The Japanese Tatami

Japanese Tatami Gallery

I had retired the Tatami Bed design….at least my version of it. I had built many of them and, since they are big, heavy pieces in a small shop, I’d decided to remove them from my portfolio. The Tatami era was over…..until Kirk and Claudia came along.

Ok, fine, they wanted a Tatami but what changed my mind was 1) they wanted it built of Padauk, a lumber species I had never worked with before, and 2) a headboard, which I had always wanted to do with the Tatami design but never had a request for one. Since they’d lived in Japan for several years, they wanted a Japanese themed headboard and was willing to give me license to design and apply all of the above. How could I say ‘no’ to that?

It was a challenge but a really sweet one. They are such great people and I wanted to make sure they were delighted with the result. However, as you’ll see, there was a hiccup in the design that neither I, nor they, caught. But in the end we worked through that and all’s well that ends well. You’ll see in the gallery.

A Tatami in the Bronx

A Tatami in the Bronx Gallery


Most of the time the Tatami bed, as advertised, has Sapele (Mahogany) legs and Hard Maple rails. However, Ashley wanted hers just a bit different…a King bed in all Sapele…..and a Dark Walnut stain. I must admit that the stain spec through me off balance. Sapele is a beautiful wood….open pored, close grain, dense, and looks very close to Genuine Mahogany. So why cover it up?

Well, turns out Ashley knew what she was talkin’ bout…and I would happily stain Sapele anytime!

The Reclaimed (not) Coffee Table


The Reclaimed (not) Coffee Table Gallery

Julia found a coffee table she really liked in an online catalog. The description was ‘reclaimed pine’ and they were asking a gazillion dollars for it. After a careful look it turns out that the table itself was built of a secondary wood (i.e. poplar = cheap) and was then ‘skinned’ with reclaimed pine. The number of brad nail holes in this stuff was incredible….I guess I was to think they were wormholes? Anyway, I really felt I could do a better job and I think I did alright.

The Zacchaeus Bookcase

The Zacchaeus Bookcase Gallery

Tom emailed…..

I’d made Tom a table before (see ‘A Study in Red’) and he liked my stuff, so he contacted me for a bookcase and a coffee table. What to do first? Well, we went with the bookcase.

An arts and crafts bookcase. In Sycamore.

I love love the look of Sycamore. And it came in very handy for Zacchaeus.


Round, and Round and……round….

Round and Round Gallery

My daughter and son-in-law decided to do a major renovation to their Master Bath and it turned out beautifully. However, during the course of the reno my daughter realized she’d failed to include any cabinetry to house linens, towels, etc. and that to ‘add it on’ to the existing contract was going to be a bit cost prohibitive. So, she asked me if I could build something for her instead and, of course, I was happy to oblige……with one exception: no plywood. I’d be happy to build a ‘real’ stand-alone cabinet but furniture grade, not cabinet grade. Plywood has its uses but I prefer not to use it.

So, the project was on and away we go….

A Study In Red

A Study In Red gallery

Last fall I received an unexpected email from local folks asking if I could/would build them a table….round, 52″ in diameter, in Cherry, and later determined to be finished in a deep dark cherry finish (Rubio Monocoat tinted).  The base is a craftsman style base patterned after an on-line photo. My intention was to finish and deliver the table in early November ’21 but Covid got in the way and I didn’t get the finished product to them until February ’22. They were very graceful and understanding on the delay as they are super nice folks from Central, SC.

I was surprised at their choice of tint over a hardwood like Cherry but, with a flat/matte finish, it turned out beautifully. Just click on the link to see the photos.


Jill’s “Ventura” Table

Jill’s Ventura Table


In October 2020 I offered a new dining table to my daughter, Jill. She’d said she wanted to be able to seat up to 10 since they do a fair bit of entertaining.  She accepted my ‘gift’ and the process started. It took a while to settle on design but she found a picture of what she wanted and shared it with me. To my surprise it was a mid-century/contemporary sort of look and I fell in love with it. Next came wood selection and, finally, between hard maple and walnut she went with the latter. It took a while to find the lumber in the lengths I needed but, finally, alas, I found it. Take a look at the results….and I hope you like it.

Sherri’s Island Paradise?

Sherri’s Island Paradise?

Sherri and husband, Herb, were relocating from Oregon to Upstate South Carolina. They’d bought a house which was still under construction but Sherri didn’t like the ‘standard’ kitchen island. She had some ideas on what she wanted and contacted me via CustomMade to see if I might be interested in building a replacement for her. She sent me her sketches, I sent back some drawings, and the ‘gig’ was on. Additionally she requested a matching table.

I really enjoyed working with Sherri as she was patient with the process but knew exactly what she wanted. She was quick to respond to any questions I might have and was slow to change any detail already decided. It was my pleasure to work with Sherri and Herb and I wish them the very best in their new life in SC.

See the link for details….

Joy’s Mid-Century Modern Full Bed in……Walnut

Joy’s Mid-Century Modern Bed

It’s mid-summer 2020. It’s hot outside and I really don’t like to sweat that much so ‘yard work’ is not an attractive activity. No one has contacted me from CustomMade recently and all personal wood projects are done. Shop cleaned, re-arranged, and updated in some areas for efficiency. Hmmmm.

So let’s take a look at the CustomMade job board. Look! There’s an inquiry from someone in Asheville, only a couple of hours from me….for a bed….in WALNUT! EUREKA!


So I sent a proposal (late, of course) but ‘Joy’, the author of the inquiry, was intrigued by the fact that I could, not only build, but deliver and setup, her new bed.

After some talk of design, and a final proposal, Joy accepted my bid and the job was on.

The rest of the story? Well you’ll have to go the gallery to see for yourself but Joy sure does like it. Me too!

One Little Corner

One Little Corner Gallery

A couple of years ago we did some renovation in our Kitchen/Family room and ended up with one little corner in our kitchen, sort of an intersection between kitchen and Family room. And we need just a wee bit more storage. My wife then saw a ‘Chimney Cabinet’ which is a long tall ‘drink a water’ cabinet that just fit the corner. Narrow (15″) by narrower (12″) and 75″ tall with adjustable shelves and shiplap back. Hinges and antique walnut knob from Etsy and finally painted and coated with a water-based urethane.

For just a wee-bit more storage.