Pull Up a Stool – Island Living

Grab a stool and a cutting board, or a plate, or a pencil, or a toothpick, or a tablet, or…?! Welcome to the kitchen island. Food prep, snack counter, breakfast bar, coffee cafe, homework hub, central party point, family communication center—its uses are nearly limitless.

painted and walnut island by newwoodworks

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Wood where the elbows are: Celebrating the Table.

Dining, meeting, drafting, sewing, displaying—the table is one of our most versatile pieces of furniture. They range in size, use, and style—across cultures and materials. Small functional bedside tables, wide ornate coffee tables, grand formal dining tables: each personal and flexible to nearly any imaginable design.

In this New York home, two wide reclaimed Elm thresher boards were bookended, butterfly joined, and place atop a custom fabricated metal base.

In this New York home, two wide reclaimed Elm thresher boards were bookended, butterfly joined, and placed atop a custom fabricated metal base.

For over two decades our fine woodworking group, NEWwoodworks, has been designing and crafting all varieties of tables, working out nuances and integrating creativity with functionality. Wood is this team’s preferred medium, be it antique reclaimed, live-edge, or newly sawn. Celebrating the beauty of the wood is instinctual with these craftsmen.

Headed for its new life as a bar height community table this creation has intentionally selected planks from original Foundry Maple flooring with a resin pour finish atop a powder coated custom steel base.

Headed for its new life as a bar height community table, this creation has intentionally selected planks from original Foundry Maple flooring with a resin pour finish atop a powder coated custom steel base.

Completed last week, this boat-shaped conference room table has a top crafted from Reclaimed Settlers’ Plank Mixed Hardwoods and a base of what we like to call “Toasted” Oak. Also integrated into the top are three power tilt-ups.

conference table reclaimed hardwoods newwoodworks custom reclaimed hardwoods conference table newwoodworks
Working alongside our Architectural and Interior Designer, Andrew, the NEWwoodworks craftsmen recently made two tables for our showroom remodel. Both are intended to provide additional work surfaces and meeting spaces for clients and co-workers alike.

A modified “waterfall” effect has the reclaimed Tropical Hardwood Mix of one of the tables dripping over the edge towards the floor:

reclaimed exotic hardwoods waterfall table newwoodworks

The original stamps marking the approval of this wood for overseas use via a form of kiln drying.

The original stamps marking the reclaimed exotic hardwoods are pest free.

Not to be missed is the “suspension” table, an idea that has been percolating in the NEWwoodworks group for some time. Crafted of mixed oak with a dark wash stain, the deep wood color draws attention to the metal suspension components:

suspension oak table by newwoodworks

Live-edge tables are always intriguing with their organic edges and truly one-of-a-kind shapes. Several tables designed by Rob, manager of our NEWwoodworks group, celebrate live edges and “x” bases in a Kentucky farmhouse:

The root burl of a large walnut tree was carefully maintained to create a live-edge end on this farmhouse table.

The root burl of a large walnut tree was carefully maintained to create a live-edge end on this farmhouse table.

Similar to the dining table, walnut end tables have one-of-a-kind live-edges in this Kentucky home.

Similar to the dining table, walnut end tables have one-of-a-kind live-edges in this Kentucky home.

Figured cherry maintains a live edge with a low height traditional for coffee tables.

Figured cherry maintains a live edge with a low height traditional for coffee tables.


Reclaimed wood
lends other interesting character marks and hard-earned patinas to any fine woodworking project:

Old French white oak and domestic barrel/vat staves were repurposed into a pier table off the kitchen island, ideally situated for family meals.

Old French white oak and domestic barrel/vat staves were repurposed into a pier table off the kitchen island, ideally situated for family meals.

Incorporating our torsion box design and a mixture of reclaimed hardwoods, Parsons-style tables offer space for patrons of a Florida-based bank:

reclaimed hardwoods box communal tables

In another commercial space, Kindred Fare, a large walnut table with contrasting butterfly joinery and a trestle base (crafted of reclaimed Hemlock) seats 10+:

custom walnut table kindred fare by newwoodworks

An extra large, curving edged Settlers’ Plank reclaimed oak conference table easily seats 20+ as demonstrated by some of the NEWwoodworks team:

nww crew at SP table

As we find with any fine woodworking, so much is in the details. Custom designs are made better with detailed execution and specific attention to each wood plank’s grain and character, to overall dimensions, to what base material and style fits best, to the shape of an apron (or not having an apron at all!), to what joinery is applied, to the finish, and much more.

In the details: A reclaimed beech table with thru-tenon aprons and pyramid pegs.

In the details: A reclaimed beech table with live edge, thru-tenon aprons, and walnut pyramid pegs.

The more challenging and more unique, the better for this team. What table is in your imagination? Let us know – we can help bring it to life.

A well-loved 'timber' table in the NEWwoodworks showroom celebrates live edges and original mortise pockets suspended from heavy Douglas fir timber legs.

A well-loved ‘timber’ table in the NEWwoodworks showroom celebrates live edges and original mortise pockets in its top, all suspended from heavy Douglas fir timber legs.

 

Restored, Reused, Reloved: Doors of Heritage

Doors are the transitional pieces, the welcoming elements, the barriers against intrusion—be it weather or other diversions—the room dividers, the separators of space. A high-crafted door is designed to function flawlessly and be in service for decades. Yet over time their movement and environment can impact aesthetics and usefulness. Our fine woodworking group, NEWwoodworks, has had the opportunity to restore doors of heritage, bearing, and beauty for a few special spaces.

Home at the Spa

spa door rehab by newwoodworks

Elements from an original carriage house in Rochester were carefully salvaged, including the main entry doors, for a local spa. Always believed to be arched, during removal it was discovered that the original doors were rectangular. They had hung for years behind an arched opening to give them the look of arched doors.

Original doors, site salvaged.

Original doors, site salvaged.

The craftsmen at NEWwoodworks, lead by door guru, Jay, were tasked with creating arches in the old doors, along with general restoration. The doors were constructed in a traditional way using wedged tenons which were hammered in from the side. This type of old craft construction would close and tighten all of the stile and rail joints. With skill and care, an arch was cut in the doors and components were re-fitted to create truly arched doors. The surface was then wire brushed and mounting hardware was set into the backs of the doors so they could be hung on a wall.

spa door refurb by newwoodworks

Today they greet patrons from their new home where they live as pieces of art behind the spa reception desk.

newwoodworks spa door refurb

University Ave

Though species and finishes play a large role in the durability of wooden entry doors, time and weather will eventually wear through and some TLC will be needed to bring the wood back to life. A set of white oak entry doors on University Ave in Rochester, NY were removed by our craftsmen and transported back to the shop.

univ ave door orig

The original weather-worn oak doors on University Ave.

It was clear the bottom rails were beyond repair which lead the team to dismantle the doors and sidelights. Over 200 oak pieces and all joinery was restored. New insulated glass units and oil rubbed bronze hardware were added bringing a touch of modernization to the doors. Originally the oak was stained dark brown, but for this revitalization, it was requested to keep a natural finish to allow the oak’s patina to be celebrated. The craftsmen employed a polymerized tung oil that will be applied biannually as part of normal maintenance for the revived doors.

university ave door refurb newwoodworks

Eatery Entry

A fun find by a restaurant owner, this tall and slim pair of doors is believed to have originated in India before making their way to the US and eventually to the NEWwoodworks shop for a bit of care.

newwoodworks refurb pine doors detail

The doors were sinch-nailed together, nearly 3″ thick, solid white pine covered in layers of paint and signs of age.

original pine doors eatery entry

Original, as-found pine doors.

The first step was stripping off the hardware and cleaning up the grills. A light wire brushing was applied to the surface to remove some of the rotten paint while highlighting the hard-earned surface character. Structural repairs were required in the moldings and some of the rails, but overall these doors were fairly solid. Frosted glass, new hinges, and a dead bolt completed the overhaul. Today the doors conceal a closet while acting as wall art. Their grills and glass are backlit, warm and captivating in the eatery’s entry foyer.

restored pine doors by newwoodworks

Rejuvenating and repairing, bringing new life and new love to these timelessly authentic doors are stories we’ll tell for many years to come. They’ve influenced and inspired new doors (below) and reminded us of old high craft techniques. See the gallery of door creations here.

Inspired by the adjacent antique doors, the new entry door was crafted by NEWwoodworks using reclaimed Heart Pine.

Inspired by the adjacent antique doors, the new main entry door for the eatery entrance was crafted of Reclaimed Heart Pine by NEWwoodworks.

Final Panels: Custom Tree Cut-Out Cross Laminated Timber Project

tree corner cltThe final (final!) Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels have been installed on our CLT project. Forming the front corner of the building these panels represent a piece of the flexibility of building with solid wood panels and speak to our passion for planet, forest, tree, and wood.

last clt panel install edit web

 

Our fine woodworking division, NEWwoodworks, used ingenuity, software, and CNC tooling to draw, layout, and cut the “tree” design. Our timber frame and construction teams, including Jason, Kevin, and Jim, installed the panels on a chilly Monday morning. Roofing and final enclosure, including wood fiber insulation, are underway.

exterior clt w corner tree

Read more about this build, the First Complete Cross Laminated Timber Project in New York State, in a previous blog post.

Harmony on the Hudson: The Olsen’s Timber Home Retreat Story

olsen-interiorTimber Home Living magazine documented the Olsen’s journey to building their family retreat in the Berkshires from 2014 to completion in 2016. What happens during a custom home building project? Starting with our design team join the story from the Olsen’s point of view as we craft the timber frame, enclosure, and custom woodworking. Click through each part of the eight part series below to get the inside scoop.

The Olsen’s story, and the Welcome Home Series, begins with the land…

Part 1: From Dream to Design
The Olsen’s begin designing their dream home on land they’d been spending vacation time visiting for 10 years. Harmony with the land and the family was a must.
view-from-olsenPart 2: Laying The Groundwork
Breaking ground – an exciting day, especially with a few last minute modifications.

groundbreaking-olsenPart 3: Built to Last
Our team raises the frame and the Olsen family watches their dream home take shape.
olsen-raisingPart 4: Worth the Wait
Weather delays…but not for long!
olsen-in-snowPart 5: Lessons Learned
Communication proves vital in the build process for sticking to the plan and modifying.
solar-array-olsenPart 6: Elements of Surprise
Nearing completion, creativity and flexibility lead to modified plans.
olsen-porchPart 7: The Big Finish
Mixed materials, including reclaimed wood, make a statement on the interior and exterior of the Olsen Home.
olsen-custom-cabinetry-reclaimed-floorPart 8: The Great Escape
“I definitely think we designed the right size house with the perfect layout,” says Greg Olsen.
olsen-porch-exteriorolsen-exterior-timber-frame-reclaimed-sidingOur notes:
When Greg and Dee approached us to craft their family’s timber frame retreat we knew it was going to be fun. Their philosophy fit with ours: they wanted to strike a balanced design, a home in harmony with the site that was as environmentally conscious as possible. Eliminating VOCs, incorporating reclaimed and organic materials, and a solar array were “must have” elements. Planning on large family gatherings and lots of cooks in the kitchen, there is ample party space with unobstructed southern views of the Catamount and Butternut Mountains. Screened and covered porches blur the line between interior and exterior spaces.

The resulting home celebrates a variety of reclaimed and storied wood: the timber frame is crafted from reclaimed Douglas fir; flooring is reclaimed Walnut on the upper level and reclaimed Teak on the lower level; wall paneling is reclaimed barn siding; reclaimed beech was used to create custom bed frames, night stands, and built-ins. Much of the cabinetry and built-ins, including the Ash kitchen cabinetry, was made by our fine woodworking division, NEWwoodworks. The kitchen island includes a “waterfall” of walnut as a prep/presentation area while the adjacent dining table seats up to twelve.