Here are a few of the speculative and commission pieces that have been made over the last several years by our craftsmen and teachers. Using solid wood and traditional joinery ensures that these furniture pieces will last longer than the builders!
White House Cabinets
In 2008 we were given the honor of building two mesquite cabinets for the Cabinet room in the U.S. White House. Every surface was veneered with our own shop-cut veneers (which are much thicker than commercially available veneers). Each column was turned by hand on our lathe, all the cross-banding was cut, glued, then cut again to get the exact pattern; each shelf inside the cabinet had pillow panels to eliminate dust collecting inside the grooves. Every door was mortise and tenoned together with flat mesquite panels that we then veneered over. All the construction was with traditional joinery and solid mesquite wood, and each piece of wood was selected for its color, grain and strength. Every surface was hand-planed or hand-scraped before sanding.
The pieces of wood that make up the eagles on the front of the cabinets were cut out with a knife, then pieced back together so that the grain of the wood matched the shape. We used scarlet oak (a tree from the White House north lawn that fell during a storm) together with ebony to border the veneer and cross-banding, giving it a nice contrast.
The finish is French polished shellac. We worked day and night for a month to finish them by the deadline, personally delivering the cabinets the night the President gave his farewell address. As we carefully set the first one in place, we looked up to see the second one being whisked down the hall on its end . . . by a moving crew! But it survived and now sits, a little bit of Texas, in the middle of Washington, D.C.
More furniture pictures.