Monday, December 03, 2012


I am slowly working on creating a new blog and website.  Until that is up, though, I will continue to try to post here.

I recently had a project I did about a year ago, photographed professionally.

I was asked to design and build an armoire that also opened out into a murphy bed.

We wanted this cabinet to look very old, refined, and elegant and yet present a very deep character.

The wood that was chosen was Oregon white oak.  It is never chosen for cabinetwork because it has so much variability.  It is the preferred wood, though, of Burlington Northern Railroad for its rail car beds. This wood proved to be one of the most difficult I have ever worked with but also the most exciting.

Then there was the opportunity to work in fine detail.

This piece of furniture is suffused with character.


Where most stains are finely ground pigments smeared on the surface of the wood to color it, the finish that I used is a chemical compound that has a chemical reaction with the oak fibers. Bichromate of potash, also known as potassium bichromate, is both carcenogenic and toxic. It is a glow in the dark bright orange water that is brushed on the surface of the oak and in a matter of about five minutes develops this beautiful color that seems to be intrinsic to the wood. You can stand there and watch the change happen as if you were watching a black and white photograph develop in a darkroom chemical bath. After it dries it then gets a clear coat over it to protect it.

The hardware is also very special.  The hinges are barrel hinges five feet long. the finish is a distressed iron. These I got through a company that imports them from Europe.

The pulls are two art nouveau door knobs and a chest handle.

I want to build more cool furniture like this.

Again,  please note that if you are interested in seeing more of my work you will have to go to
until I have my new website up.

Thank you for your interest.     Mark

No comments: