Sunday, March 29, 2009

Arched Aurora End Table finished!

Over the past week I put the finishing touches on my Aurora End Table from Darrell Peart's class. I used the finish recipe that Darrell recommended in his blog, that is General Finishes Water based Dye, 7 parts orange, 4 parts medium brown, followed by many coats of General Finishes Arm-r-Seal all hand rubbed. I used one coat of the dye followed by a light hand sanding to get rid of any raised grain. I also did a very light sanding between every few coats of Arm-r-seal. When I was happy with the build up on the finish I completed the project with a coat of Watco light liquid wax. I was torn on wether to use the light wax or the dark wax, but I wanted to keep the look as light as possible so I went with the light wax. The table was originally going to be a bedside table for my guest room but it was so beautiful I wanted it somewhere where it would be seen often and appreciated. Thanks again to Darrell for all his teaching on this project and to Marc for some great company and finishing advice. This was my first true Greene and Greene style project, I don't think that it will be the last.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas A. Edison

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Aurora Arched End Table Class

This week I'm attending a class at William Ng's School of Fine Woodworking in Anaheim, California, taught by noted woodworker, author, and Greene & Greene style furniture expert Darrell Peart. I'm here with my friend Marc Spagnuolo and I was thinking of blogging on my experience but Marc is doing such a great job posting that I think that I'll just direct you over to his posts at
The picture at the left is some exquisite Ribbon African Mahogany that the school had in supply in there huge wood storage room. Not only was the figure amazing, the board wide and long enough that Marc and I used it for both of our tops. The facility here is excellent, a large machine room filled with finely tuned, high quality woodworking machines arranged in a logical, efficient way, and an equally large bench/teaching room with the biggest solid maple benches that you've ever seen. The staff is very friendly, helpful and attentive to your requests. William shows up every morning with a smile and a box of the best donuts in the world. William is in the process of creating an online store for the nice selection of woodworking tools and supplies that he stocks at the school. He also has some very nice t-shirts that both Marc and I are getting our hands on before we are done here, look for them on Marc's shop cam, I'm sure that he'll be sporting one soon.
"Sleep is the best meditation." ~His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

Monday, March 9, 2009

Greene & Greene Details II class

This weekend I had to privilege of attending a class on some of the details associated with the Greene & Greene style of furniture given by Darrell Peart at the William Ng School of Fine Woodworking in lovely Anaheim, California. Those of you that know something about me know that I live in Charleston, SC, about as far as you can get from Anaheim in this country, so why did I travel this far for a class? Well, first I've been a fan of the Greene & Greene Style for many years, second, I bought Darrell's book, Greene & Greene : Design Elements for the Woodshop as soon as it came out, in fact, I had pre-ordered it from Barnes and Noble prior to the publication date. I've drooled over his creations and re-creations of the style and read many of his posts in the Yahoo Greene & Greene group that he founded.

Darrell demonstrated techniques to use in creating many of the details of the style to the class, he then guided us through the process and circled the room giving hints and suggestions and just being a great guy to talk to. We learned how to create the signature base fingers seen in many Greene & Greene designs as well as square and rectangular pillowed ebony plugs, the drawer finger joint that is a hallmark of the style and two different types of drawer pulls.

Of course I wouldn't have travelled across the country for just a weekend class, I'm continuing on with Darrell this week building the Arched Aurora End Table along with my friend Marc Spagnuolo of The, it should be a fun week of woodworking and merriment.

It was a wonderful class that I would highly recommend to anyone with an interest in the Greene & Greene style, Asian influenced furniture, of just a woodworker that is looking to learn some new and interesting techniques from a master of the craft.
"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." ~Buddha