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The Wood Shed

Oct 12, 2017

Combining Styles with a Friend

Oct 12, 2017

Photo by Paul O’Mara

Bob Harris, Rome GA artist and fellow woodworker, collaborated in designing this dresser for his bedroom in his newly renovated home. Bob’s inherent eye for beauty complements his meticulous attention to details, so I was enthusiastic about getting this project started. Bob came to me with a vision in mind that combined two pieces from my collection of contrasting styles that are not normally seen together in the same room.

He chose a Mission- style Ten Drawer Dresser and an Asian- style Chest. He took the two-panel sides and beveled edge profile of the top of the chest, along with the side-by-side drawers and arching bottom rail of the dresser. He specified similar proportions to the ten drawer dresser reconfigured as a seven drawer dresser with three top drawers and four deep divided drawers. The piece served two major functions—organizing personal items and providing a base for a television that was the correct height for viewing.

Bob requested American Cherry as the primary wood accented with Walnut burl pulls. The matched wood grain patterns flow across the drawers, enhancing the natural beauty of the cherry, while the design elements from the pulls and pegs create a stunning contrast to the overall red tones of the piece. Southern Joinery’s signature silky smooth Tung Oil finish, mortise and tenon construction, and easy gliding drawers remain distinguishing features of each piece.

Mar 15, 2017

Dining Table from the Turn-Around Tree

Mar 15, 2017

Photo by Paul O’Mara

The historic turn-around tree was a memorable white oak that was centered in the driveway of the Baron family’s home place. When age and disease caused it to topple, the family knew they wanted to save the lumber and create a custom piece of furniture to preserve their memories.

The wood was cut into 10″ x 12′ boards that were carefully air-dried outside my workshop. After a few years of thinking what would be appropriate, the Barons decided I would design and build them a ten foot table that could sit the extended family.

The limits of my shop equipment and space were challenged.  The rough-cut lumber took considerable preparation before the table could be constructed. Because of the length of the table, I was just barely able to run the boards through my table saw and jointer.

I designed the table with a trestle base so the table could seat as many as they wanted without leg interference, a rail that could be knocked down for easy transport, and breadboard ends on the tabletop for a classic look.

The resulting trestle table highlighted the character of the wood, and provided a sturdy dining table that will be used for many generations to come.

Feb 24, 2017

Cevian Design Lab Desk & Conference Table

Feb 24, 2017

I was approached by Mark Cochran, architect, interior designer and owner of Cevian Design Lab in Downtown Rome, GA, about collaborating on a few pieces for his newly renovated office space on Broad Street. With a passion for design, Mark knew he was looking for a Mid-Century Modern motif as he drew out the desired shapes and sizes of the tabletops for a conference table and desk.

Construction drawings in the Southern Joinery workshop.

The physical size of the pieces offered several new challenges to the techniques that I use in my shop.The conference table was 7′ x 12’4″ and the desk was 4’2″ x 14’3″; both pieces had to be constructed as two separate structures that would be abutted during the final assembly in the upstairs studio. During our consultation, black walnut was selected as the material of choice due to its beautiful natural color and grain.

Since I built the table as two halves, the separate bases of the table consists of a large and small right angle pedestal. The smaller pedestals join at the center of the piece. The conference table will easily seat ten people and is used daily by Mark and his team for a variety of uses.

The desk was constructed as eight different pieces all built separately and assembled in the office. The base for the desk consists of two bookcases and two file cabinets. The tabletop is two desktops and two intermediate tops. It is designed as two different workstations for Mark and his associate.

The resulting pieces add a distinctive and unique element to his Modern office. I had the opportunity to work with a highly renowned architect, and it was my privilege to bring his sketches to tangible, functional works of art. This was the most unusual, fun, and challenging project of my career!

Feb 11, 2016

Construction techniques – Custom furniture

Feb 11, 2016

This client approached me with a need for a place to hang coats in his newly remodeled home in downtown Atlanta.  With his ultra-modern home, this mid-century modern styled armoire was very fitting and added an eye-catching piece of art to the large open living room (as well as a coat closet). 

Nov 17, 2015

Christmas At Callanwolde

Nov 17, 2015

Have you ever been to “Christmas At Callanwolde“? Mark your calendars: November 30 – December 15, 2015.

Oct 21, 2015

Collaboration is Key to Success

Oct 21, 2015

Last week I delivered a custom bed to a fantastic customer with whom I had collaborated to meet her specific design requirements.

Aug 12, 2015

Southern Joinery Updates Its Tool Set

Aug 12, 2015

Unlike the timeless techniques used in our hand-crafted furniture, today’s digital devices demand that new standards and technologies be adopted to ensure the best possible experience.

Aug 07, 2015

The Process of Building Custom Furniture

Aug 07, 2015

Beginning a new piece of custom furniture is always exciting and can only start after construction drawings have been made. I use the design process to figure out how to build the piece.

Aug 07, 2015

The Satisfaction of Fine Craftsmanship

Aug 07, 2015

As I launch the new web site and start my blog, I have reflected on what I like best about this business of building custom furniture.  The first step of the process is collaborating with the customer and is certainly one of the things that I enjoy.

2015, Southern Joinery, LCC Photography by Paul O`Mara