Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Double Pillar Mantel

I'm not back from Vegas for an hour and I get a message that Jason Willis came by the shop looking to get me to draw up and quote a mantel for a job he is hoping to get.  I had built a mantel for him sometime back and he remembered I could draw.  He needed it by tomarrow morning.  Everytime I go away, I always come back swamped.  Maybe I should go away more.. I came up with this.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Painting Corners VIdeo

Check it out, just finished up a new tips video.  This is for our HG Radio site.  Just a little quickie tip for painting nice tight corners when you're trying to do two different color walls.

Roman Doric Build Continues.

We have been having way more fun building this detail than the definition of 'work' should allow.  There is nothing I love more (besides my family) than building mind blowing architectural details like this one.  Jesse and I have discovered a few awesome techniques and solutions that only doing a build like this would create opportunities to discover.  Check the video Jesse put together there are a few really neat tips and techniques buried in this footage.  Keep in mind this is just a rough cut edit. When we are done, we are going to edit something better to document the build of this detail.

Below is a shot of me assembling the guttae drops.  This is a modollion block up under the cornice that represents the pins that secured the beams (which are represented by the trigliphs) in ancient architecture.  This was a tedious detail to build that took Jesse and I together more than a full day to get together. 

But all that tedious assembly work is worth it in the end.  It's interesting to note another tidbit of fact about the reason the ancient architects used these drops like this.  I read on wikipedia that the guttae drops were commonly used under the cornice not only to represent the pins for the beams but that they also were considered 'rain orginizers', meaning they helped to control where the rain dropped off the structure.  Interesting stuff that I never would have been researching had we not gone this direction with the build.  I've got to hand it to Jesse for that, and this pic below, rain drop organizers or not, these guttae drops look freaking stunning overhead.  Is that a cool detail or what?
The quality of Craftsmanship and attention to both authenticity and detail clearly evident here are representative of the incredible talents of the fine folks at Architectural Moldings and Craftsman Collective Inc.  ( I helped a little )

Friday, September 17, 2010

More mantels.

In the course of starting a new business, building a new showroom, and developing a new radio show,  I still have to work.  My buddy Victor sent me a photo of the mantel I built for him now that it is installed.  I'm really happy that a mantel I built here in Nor-Cal fits so well installed over 500 miles away.  This is a modified sherwood mantel that we made fit into his highly contrained space.  The simple shelf below was a great opportunity to introduce Stephen to the art of mantel building.  He did great!  While this is far from his first mantel build, this is the first one that I measured and turned over to him to build.  When we went out to install, it couldn't have fit better.  It looks simpler than it really is since the top actually wraps around a pop out.  Regardless, Stephen nailed it... to the wall. As well as figuratively speaking.

Showroom Build Begins!

We've been working on converting our old warehouse into our new showroom concept for a few months now.  Most of the work has been painting racking and re-arranging stuff to get our layout optimized.  While that was exciting in it's own right, I'm glad we have it figured out and now behind us.  We are finally beginning the carpentry.  I love building showrooms, this is when you get the opportunity to build stuff you rarely sell, but everyone talks about.   I've been involved with the construction of numerous millwork showrooms, and toured many many more.  I'm taking all that I have learned from what I and everyone else has done in the past and applying that knowledge along with a few ideas I've picked up from successful merchandisers in other industries and folding it all into our 10,000 square foot buildout.  Here's a little sampler of one of the designs now under construction.  This is the concept sketch I whipped up just to show Jesse how my wireless design program works.
This build is an authentic reproduction of a collonade taken from the Roman Doric Order, so there really isn't any design credit here.  However, the success of both it's authenticity and scale is still a formidable challenge.  I'm fortunate to be working with one of the finest craftsmen of our area in Jesse Wright of Architectual Molding.  Jesse is even a bigger geek about this stuff than I am, and a highly (almost too highly) detail oriented builder.   We're both enjoying working together.  It's neat to work with someone that really understand the language of architecture and is passionate about it, like Jesse is.  We spend a little too much time talking it, when we should be more focused on building it but we are both so excited about building something like this that talking about it endlessly is almost a given.    Here's a shot of the entablature in progress,  stay tuned as this stunning detail develops into a reproduction of a bit of historical architecture.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

HG Radio Launches this weekend on 910am KNEW Sat. 6-9am

This weekend marks the launch of our new radio show on FoxNews Radio KNEW 910am.  My buddy from HGTV, Ian McCartt and I will be co-hosting along with well known home improvement radio personality David Yates.  This show will focus on all things Home and Garden.  We will discuss topics ranging from home finance to repairing roofs.  We are all real excited to bring this type of a show to the San Fransisco Bay Area market.  I am super honored to be part of it and look forward to bringing my 30 years of building industry knowledge to the program helping people make improvements to the spaces they raise their families in.  This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us that I couldn't be more excited about.  Please tune in, we look forward to providing answers and solutions to your home improvement projects.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Radius doorjamb for antique doors

We got ourselves a real neat build going in the door shop. One of our favorite customers dropped off a pair of antique doors asking us to build a jamb set for them.  These are special doors, over 100 years old and still in remarkable condition thanks to the timeless craftsmanship clearly evident in their construction.   We got right to work building the radius head jamb.
It took every clamp we had in the joint to get the assembly clamped to the buck.  This was super fun to build.  Stephen and I built the buck and the jamb head while our shop master craftsman, Ross, slept off a migraine.   As much as Ross cranks out in the shop for us, I was happy to step away from the pile of paperwork and fab this little gem up in his absence.  Any day I have to get out into the shop is another day that I don't have to push paper.  I'd much rather build stuff.  As I was finishing the glue up, Jesse showed up and we got on our Monster build.  We kicked around design for a while and played around with some ancient architectural details and collectively decided we were going to replicate history.  More on that later..  For now here's the jamb all finished up for this antique door set.  The whole shop had a part of building this jamb.  Good job fellas~

Panelled Post Collonade and wainscot

I just received some photos from a customer we did a little trim work for when they did a remodel on thier home.  This was a real simple build that gave the room quite an impact.  This is a great example of what a huge difference just a little bit of molding will make to the overall feel of a room.  I would have liked to have seen a crown on the colonnade, the customer didn't want anything to protrude out from the wall too far so we used a bolection molding for a crown.  My design would have been a little different, but the customer is always right, and they loved it so ultimately that's all that mattered.
And below is a shot of the interior with a real simple, inexpensive, but still great looking faux wainscoting detail.

These panels are created by simply applying chair rail and deco molding to the sheet rock and painting the wall below the chair rail a different color.  This is an effective and inexpensive technique to get the look of a real panelled wainscot for a lot less money than the real deal.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Greek Doric Order Build

I've got a dream build going in the shop that is just insane.  This is the type of thing you get to build once every couple of years if you're lucky.  I knew my buddy Jesse would literally salivate at the chance to build this and I needed the help so I brought him in on it.  We spent the first day basically just kicking around design ideas and trying to get the scale and proportion correct.  Jesse is an absolute student to the history of the craft and a super talented builder.  There plain and simply isn't a better finish carpenter out there to help me with this type of build.  We're thinking about shooting the whole build for an article we could collaborate on.  I'm doing and intervelometer shoot of the build regardless. We're really having a good time with this one, yesterday was awesome, we got all the subassemblies built.  Here is the concept sketch that got the ball rolling...

I'm supposed to work on the backyard today for the lovely wife, but all I can think about is getting back into the shop and getting those subassemblies standing on the wall.  This feeling is what I truely love about carpentry.  The 'Wanna see it up" feeling you get when you're on to an exciting build and the "Yep, I built that" satisfaction you get when it's done.  I'll post pics of the thing going up, it's going to be amazing.  Jesse is pressing to take it more formally period correct in the Greek Doric order.  While I just wanted to origionally do a relatively quick build, now that we're into it.  I'm into it.  I think Jesse is going to get his way. If you're going to do it, might as well do it Wright.

Barn Doors

Got a chance to get back to a great project we're involved with.  Just had to install a little hardware.  While there I snapped a few pics of the barn door we built for this house.  These doors are 2-1/4" Thick, are made from Poplar frames with a routed MDO panel.  They weigh a ton, but they slide like butter.