A Tiny Island
This is not my Mother in laws craft room. This is the inspiration.
THIS, is her craft room.
Now, this is after the carpet has been redone, the walls were repainted, and after I installed the modular shelving built-in into her closet. So the room looks a bit more bare in this picture than "IRL" as there is still PLENTY of stuff that needs a home off screen.
We call my wife's mom "Tiny". It's because she's so small. Tiny handcrafts soap under the business Bentonville Bubble Co. She also is an incredible card maker. All of our family thank you cards, seasonal cards come from her. They're made at a really high caliber, and I think she's too modest to tell anyone.
Bentonville Bubble Co. was born out of a promise to find and create a better, more gentle soap for the most important part of our everyday cleansing routine. Tiny's company is one that champions itself on self care and love. These soaps are made from scratch, in small batches-- through inspiration. The formulas are created from nourishing ALL NATURAL ingredients, invigorating fragrances, and creative expression.
But for all of her workmanship, this poor of a table is unsuitable for her needs. It was wobbly, not big enough, and seemed to be falling apart when I took a look underneath the top. With all this in mind, I took off to our office and started designing things in Sketchup. We landed on something like this, painted cabinet, with a hardwood top & base. To me, I thought that what we were originally looking at didn't utilize the space efficiently enough- and I really wanted to be happy seeing her at something I made every time we come over.
So this is the basic design- none of the true rounded pieces in play yet. No shelving or draws added. Just the basics. I like to draw things on a piece of paper, and then translate that drawing into CAD or some kind of 3D rendering program once we've dialed in the design. So- now that we have that..
Yes, just a basic shop.. you can CNC it in the background.
Actually a tricky miter cut, and these were biscuit joined for alignment.
I do not typically share trade secrets or how we get to point A-B, other than here in the blog and with my clients. Enjoy.
Here are some bad pictures I snagged of the glue up. The time I was building this is was actually ~7 degrees or so outside. So to have this cure properly, it was moved inside of the mud room.
I could NOT begin work before stabilization.. 2 major structural boards were cracked all the way through.
Bigly. I separated, and opened these pieces as wide as would allow. Filled with our best glue, and clamped overnight. After curing, there was palpable integrity and this could then be milled down to near final- which happened to be 1.75" FLAT.
Here are the curved pulls before lamination. Lots of time sanding, and shaping and they were ready to go.
Yes, and notably, the grain does match all the way across the drawer fronts of the unit. Holes on carcass are for top alignment, and other fasteners not installed in picture yet. (base is also not secured) just sat on to take in the dream. Presanded/finished where slides are mounted carcass/draw.
Getting there. The round profiles had begun, and the top was trimmed to size after flattening.
A little bit of a skip on my cut, but I knew my stretcher piece would cover that nicely. The thing is, when making things- the maker sees EvErYtHiNg.. but we also know how to make it all better. The fitting of the sliding piece took most of my morning. I have learned patience through the years.
***MAJOR SHOP SECRETS*** Now let's talk about the top. The edges have been rounded. This is easily done by taking off most of the material, and matching a stenciled profile via template router bit. I commonly use these when making round parts. A pre-made template is attached and a cut is made. Simple enough with a bit using a bearing guide on either the top or bottom (depending on the grain direction)
Something I use, something that is indispensable in my shop, is double sided duct tape. I use it for clamping to the CNC, for template routing, and I recently even used it for table saw work.
Inlaying has become a shorthand skill for me, as it should be for any woodworker. I won't spell it out fully.. but again, double sided tape rules the day.
There's a bit of processing left out.. but finally, you arrive:
Seems to me- an heirloom piece means more than particle board furniture. Something that has beauty. To see a beautiful space and want to fill it with beautiful things. This is the essence of Maker & Racer. I hope you all enjoy.
Maker & Racer