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Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Display Top Coffee Table, with Hand Made Hammered Copper Hardware

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 05-27-2006 03:14 PM 10350 views 13 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was commissioned and so it has been “SOLD”.

If you would like to see pricing on something similar I could build for you,

please email me at mark@decoustudio.com

You can see more of this project at my website

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Copper Hardware: I have received questions about where I found this White Oak Leaf & Acorn Hardware. I made it! This copper work is an original design I fashioned out of copper plate and hammered and soldered it together.

If you would like to have me make you a handle, email me. For the right size order, we can also have them cast in pewter, or bronze, email me for more information.

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Here is a list of the Arts & Crafts Projects I have posted that were part of this commission:
  1. Sectioned Entertainment Center
  2. Orchid Stand/Wine Storage
  3. End Tables
  4. Coffee Table
  5. Table Lamps
  6. Prairie Couch
  7. Morris Chairs & Ottomans

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Project Story:
A complicated little Table this one was.

This table looked to be pretty simple on the surface, but as the project design proceeded with the client, it became an engineering challenge. First, the table needed be small, as the room has lots of other big pieces I built previsously. Second, the client wanted to display items under the glass, but it was to look like an early 1900’s Arts & Crafts piece. Third, the display area was to be easily accessible, but was to be impossible for a small child to open, as knives were to be displayed. Fourth, the glass and wood frame top was to be flat, no indention for the glass, making the glass surface flat with the top. Fifth, any props, hardware, or other components needed to open, close, or prop the top had to be hidden from the outside, not visible when looking through the glass top. Sixth, they didn’t want a pull out drawer, as is typical of display top coffee tables. Seventh, they wanted me to include the carved leaf panel details, and hammered copper hardware work to go with the other pieces in the room. Eighth, the inside of the glass display area was to be leather lined with the same leather as was used on the couch and Morris Chairs/Ottomans in the room. Ninth, the wood and finish were to match the Quartersawn White Oak furniture in the room. Tenth, joinery details were to be through-tenons with square walnut pegs.

Whew! Put all that together, and what you end up with is a pretty fun engineering project, with lots of decoration and more expense than most people pay for a 16 foot Family Reunion Size dining table.

So, this seemed like such a small, simple table on the original napkin sketches, until I tried to incorporate all of the design details. The hammered copper leaf/acorn is the top closure. Swinging the acorn over to the side, it unhooks from the leaves, and the top can be raised. The props to hold the top up when setting items under the glass, pull up out of the side frame, where they are hidden until needed. The shelf on the bottom is solid wood, and is held in place by real through-tenons with real tenon angled pins made of walnut. The through tenons are pegged with walnut pegs.

Pounding Copper into Submission:
To make the copper hardware, I just cut the shape from 1/8” solid copper plate, heat and quence it accordingly, and then hammer thunder out of it until I get the shape and texture, and contours that I want. Solder the pieces together, and buff it. After a few days, the patina starts to settle in. After a few months, the copper takes on the look of old copper pennies.

Sure, I could use chemicals to patina the copper quicker, but the look the customer and I was after, was just an old copper, patina-by-wear, look. I did buy a reprint book of coppersmithing, but it really didn’t tell me much to help. I recommend that you try this type of hardware for a project, and quit buying those cheap catalog handles made in the far-east. Heirloom furniture demands something better, and more original, in my opinion. if you have questions about doing the copper work, just email me and I’ll tell you all I know.

I enjoyed working the copper so much, that I’m in a silversmithing class now (April 2008). I am enjoying the new media, and will be bringing the silver into my woodworking projects also.

Here is a later blog posting where I show more step-by-step photos of some copper hardware work:
http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/decoustudio/blog/2169

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Thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

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Want to See More of my Furniture Work?:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you will find that I have not updated my website in quite some time. I realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are some more Lumberjocks related lilnks with updated postings of my furniture work, sorted into categories. Thanks for your interest in my work, and your patience with my website.

Arts and Crafts, Mission Style Related Projects:
  1. Arts & Crafts Entry Table; with Carved Oak Leaves
  2. Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage
  3. Arts & Crafts Style Morris Inspired Chairs
  4. Arts & Crafts Display Top Coffee Table
  5. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired End Table Set
  6. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Prairie Couch
  7. Table Lamps
  8. Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center
  9. Mission Entertainment Center
Church & Worship-Art Related Projects:
  1. Carved Communion Table
  2. Carved Roll Top Sound Equipment Cabinet
  3. Fancy Chuch Altars
  4. Processional Cross
  5. Fancy Speaker's Lectern
  6. Church Hymn Number Board
  7. Communion Chalice (Cup) and Paten
Art-Furniture Related Projects:
  1. Sam Maloof Inspired Walnut Rocker
  2. Original Art Carved Tilt Front Desk, inspired by Birger Sandzen
  3. Natural Edge; Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table
  4. Decoratively Painted Box End Tables
  5. Birch China Cabinet for Cut Glass Collection
Rustic, Western, Cedar Log, and Cowboy Related Projects:
  1. Naughty (Knotty) Refined Rustic White Oak & Black Walnut China Hutch
  2. A Kansa Indian and Buffalo Accent Art-Chair
  3. Refined Rustic Dining Chairs
  4. Refined Rustic Dining Table
  5. Cowboy-Western Style Suitcase/Luggage Support Racks
  6. Fun With Cedar Logs #1; Sitting Stool
  7. Fun With Cedar Logs #2; Coat/Hat/Spur Rack
  8. Fun With Cedar Logs #3; Western Style Hat/Coat Rack
  9. Fun With Cedar Logs #4; Entryway Stool
Outdoor Furniture Related:
  1. Kennebunkport Style Adirondack Chair
  2. Outdoor Garden Wedding Arbor
  3. Outdoor Project: Cedar Wood Double Settee

This story, photos, design, hardware, and presentation is proctected by all applicable laws by copywrite 2-13-2007.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com





10 comments so far

View pat sherman's profile

pat sherman

619 posts in 3058 days


#1 posted 06-07-2006 01:31 AM

mark, i am very impressed with your craftmanship. that table is so neat. and your other work is great also. i sure am impressed

-- pat,ohio...http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y198/patshwigar/

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3092 days


#2 posted 06-07-2006 01:43 AM

Pat: thanks for your kinds words. If I could wood burn like you, I’d sell all the $50K (and growing) wroth of shop/tools I’ve bought, and buy a wood burning set.

Dude, your work is great.

thanks for passing me a compliment,
Mark DeCou www.decoustudio.com

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Karson's profile (online now)

Karson

34888 posts in 3087 days


#3 posted 03-10-2007 02:09 AM

Mark Another nice project. A lot of them hidden in the past.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2825 days


#4 posted 05-03-2007 06:12 PM

Mark -

Very cool to be re-discovering these wonderful pieces. I do so much enjoy your work and your gift of sharing with us. I am on a “copper exploration” as you can tell. I love this acorn detail! You are so tanlented – thanks for sharing – thanks for being an inspiration.

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2997 days


#5 posted 05-09-2007 10:08 AM

Your whole collection is wonderful.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3092 days


#6 posted 04-07-2008 08:52 PM

I added a few more photos to provide more details for folks asking about the through tenons with angled pegs.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2508 days


#7 posted 04-07-2008 10:22 PM

Mark,

Thanks for the update. You posted the original long before I came on board but I am glad this one came up on my list. I really like this arts and crafts furniture and as always you did a masterful job on this piece.

Mark, thanks for sharing. These pieces are truly inspirational.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View itsmic's profile

itsmic

1419 posts in 1805 days


#8 posted 02-09-2010 07:00 PM

Hi Mark I could not agree more with all the wonderful things said about your work, I am very impressed with your work and your original design, I found your projects when I was using the search to try and find out something about copyrighting or protecting some of my engineering innovations. The site directed me to your display top coffee table, and I had to take a look and read. Great stuff, and very original. I figured anyone with this great natural engineering talent and with your obvious experience would be able to answer the question. Is there a way to protect ones original designs and innovations (art work, design, original joinery methods, etc.) or is that of no real consequence. I am new at wood working, but, I seem to have a real knack for it and love to come up with new ways of doing things, many times for the sake of artistic venture, and sometimes because I think I can join things together better than some of the traditional methods, the former usually being the case. Your expertise is to be marveled at, and certainly one would probably like to try some of your innovations for themselves if it was OK to do so, I don’t want some of my secrets to be used by everyone, maybe I am wrong to think that way, I think maybe (remember I am a dreamer) some day I will have a big shop and be producing some of my best designs in some quantity, and want to hang on to the advantage of my creations. Well, that’s it, if you have time, please reply and tell me your thoughts on the subject. My e-mail is icyur12b@myfairpoint.net, if you would like to talk that way, or just reply here, I will keep an eye on the blog, I will be enjoying looking at all your work in the days to follow, I think it is just great. Keep working and sharing It’s Mic

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112298 posts in 2263 days


#9 posted 02-09-2010 07:03 PM

As always Mark a unique and special piece your talent always shines through your work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View mbulla's profile

mbulla

156 posts in 2196 days


#10 posted 11-06-2011 12:21 PM

Very nice!

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