Saturday, February 13, 2010

Woodworking at 831

     I am not a great woodworker but I have been at it for a long time and I like working with wood. And I have strong opinions about the use of wood.

    When I lived in Virginia in the 1980's I had access to locally grown hardwoods such as oak, walnut, cherry and maple which in general are select logged.                Upon returning to New Mexico in 1991 the local woods became ponderosa, fir, aspen, and spruce. And that is my first point - use local woods whenever possible. And find yourself a local mill where you can get to know the guy who mills the logs. He can let you know when he gets lumber and logs that you might be interested in.

     This gate and entry roof were made from used and leftover fir and ponderosa. The framing for the little hip roof was fun as I love putting together little pieces of wood. All those short pieces that I couldn't throw away finally got used.

     This kitchen cabinet includes fir and ponderosa in the frames and aspen with thin strips of walnut glued into the middle of the panels. I just happened to have long thin scraps of walnut in my shop. The top is left over maple flooring from our living room.
     I have become a big fan of kitchen cabinets as moveable furniture except of course the sink cabinet and I like wooden counter tops, again except for the sink and around the stove. For clean freaks all you have to do is move the cabinet away from the wall to clean, none of those gross places you can never get to. Where did that cock roach go?
    The door pulls are scraps of walnut. And the shelf above is made of slats which makes it easier to keep clean and give slots for plates and bowls. Also slats are a great way to use up all those long narrow wood scraps. We opted for a narrow shelf here as the kitchen was quite narrow and this gave a more open feel.

     Because I usually use solid wood for my woodworking as opposed to plywood I am big into frame and panel construction where the panel floats in the frame to counter the expansion and contraction of the panel. 
     I used to do a lot of work in historical renovation and remodeling. I became familiar with the techniques that were used in cabinetry 200 years ago and those techniques are still applicable today. One thing I have held onto is flush mount doors ( as above ) as compared to the typical surface mount doors.

     This was a fun project. We had a corner of the bedroom that was begging for something and in it was a window that was cold in the winter. I built a desk with some more of the left over living room maple flooring. I saved the idea of putting a shelf or drawers for a future project. 
     For the window I decided to build a Japanese style sliding screen. In cold weather the screen could be slid shut helping to insulate the window and still let light in. I bought rice paper at an art supply store and backed it with a 1/16" clear lexan. The lexan backing keeps the rice paper intact. This was sandwiched between the slats.

     You have seen these next two in the blog on passive solar. This is the window behind the trombe wall and because it was a trombe wall the window didn't need to be airtight. I made it a three way slider. The wood is fir and ponderosa. The windows lift out of the track.

     This is the kitchen sink window looking into the greenhouse and again it didn't need to be airtight. I chose folding windows because I wanted a full opening and I didn't want them to interfere with the narrow greenhouse on the other side. 
     I have never been a fan of the plaster bull nose so for this I brought the wooden jamb all the way out  and added interior trim. This is a traditional New Mexico style for dealing with the wide adobe walls. It has only been in recent times that the "pueblo style" or the Santa Fe style has brought about the bull nose. Often times these bull noses separate from the window creating ugly drafty gaps. This way the gap between wood and plaster is covered by the wood trim.