It’s all go at sellershome.com . Join me on the journey as we build a houseful of furniture pieces together with other woodworking projects you will need when you make and build all of the pieces you will need for a growing family home. It’s not new to me and I did learn a lot from my many mistakes through the years of raising a family, making beds and bunks, dining tables, bench seats and more. I did all of this whilst keeping my business live on a single-income wage for over 40 years too.
Progress on the house redevelopment is continuing, and this week the builders took over the hub of the house to extend the kitchen and dining room and to combine them into one. Walls were dropped, floors came up and then the ceilings came down too, all intentional developments. Quite an upheaval but everything in there needed more than a facelift. We are adding a utility room and a second bathroom into the equation, just for good measure while the construction (actually demolition) is underway. What once stood as walls seems to take ten times the space when dropped. First the negative and now for the positive.
This opening space prepares me to think about the dining, kitchen, living room furniture I will need. I have already isolated some elm beams that I am thinking of saving for the dining room table legs. Lots and lots of dormant buds in the form of burls give this its own intrinsic texture. Now I am on the lookout for some tabletop wood to complement the legs. This should be fun!
My work on the lounge furniture pieces has gone well so far. Currently, I am designing smaller pieces including a waste bin, wall clock (with a true mechanical movement), coasters, a small chairside table and toy storage boxes. I am also fairly settled on a new design for a TV stand. All of this coincides with the conclusion of the downstairs building work being carried out. But I am planning to make some hall pieces next, so I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I will need some shelves, a coat rack of some kind, places for shoes, mud boots, etc and then some decorative pieces too.
Here is a clock I made 15 years ago from quarter-sawn American oak. There is something uniquely special about making a clock case of your own design and then too taking it into the house and hanging it on the wall in time for Christmas. The pleasure for me was two-fold – the whole process of designing it and making it – and then the pleasure of giving it. In this Hermle eight-day clock movement I wanted the Westminster chime, and then something that needed winding every 8 days so that it could be wound each Sunday as a ritual with the Monday as a buffer for forgetfulness. Surprisingly for some, it is as perfectly adjustable to high levels of accuratcy as well as being perfectly charming and elegant. Well worth the effort of making for so great a reward in service.
I have some elm wood I have been saving for the dining table. I am not one hundred percent sold on this, but I am as near as it gets. Johns’s rocking chair in the Craftsman Arts and Crafts style above came from the same tree and I am wondering about a rocker from the same wood if I have enough space in the new dining kitchen too.
Construction work is always a messy business because bricks and mortar come crashing down and puthering dust gathers in pockets of air movement beyond even the confining limits of still-standing walls and doors. I must say though, despite the demolition, everything has been done in quick time and in very good order. The jack hammers and brick cutters took their toll on the quite of the street for eight hours but no more than the chainsaw and lawnmowers that seem ever present in suburbia. It’s an unfortunate thing that the back of the house is inaccessible to any kind of heavy equipment so the piles had to be hand wheeled from rear to front to remove it. A skip load has already gone and a second skip will be filled this week no doubt. It was nice to see the old cabinets go. The were beyond a good paint job and a new kitchen is underway (not by me this time) though; I am certain I would have enjoyed it, but time simply does not permit.
I think even the removal of the piles of bricks, piling for collection, the dug holes and the cut bricks all bespeak the quality of the builder and his team. We have a way to go, nine more weeks, but the end result will be a new area ready for me to design for.
Beyond the brick walls the garden seems a little later this year. With a wet and cooler start to our spring, and lots of rain and cold, things are not popping quite so soon as the last two years, but the greenhouse is a wonderful addition and is now in full use. The vegetable beds and growing boxes are filled with emerging plants of onions, shallots, garlic, potatoes and much more. My tomatoes from my window sills at work are well under way in their new home and the yellow flower-heads promise an abundant cropping of tomatoes.
Potatoes are a mainstay to my homegrown and last year I supplied about 8 months of my needs while having enough left over to plant this year’s crop.
The sellershome.com is progressing well and with the first three pieces in place I feel an increasing excitement at what seems to be my five-year plan to make a houseful of furniture and woodwork to teach people to do it themselves as I have done throughout my life. Yesterday we were all laughing at my making a tile-top family dining table in a day when we needed an emergency table. That was 25 years ago now. One Saturday morning, knowing I needed a table by the evening for dinner guests, I went to the lumber store, bought two-by stock of southern yellow pine and a sheet of 3/4″ birch plywood, some tiles, adhesive and grout, and by four-thirty the same day the table was finished and installed. No joinery was compromised, I applied three coats of waterbased varnish that lasted perfectly well. I even installed a dovetailed silverware drawer in the end that was never convenient for the person sitting there but very handy for setting the places. What did we laugh about? Keeping the grout decent by scrubbing with tooth brushes! Where is the table now? I took it along to Goodwill.