Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Economy of Wood

I have pieces of wood stashed all over the house. They are left overs from past project, off cuts of plywood panels, dimensional lumber and moldings, just big enough to keep for that one chance a future project would have a spot for it. They are stashed in the closets, in the laundry room, stacked on the floor of the living area. Some days, I would hit my threshold and throw them away. I just don't like to waste wood, after all, I'll find a use for them eventually, besides, what is a woodworker with out wood? With left over plywood from the book case job, I was able to make a make an art niche over the fireplace. That's why it is made of oak instead of the usual birch. With such a small place I had decided to start building things into the walls. Removing the mantel and redoing the fireplace added another 1% to the room's usable area. A rejected cabinet door frames the oil painting we bought at the street market in Hong Kong. I was careful to make sure the back of the art case has enough distance from the chimney vent since I burn scrap wood in the winter with this fireplace. Left over rubber tree wood from a discarded baker's rack gets a new life as the top of this built-in. It was not deep enough, so I jointed the back side and glued in a piece of pine reinforced with biscuits. You can't see it, especially with the tool chest blocking everything. The doors came from a kitchen I had designed. It was slightly warped as you can see and was rejected by the customer. I thought it look fine, but too small for the old linen cabinet space I had decided to re-do. The solution to using an undersized door is the over sized frame. To make it look well thought out, I extended the frame to the floor and cut out the legs. Now it has a good proportion and looks like it belongs there. The same customer rejected the glass doors because it has the discoloration. In the wood worker's world, it is sought after for the popping grain pattern. In a row of plain doors, one would see this as a defect. Placed this door by itself and the doors has characters. I extended the styles to the top and trimmed it off with a left over piece of basket weave molding from the kitchen job. An acquaintance gave me two pieces of padauk left over from her interior design class. After some thoughts, I found there were more than enough to make handles for the kitchen. With a draw knife, spoke shaves, some simple hand tools, and about 20 minutes each, I was able to make some pretty decent ones, my carving skills aren’t great, but you have to start from somewhere. Robertson head trim screw hold the two pieces to the cabinet doors. Proper placement of knobs on the doors is a personal thing, I like my handles to extend the horizontal line of the styles and rails of the door. I think it's more fun to resourcefully use left over pieces to make new ones, the boundaries and limitations of the pieces make it more challenging than having access to everything.

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