Tim Milton [04/11/2011]
Nicely done! I know the stress involved.
Beautiful craftsmanship. Why so heavy up top? It looks almost cartoonishly out of proportion.
Russell Tribby [04/11/2011]
Thanks Ben...I think. I've got to say that no one has ever compared any of my work to a cartoon - that's a first. The customer wanted a massive hutch/display case. I went through 3 or 4 designs before they settled this one. Some of the initial designs broke the top up a bit more. I don't know...they're happy with it and I like the look of it as well.
Russell... great work. As you probably know by now every compliment comes with two criticisms on this site. The technical difficulty of this piece is higher than 95% of the other projects posted here. What kind of CNC/software do you run? The finish is outstanding. Great work.
Russell Tribby [04/12/2011]
Thanks Chris. I don't have a cnc. The crown was outsourced to a local company that messed up the order twice before I finally had to make due with what they ordered from Ultraflex. The carving is simply from Osborne. Everything else was done by me. The beading on the curved portions of the faceframe was done with a scraper. The finishing schedule for this was pretty labor intensive - approx. 14 steps in all to get it to the end. I like how it came out and my customers are pleased as well. Thanks again for the kind words.
Russel, critiquing not criticizing. I didn't know if you were trying to mimic a particular style or theme by oversizing the top half of the unit. Its seems inversely proportional to the lower half, which is uncommon for a piece such as this. Not saying its a bad thing, just different. Maybe you just started a new style.
It would be like a building that starts small and gets larger the taller it gets. That isn't a natural proportion that occurs in nature, our eyes are attuned to perceive beauty based on proportion and balance. Thats why I said it looks almost cartoonish.
If your interested in learning more about proportion and balance look up the golden section or furniture proportions.
Russell Tribby [04/14/2011]
No worries here Ben, it's all good. I teach 16 yr. old kids all day who are constantly asking "Are we doing anything fun today?" so I've developed pretty thick skin. I'd be interested to hear how you would've tackled this problem. The customer wanted a hutch that would've made the unit approx. 9' high. In addition to that they wanted the top to have display shelves and an arched top. I obviously couldn't have made the desk portion taller so how could I have tackled the issue of misplaced proportions? I did propose other designs that would've broken up the top more but those were rejected for what you see here.
Firstly, I would have narrowed the top half a few inches on each side so it sits in a bit from the lower half and breaks the vertical line all the way up the piece. 9' of straight line looks big! Secondly, I would have increased the depth of the base, or decreased the depth of the top. The top half seems to project out to far in relationship to the base. Thirdly, I would have followed the profile of the top to follow as an offset of the two outer glass doors. This would have left the center top section fly up the full 9' but the two sides would have been shorter. Fourth, I would have scaled down the crown molding slightly on the two flanking portions.
It may still look heavy up top even doing those few things. Its a huge piece and pieces like this are hard to proportion correctly when you have a control point that can't increase with the rest of the unit. Beautiful piece nonetheless.
Kerry Fullington [04/17/2011]
In addition to design improvements you have stated above, I think I would have reduced the proportions (height and projection of the crown. A back panel in the knee space would have gone a long way to adding some bulk to the base and the biggest improvement would have been to eliminate the tiny bun feet and take the base all the way to the floor using a base with some projection. This would give it the substance it needs to support the large top.
Very nice piece just some design food for thought.
Russ Tribby [04/17/2011]
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Ben, I tried the offset lines in one of my original drawings and the customer didn't like it so we went with what you see. I think scaling down the crown a bit would've helped some. I don't mill that stuff myself so I was somewhat restricted by what my supplier had plus what Ultra flex could match without it all costing an arm and a leg. Going with a built up crown might have been better if the top wasn't arched. I didn't think of the knee panel, that's something that could still be added I suppose. No dice on the bun feet - that was something that the customer specifically wanted. Thanks again for the feedback.
While I agree with Ben's comments, at the end of the day the ONLY opinion that matters is the customer's. All of us that do custom woodwork for a living have certainly run into an architect/designer/home owner whose idea of attractive is counter to our own. The piece looks both very well made and like it was a lot of fun to do. Keep up the good work!
What a great piece. How did you get the finish to have the aged, chipped appearance on the corners?
I'm a weekend warrior using reclaimed bridge timbers to make a kitchen slab. Because of splinters, and the day to day use as a kitchen table, I wanted to make the grayed timbers look like they have a partially stripped paint effect. Any advice would be great - thanks!
Russ Tribby [07/22/2011]
The chipped effect comes from putting clumps off wax on the piece before the paint, in this case crackle lacquer, is applied. Once it's dry you scrap off the wax and the bare wood is exposed. I just used a paste wax and applied it with a small piece of wood.
Thanks Russ. Is there any particular paste wax you recommend? I was thinking of other masking solutions and was considering silicone caulk, applied with a brush, that I was going to remove from the weathered, rough timbers with a wire brush. The look I'm trying to recreate can be seen at: http://www.elmwoodreclaimedtimber.com/wood.aspx?pgID=2559
The timbers are these: