to the house for final fitting, then its back to my shop for hardware installation, finishing sanding, staining and finishing.
A couple of photos of the completed 10' mesquite dining room table.
The dining room table is in the finishing stage but I did take a couple of progress photos that hint at the final design.
The 4 planks were first rough cut to the approximate size.
Natural edge or straight edge? A quick and dirty editing of the image answers that question.
Below is the final top layout after much milling and sanding.
The table base has turned legs similar to the round mesquite table I made for the same customer.
I have just started sorting out planks for a 10' x 4' mesquite dining room table. Each plank is 12' long x 20" wide x 2" thick and weigh 170 lbs each, mesquite this size is very rare, I have had these book matched planks for 13 years waiting for the right project.
exterior Craftsman doors are nearing completion. The glass lites will
have insulated glass with sheet mica inserts.
These rustic fir entry gates have custom hand forged organic steel grills. The "grass" keeps small critters out. The hardware design will have the same hammered organic look.
I have been working on a run of 16 Craftsman style doors, 12 interior and 4 exterior. The doors are made from vertical grain fir with veneered flat panels. I applied the VG fir veneer to both sides of 16 ply Russian plywood, this way I can match the layout and grain pattern on both sides of the panels - and because the panels are plywood they will never crack like traditional solid wood vertical grain panels have a tendency to do.
The completed mesquite table has a sprayed on satin catalyzed varnish finish. The finish is extremely durable and will withstand daily use and abuse for years and years without showing any wear.
The 54" round mesquite table is finish sanded ready for finishing.
The 6 flitch cut mesquite planks in the photo below will be used to make the book matched table top.
The two arched half's of the table apron with the top supports are dry clamped together.
Since the install of the mesquite door I have been roughing out pieces for a 54" round mesquite table with a pedestal base. The table apron is a curved lamination made up of 5 - 7' long pieces of mesquite veneer I sliced using a band saw.
The thin veneer is bent around a heavy particle board form. The photo below is a test bend without glue.
Instead of using standard bar clamps to hold the veneer tight while the epoxy glue dries, the entire form/veneer/glue unit is slid into a vacuum bag. The pressure on the veneer is tremendous at 1485 lbs. per square foot., the total force holding the veneer flat on the form is almost 2 tons!
Below are the 4 - 3" round tapered legs made from solid mesquite for the pedestal base.
Stay tuned for more photos next week.
The installation of the mesquite and mahogany entry shown below went smoothly. The original entry was completely removed and the new jamb and door fit perfectly into the rough opening.
Here is a photo of the new entry with glass block sidelites and transom, scroll down to see the original doorway.
This is what the original entry looked like, the bubble glass sidelite is a traditional design feature from the 1960's.
Mesquite doors and furniture can use up a lot more material than using standard hardwoods, an example are the raised panels for the door below. I needed 4 book matched boards that were 12" wide. Nice clean, thick, wide planks are rare but I have a nice inventory dry mesquite to choose from.
The stack of 9 - 1" thick boards below were 20" wide and 5' long. Cutting around the defects enabled me to get 1 side of each panel from each board, two sides were then laminated together to make a single panel.
The 4 raised panels compliment the book matched vertical stiles. The door below has been trial fit together without glue, The next step is taking the door apart and finish sand all the parts. The raised panels are then pre-finished before final assembly.
I'm back to work after an early summer vacation visiting family in Chicago and Toledo. My next project is a mesquite and glass block entry.
The mahogany jamb below is completed with the glass block installed into the sidelite and transom openings during the installation. The mesquite door is coming up next.
The completed 10 panel fir door.
The fir door shown below has 10 flat panels, the problem with flat panels is they always end up cracking in the center. Architectural grade fir plywood is available but the veneer is only 1/60" thick, when the door needs to be re-sanded and finished in 10 years there is a real risk of sanding through the thin veneer and ruining the door. My solution is to make up custom plywood panels using 1/8" thick veneer glued onto 9 ply Finnish plywood using West epoxy. The panels can be sanded, stained and finished like real wood but will last for generations.
The fir veneer is glued to the plywood using a vacuum bag veneer press.
The fir and plywood sheet has been cut into 10" square panels.
Below is a close up showing the 1/8" fir veneer on both sides of the 9-ply plywood.
The photo below is an exploded view of a 10 panel door I am working on. The wood is Douglas fir. The door will have flat panels, a carving of a stylized Mimbres Indian sun and a few other surprises, stay tuned.
After glue-up the door is sanded to 1-3/4" using a wide belt sander, here are a couple of behind the scenes photos featuring Tony.
The photo below shows the door after sanding and ready installation and finishing.
Starting out the new year with a mesquite plank door. The rough planks have been air dried and aged for years so they will make a unique book matched door.
The 2 book matched planks started out 9' long x 22" wide x 2-1/4" thick and weighed 145 lbs. each.
A clean center section was cut out of each plank and one surface was hand planed flat. A wide belt sander then trued up both surfaces. The inside edge will be planed straight and square in preparation for glue-up.
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