Recently I found myself snarling at the state of my desk...
I wanted to make a note and couldn't because there were things underneath my note pad.
Time to get organized.
I opened sketchup and within an hour or two, I'd measured and designed a desk organizer with a place for everything.
I filmed the design and build process for my new YouTube channel
Check it out here - 'got wood?'
During this years AWFS show in Las Vegas I was able to drag myself away from the candy store of cutting edge (pardon the pun) machinery to go listen to John Ratzenberger (AKA Cliff Clavin from Cheers).
As a journeyman carpenter, John helped to build the stage at Woodstock.
I love the way John puts a point across. Here are some of them...
"It wasn't theorists that built civilization, it was people with tools"
"Before we give the kids degrees in college, we should require them to go into the parking lot and change the car tire, and if they can't do that then, why are we giving them degrees"
"Before we swear in elected officials, from the president to dog catcher and assembly men, they should be required to assemble a coffee table from IKEA - Because, if you can't do that, then how dare you pass the laws that affect me and my family"
Here's the link...
Don't forget to subscribe...
If you're starting to get a feel for what matters here at MNCW, you'll know that it pretty much centers around the notion that furniture isn't just stuff....
It carries memories, it has meaning and as long as it's made the way it should be, it'll be part of your life for a long time.
Here you see a dining table that had been originally discarded.
It was salvaged from the side of the road and patched together.
From then, it became the hub of every family gathering. Mrs. Jones watched her family grow around it, 1 year at a time.
Mr. Jones made new leaves to get the most out of it but it was time to bring this table back to life.
The brief was simple, keep as much of the characteristic scratches and dents as you can but give me new leaves and I'll be happy.
Years of wax, oils and varnish were sanded back so that I could match the old table top to the new leaves. Sadly lots of the scratches and dents went with it but I was certain Mrs. Jones would approve. Next I had to remove the old edge banding so that I could match to the new leaves.
Then I had to make some new Mahogany edge banding and glue it into place.
The new leaves were cut from Mahogany plywood because it needed to match the material used to make the table.
Underneath the table, the original skirt also had to be replaced so that everything could match. The original screws were salvaged and new skirt supports were made to match the originals.
Even though Mrs Jones had only requested that the table legs and base be cleaned. I lightly sanded, stained and finished the entire base with 4 coats of polyurethane varnish.
The table ultimately received 6 coats of wipe on varnish so that it would stand the test of time once again.
Here at MNCW, we believe that furniture should 'Bring you joy!' In this case we were able to achieve just that...
Once in a while I get to depart from making chairs and tables for grown ups and something like this lands in my lap.
Recently, I was contacted by an amazing lady who wanted to see what it would take to make a grave digger bed for her 3 year old.
Honestly it brightened my day...
I get to design, hopefully build, deliver and install a full size bed for a 3 year old child. What's better than that?
Somehow, every moment has been a little more joyful on this project. Hunting for the perfect wheels and tires, figuring out how to wrap or paint the grave digger artwork on the truck silhouette. The color scheme, custom paint, safety concerns, but most of all, capturing the fertile imagination of a 3 year old child.
At one point, I found myself in a Pep Boys, researching tires. The guy behind the service desk seemed to be having a bad day. As soon as I explained what I'm doing and who it's for, his eyes lit up. There we were laughing out loud together, wishing we both had monster truck beds when we were young. Actually!!!!, I'd have one now and I'm in my 40's...
It just makes you happy to know that there are parents out there cool enough to want something this awesome for their little ones... I'll keep you posted...
Some time ago I was talking with a magician friend of mine at a networking event. That conversation led to us designing a custom performance case that would fit neatly inside the trunk of his car. Using sketchup, I brought his concept to life and got the go ahead to make a prototype. It needed to be the right size, It had to have legs, a lockable door that could attached to them, a swing out flap for extra surface space, drawers with adjustable compartments and adjustable compartments in the main storage area too. The whole thing had to be padded inside and covered with a grey speaker carpet. It needed to have wheels and a pull out handle like a suitcase and also had to have grab handles on each end. This would make it easier to lift out of the car.
Never would I have imagined having to make something like this but I will say, it was a fun project.
Some time back, I posted about a host station I was designing and building for a friend and client who was opening a bar/restaurant in New York. Well, she recently opened and a mutual friend was kind enough to send pictures. I couldnt be happier with the outcome...
This is the 'Balmoral', a host/valet station that I custom make to order. It's made from reclaimed timber and in this case was stained grey to fit the look. Available in a variety of colors and I'm able to work with different styles and features to suit.
For those who know me by now, you'll know that I have a buddy with a Magic store... Yup Brent at the Magic Apple store in Studio City (check him out here www.themagicapple.com)
I make a couple of things for his store, A Walnut Close Up Pad for close up magic and a matching stand.
I rarely get to make them these days because of larger builds so given the chance, I try to make a few of them (time and budget permitting)
Here are a few of my recent examples - Walnut and black stands and a selection of Close-Up-Pads.
(The stands are pretty cool, they are extremely light, stable and they fold up into a very slim profile you can comfortably hold in one hand)
A neighbour and a friend of mine called recently with a simple request. Could I take a look at his pool table base.
They bought an antique pool table on Ebay and really the only thing wrong with it was the base. It had been thrown together with cheap materials, painted countless times, left outside, warped and rotten so I wasnt about to suggest a repair. It would have taken longer than a rebuild.
True to form, I offered to make a new one... Where I was going to find the time, I had no idea, but I was committed now so here goes.
He bought the wood from my favorite hardwood dealer #valencialumber (www.valencialumber.com) and delivered it the next day.
Here's what happened next....
I remember when I bought my first home. I had a furniture budget and a friend with a truck...
One afternoon at Ikea we furnished the house top to bottom.
Then I met my wife.
Her furniture came through the front door, mine went out the back. TRUE!
I had absolutely no investment emotionally in my furniture. Most of it was gifted to friends.
My wife's was heavier, beautiful, timeless and carefully chosen to last a lifetime; I bought mine to do a job.
When I walk my dog, I see the difference between functional furniture and furniture you keep.
See for yourself...
For this project I designed the entire balcony on a computer to show my client what it would look like ahead of time. I made a mock up of the bar and test fitted it so that I knew it would sit correctly on the balcony and that it would be perfectly level.
Each piece (including the bar) can be taken inside when not in use. A bonus when you use the property only a few times a year.
We made everything from solid white oak (a hardwearing and beautiful wood species). It's also heavy enough to easily take those windy beachfront days.
We stained the oak with a weathered grey to keep with that beach life feel and it blends in well with the over all look of the property.
Welcome to Mark Newton Custom Woodcraft