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The agony, the agony, some more agony and the ecstasy

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Blog series by 404 - Not Found updated 05-27-2013 04:44 PM 19 parts 18352 reads 62 comments total

Part 1: Client meet

02-20-2013 10:22 PM by 404 - Not Found | 3 comments »

Here I am, popping my blog cherry. A warts and all look at what it’s like at every stage of the journey of making a bespoke piece of furniture. Like all jobs, it begins with a phone call. I’m not that well organised to have an appointment diary. A wardrobe for her boyfriend’s Mom. A scribble on a bit of paper will do, date, time, directions, a mental note that I have to be there at that time on that day. I’ve done loads of things for this girl before, a Department S...

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Part 2: Design

02-21-2013 12:39 PM by 404 - Not Found | 1 comment »

I feel good after the client meeting. I’ve taken my notes, taken everything I need to into account. They have a good idea of what they want, I have a good idea of what they want. Time to sit down and start drawing. I’m not going to worry about how much this is going to cost right now, just throw some ideas out there, take control of the mouse and start constructing this in 2-D.It starts with an outline of the space this will take up, and it’s a big space. This has got to be ...

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Part 3: Estimate

02-22-2013 11:55 AM by 404 - Not Found | 4 comments »

The drawings are submitted, I give it time, a watched pot never boils. Finally there’s something other than tool promotions in my inbox ”Have just taken a look at these now – LOVE the second style in particular and love the configuration of drawers/hanging space inside.” YES! This is encouraging. The way we left it after the meeting was I would provide drawings for this project, see how they felt about it and then work out a price, too many variables otherwise. I wo...

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Part 4: White Smoke

02-27-2013 02:01 PM by 404 - Not Found | 2 comments »

A decision has been reached. The job is going ahead. One small change, more shelves in one part, other than that, they are ‘delighted’ with the design. This is validation for the four/five hours spent sitting down designing this thing. I feel like I served up an ace – it’s reassuring for my client too, knowing that we’ve not started off at cross purposes. This is great, I’m looking forward to doing such an involved job. I’m also relieved because pick...

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Part 5: Bring it on

03-22-2013 12:45 AM by 404 - Not Found | 1 comment »

I’m just trying to think about everything that’s happened relating to this job between now and the last part… Received a cheque in the post for the deposit, which was nice Made some prototype corbels Got some stuff on order Ooh, ooh, the massive cove cutter came from MLCS (can you tell I’m excited about that?) I made a couple of jobs too – some ‘chicken proof’ kitchen cabinets, provençal style, antiqued, with chicken wire doors, and jus...

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Part 6: Eating an elephant...

03-24-2013 12:15 AM by 404 - Not Found | 6 comments »

I remember an inhouse training manual from the 90’s that started off with “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer to the elephant riddle of course, is, “a piece at a time”.My studio manager way back then had a penchant for those cheesy, motivational expressions, and other bullshit too. Knowing that this job ain’t gonna make itself, my plan of attack is carcases, base, doors, drawers, shelves, frieze rail and cornice in that order, I remind myself tha...

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Part 7: 20 minute slot mortiser

03-27-2013 12:18 AM by 404 - Not Found | 2 comments »

Fairly unremarkable things on this job today. Just about done with the planing. It’s running behind schedule, Easter holidays mean the kids are at home and I’ve got to do the running about. Standing at the planer today I was thinking about how I could speed this job up a bit. I used loose tenons to make four doors for my ‘chicken proof’ project a couple of weeks ago, they were really quick, close fitting and accurate. It took hardly any time at all to sand down the ...

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Part 8: Progress

04-04-2013 01:01 AM by 404 - Not Found | 1 comment »

I’m finally beginning to see pieces of this job rather than just planks and bags of shavings. The plan changed a bit. Each side panel is now going frame and panel construction as a weight saving measure, I ordered 5 sheets 3/8 mahogany veneered mdf, but they have to be made and they take two weeks. So I got everything ready for the ends, then made the doors, and the template for the beveled mirror. Took that off to the Glass Shop – might be ready this week or next. All the doors h...

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Part 9: A bad day

04-08-2013 03:23 PM by 404 - Not Found | 2 comments »

It was all going so well, had a minor electrical issue with the dust extractor (fried capacitor) last week, but the electrically knowing ‘jocks amongst you came to my aid, and within a couple of hours I had switched the capacitor from the band saw and was once more sucking chips and dust. However, I fear nothing will help me today. The foul stench of TS death has overpowered the spicy smell of sapele dust that I have become accustomed to for the last two weeks. Smoke issuing from the...

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Part 10: A better day than yesterday

04-09-2013 10:02 PM by 404 - Not Found | 1 comment »

If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know the table saw ‘went for a Burton’ yesterday. I’m done dwelling on the inconvenience this will cause mid build and am resolved to just get this project done and delivered as soon as I can by any means possible. The final duty the gutless saw performed today, before putting it in the garden shed out the way, was to hold the router inverted for making the cornice pieces. I would call it a table saw mounted router tab...

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Part 11: If I could get at this it would be ok...

04-14-2013 11:47 PM by 404 - Not Found | 3 comments »

I have been waiting for the 9mm veneered mdf to come in before gluing up all the frame and panel pieces. I get the phone call on Tuesday, “Renners, your sheets of oak are here” ... You are f@cking kidding me. “Er, you mean mahogany?” “Hang on, I’ll go and check” I breathe a sigh of relief as he comes back and tells me that the sheets are, indeed, mahogany as I had ordered. “Ah Jeez…” I say ”...you put the heart s...

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Part 12: Not quite on the pig's back, but not far off...

04-21-2013 10:18 PM by 404 - Not Found | 0 comments »

The shop’s a mess, stuff everywhere. Big tidy up tomorrow, first thing. Carcases together, all looking good, check. Doors made, check. Base made, check. Crown made, check. That leaves all the fiddly little things, corbels, curved bolection mouldings, frieze rail. Thankfully those bits won’t need a lot of room, because room is a thing I’m almost out of. I’m glad in way that the saw died and got shunted into the garden shed, it’s freed up a couple mo...

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Part 13: winging it - Bolection mouldings

04-23-2013 11:21 PM by 404 - Not Found | 3 comments »

Today’s piece of the puzzle was making the little curved top bolection mouldings for the doors. To be honest, I have never needed to do this before, I’ve never been asked, but like so many things, when people specifically want something, I have trouble saying no. How hard can it be? If a man in a workshop lit by gas with machinery powered by a waterwheel could do it 150 years ago, then so can I, with all the convenience that 230v offers, and a shit load of power tools. This ...

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Part 14: Hitting the wall...

05-04-2013 11:17 PM by 404 - Not Found | 4 comments »

That’s what Marathon runners call that point where they want to give up. I could never see the point in running personally. Quicker to drive. This job feels like a Marathon, a test of endurance, and I’ve reached a point in this where nothing seems to be happening. I’m spending long days at it trying to get it finished, but there seems to be so many things to do still, glue ups for shelves, making mouldings, adding shelf stretchers, fixing little things that aren’t q...

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Part 15: Soliloquy

05-14-2013 11:04 PM by 404 - Not Found | 8 comments »

I’m not that pretentious to claim to know Shakespeare, I just wanted to drop a little mindset thing in here, just before the last part(s) of this blog. So hit the back button now if you’re looking for woodworking tips or technical stuff. There’s none of that here. Don’t go posting complaints in the comments, although judging by the low comment count, I think that unlikely anyway (what?, is it me? was it something I said?) Standing at the planer or saw or router t...

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Part 16: oh, please!

05-16-2013 01:06 AM by 404 - Not Found | 3 comments »

Just gone in workshop to make sure everything’s turned off before going to bed. Cleaned a mirror with a fresh wad of kitchen roll and white spirit. There’s a line of four scratches along the whole length. Big ones.

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Part 17: Cheap trick

05-20-2013 11:39 PM by 404 - Not Found | 7 comments »

Just about at the end of the ‘Sprayathon’ The finish has gone on better than I expected. Becker Acroma acid catalysed satin lacquer. It’s really brought out the colour and character of the wood, leaving a deep lustrous satin finish, smooth to the touch. I attribute the ease of application this time to backing the van up to the garage door, putting the turbine in the van and running the hose out of the tail gate and under the garage door. The filters haven’t c...

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Part 18: Corbels - what do you think?

05-26-2013 09:42 PM by 404 - Not Found | 9 comments »

Stay or go, what do you think? That’s the best I could come up with in Photoshop They are the last thing to go on, or I could leave them off. I’m in two minds. Are they ok or a bit crappy? They need to be shallow at the top to meet the frieze rail. That dictates the style. I welcome any comments, be honest.

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Part 19: · F I N ·

05-27-2013 04:44 PM by 404 - Not Found | 2 comments »

As promised, the last instalment entitled · F I N · I ended up showing my client the corbels – they still had a faint whiff of lacquer off them, she thought they were a ‘super finishing touch’ so the corbels are on it, in a compromise sort of way, they are tucked in the corners where the middle section protrudes, there are four corbels on it instead of six. I have two left over, maybe I’ll put them on ebay or something. What can I say about this job? It’s c...

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