Need storage space? Display space? Can’t find a piece of furniture that’s the right size? Let’s talk built-ins.
What is a built-in? We’ve found a variety of pieces answer this question. Their unifying characteristic is a permanent fastening to the structure they live in. They are specifically sized to fit an existing space and are optimized for efficiency. Ranging from large to small, from simplistic to complicated, from cabinetry to bunks and benches, built-ins are varied and specific.
This built-in combines open shelving scribed around a corner post with cabinets and a live-edge top.
Our fine woodworking team, NEWwoodworks, and our design team deep dive into these pieces, aiming for designs that will suit current and future needs of the homeowners. Creating flexible pieces in a fixed or permanent space is a challenge solved with collaboration—internally and especially with the family that will live with, and interact daily with, the resulting fixture.
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.
Wood fiber installation, another product which is new to the US. Also referred to as “out-sulation” since it is installed on the outside of projects, the Wood Fiber panels offer 3.5R per inch, are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, and are a carbon sink – for each 1 m3 used, up to 1 tonne of CO2 is bound within the product. Made by Steico, we found this product installed with a fair amount of ease and is performing well.
The custom CNC cut corner tree received a coat of stain and is now sheltered behind glass.
Shou Sugi Ban is an ancient Japanese technique of burning wood as a preservative treatment for exterior siding. The process gives Pioneer Millworks Larch a dark, slightly iridescent look. We anticipate that in this exterior use it may change over time, depending on its exposure to the elements.
Lights! All LED lighting combined with the natural light from the clerestory make this a very bright space. Our fine woodworkers are clamoring to move in for the lighting alone!
Concrete – what a BIG pour! Lots of man power and man hours. Concrete was flowed over radiant heat throughout the shop.
KB Masonry’s team handled this big pour.
Concrete complete and set! Sprinkler lines run…lights to come. Photo by Scott Hemenway.
Mechanicals, such a sprinklers, and duct work. Steve and Ed our maintenance duo have been hard at work installing duct work/dust collection alongside a few of our trusted partners who handled the sprinklers and other mechanicals.
Ed and Steve talk connections for the dust collection ducts.
Ed is a bit camera shy and did well on the man lift hiding behind the pipes.
Amenities including the break room and bathrooms are underway.
Plumbing and electric are in. Next: doors.
In use: Pioneer Millworks has begun using their storage and shipping space at the back of the building. What once seemed to be a cavernous 8,000 sq ft is filling up quickly with custom orders that are ready to ship and other weather sensitive products.
We’re on schedule to move all of our fine woodworking shop to their new space in mid-August. Check back for information on our ribbon cutting this Fall. And visit our previous blog post for more images, videos, and details of this project.
CLT construction is an economically and environmentally conscious alternative to steel and concrete construction, a material that is new to the U.S. building industry.
A quick description might be ‘giant plywood’. More specifically, CLTs are large wooden panels, typically consisting of 3, 5, or 7 layers of dimensional lumber, oriented at right angles, glued together. The panels for our project averaged 8 feet tall and 38 feet long at 3 ¼ and 3 ¾ inch thickness. Using a crane and lulls, the panels were lifted into place and fitted by hand to the supporting timber frame. Each CLT panel has a shiplap edge that nests the panels together and is secured with metal fasteners.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Incorporating our torsion box design and a mixture of reclaimed hardwoods, Parsons-style tables offer space for patrons of a Florida-based bank:
In another commercial space, Kindred Fare, a large walnut table with contrasting butterfly joinery and a trestle base (crafted of reclaimed Hemlock) seats 10+:
An extra large, curving edged Settlers’ Plank reclaimed oak conference table easily seats 20+ as demonstrated by some of the NEWwoodworks team:
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 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 in its top, all suspended from heavy Douglas fir timber legs.
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
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.
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.
Today they greet patrons from their new home where they live as pieces of art behind the spa reception desk.
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.
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.
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.
The doors were sinch-nailed together, nearly 3″ thick, solid white pine covered in layers of paint and signs of age.
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.
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 main entry door for the eatery entrance was crafted of Reclaimed Heart Pine by NEWwoodworks.