After 35-years of use, abuse and storage, these two bedroom suites (12 individual pieces/35 drawers) find renewed life.
Our girls have left; we are officially empty-nesters after 33 years. One lives in Perth, Australia; the other has bought a condo in Victoria. There is no coming home. We’ve renovated their two bedrooms and we now have two adult guest rooms.
The black walnut suite was purchased pre-marriage from an estate sale in Oak Bay in 1977. I researched and discovered it was built by the Middlesex Furniture Company in Stratroy, Ontario – circa 1920’s. The Honduras mahogany suite was gifted to Shelley’s mother in the 80’s from an elderly American couple, and sourced to a 40’s furniture company in San Jose, California.
There is life after 50.
The outdoor “park” set-up; warm, dry and picture perfect. Could it get any greener?
“Maybe it’s true that life begins at 50… but everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.”
— Phyllis Diller
The Test Drive – Before and After… Ready, Set, Scrape!!
Before and After – Our Beautiful Black Walnut Headboard
Written by Guest Blogger, Kyle Gardiner.
I have built chests for grandchildren Akira and Reiko to provide places for them to keep things precious to them. In Reiko’s case that would be things typical of a hope chest. A boy’s interests are necessarily different, and although Akira’s chest is identical, it was built with the vague notion that it would, with the addition of interior furnishings, perhaps be a tool box; maybe even for my tools some day. That would be a hopeful legacy. Or maybe, with suitable Kanji, a hope chest for some future generation.
Design ideas began with the hope chest I built for Mama Lynne in 1966. An improved design would be smaller, better proportioned, built of better materials and with better workmanship, embody finer construction details, and be more accommodating of expansion and contraction issues with wood. Designs were explored on the internet, and through publications. Particularly good examples were featured in a book entitled “Traditional Style Tool Chests” from the West Vancouver Library.
Dimensions evolved from comparisons of various chests to Lynne’s 1966 one, of finding pleasing proportions, and consideration that any chest should fit across the end of a single bed, be of a height comfortable to sit on, and maybe be serviceable as a coffee table.
About a month ago, we received an email from a supplier commenting on the strengthening US dollar and it’s affects on the increasing cost of lumber. This is an upward trend that is a double-edged sword for Canada; a country reliant on exports and a robust trading partner with the US.
“The Hardwood Review Weekly has had two recent articles that offer an explanation as to why lumber has been in tight supply and prices have been on an increase. Here is a condensed version covering their basic content:
“Overproduction No Longer Inevitable – Several Reasons Why Supply Won’t Overtake Demand Anytime Soon” by Andy Johnson, Editor
Source: Hardwood Review Weekly, November 29, 2013 (Vol. 30, Issue 11)
Source: Hardwood Review Weekly, December 6, 2013 (Vol. 30, Issue 12)
Supply Side Constraints to Increasing Production:
- Fewer sawmills (many grade and tie mills have closed and were dismantled)
- Limited capital availability (credit requirements have tightened considerably for hardwood companies)
- Labour shortage (pool of qualified loggers, sawyers, graders and machine operators is quite low)
- Highly competitive timber/log markets (rapidly rising lumber prices have mills eager to buy as much raw material as they can afford)
We’re featuring three amazing artists this month:
His beautiful Alder island countertop was made for a client.
The guitars are both made of cherry (one is solid cherry, the other is a cherry top on MDF). The guitar with the bent strips of wood has strips of padouk, purpleheart, oak and poplar. The guitar with the wider inlaid pieces has pieces of walnut, bubinga, and western maple in it. The cutting board is eastern maple with strips of padouk and yellowheart.
Dining Room Table made from concrete, steel, aluminum, Douglas Fir
Architect Leith Anderson called me to help with the build of a fireplace wall feature seen in (PROJECT 1 – IMAGE 1). To complement a fireplace wall, I was also asked to design and build a dining table. On a day trip to Tofino, I drew inspiration from the location itself. The house is nestled on a cliff overlooking Rosie Bay and with spectacular views of the ocean. Like most West Coast homes, wood is a prominent material of choice and this home has no shortage of large fir beams with beautifully displayed joinery. The choice of Douglas Fir wood for the table was easy. The homeowners also collected native art. To represent water, I decided on metal to provide a shimmer on the table while also giving some contrast. My choice was to cast a floating concrete “tablet” in the center of the table. This tablet would then rest on a pair of concrete legs that anchor and proudly support the table. I commissioned native artist Mark Preston to provide authentic Native art work that I then incorporated into the table and fireplace.
We were approached to sponsor this unique boating project at UBC with some product. Dave Tiessen, Mechanical Team Lead, gave us some insight and what they want to accomplish.
UBC Sailbot is one of the most successful of UBC Engineering’s student teams. They are three time winners of the International Robotic Sailing Regatta, who are now attempting a greater feat, a challenge called “The MicroTransat”.
“The competition entails sailing an autonomous sailboat across the Atlantic completely unassisted. So far no one has succeeded in this challenge. We plan to be the first.” Says Dave.
The team has made smaller boats (2 metres in length) in the past and were made completely of carbon fibre. This time, however, the team has opted to go a different route.
“We are looking at a larger 5 m design. We are planning to build that in the cold moulded style, hence the need for marine plywood.” He supplied us a photo of the plans, but we’ll keep that hush hush for now!
Dave promises to keep us in the loop with their progress and we will follow the journey with you in our blog and newsletter. We wish them the best of luck with the build!