Applewood bench

Applewood bench (closeup)Latest in the applewood series, a bench I had started making a couple years ago and that I just got to finishing last fall. It’s made almost entirely from the wood of an old apple tree we had to fell due to disease and that I turned into timber. With enough room to sit two people, I used the straightest  cuts but still had to do a lot of planing and jointing to get something I could actually do proper woodworking with. The bench top itself is a full slice of the tree cut and glued to alternate the grain’s direction and then screwed to a backing of plywood for stability.

Applewood bench

The whole project is assembled using screws hidden behind walnut plugs. The finish is Danish oil for a smooth shine that really enhances the natural beauty and the weathering of this imperfect wood. I’ll admit the end result is most satisfying and sturdy. It found an obvious home in the entrance of our apartment, providing a sitting area where shoes can put on or off and be stored.

Applewood bench

Applewood table lamp

Applewood table lamp closeup
Base details

Latest in my applewood series, a small table lamp put together using reclaimed parts from another derelict lamp that had been sitting around in the basement for ages. It features a bit of detailing in brass rod and an SPST switch to control it.  For the finish, I used danish oil as I feel it does the best job at bringing out the beauty of the intertwined patterns of sapwood and hardwood.

Applewood table lamp

Laminated plywood desk

For a long time I had dreamed of the perfect desk and finally last summer I got around to actually building it. Having come across pieces of furniture made from laminated birch plywood grain-side up, I opted to use that technique for the desk rather than making it from solid planks. Using leftovers, I also built a liquor cabinet in much the same fashion.

Laminated plywood desk oblique view

Laminated plywood desk surface closeup

The surface features inserts of walnut, apple and padauk and the beams are held together by compression using threaded rods. Adjoining the desk is a side table also built using plywood but this time held together using glue. The side table has been made hollow to accommodate some computer parts in a fashion similar to that coffee table I built some years ago. To manage all the cabling, I simply reused a system I had put together for my first desk.

Now for the actual experience of making that projet into reality, it was much much more difficult that originally expected and ended up taking a lot more time. The surface of the desk is actually assembled using beams composed of three planks of plywood screwed together and then planed. Thinking that the beam would sit square once assembled by alternating the saw cuts to offset any errors, I omitted to joint the beams before planing them. In the end they didn’t and I ended up with many crooked beams and a wavy desk surface.

Plywood is not very rigid, that I was aware of, but it’s also quite compressible. In the end, my desk was not thick enough to account for that so once assembled and taught by the threaded rods, it would start bowing after a while. I managed to make the surface sort of straight using shims, but it’s still far from perfect. I’m also not exactly satisfied with the look of the legs, so I plan to revisit this project in the future to build metal legs and a frame to straighten it out.

In spite of all the challenges of building this desk, I’m still very happy with the way it came together. I don’t think I’ll be reusing plywood again for woodworking projets, but I certainly gained a lot from the experience.

 

Liquor cabinet

Liquor cabinet side view

Or rather a liquor table. It was built entirely using laminated baltic birch plywood with walnut, apple and padauk inserts. All the layers of plywood are grain-side up and held together using threaded rod. The table features its own lighting system for a spectacular effect at night.

Liquor cabinet

The projet was meant to match my computer desk and was put together using leftovers from its big brother.

The hook multiplier, another small project made from apple wood

For a while now, I’ve had a stockpile of apple tree wood from a tree we felled a couple of years ago. Normally, thinking of woodworking projects isn’t too difficult, but this particular essence of wood is unfit for most projects but the smaller ones (for example, wine bottle stands). However, what it lacks in workability it makes up in beauty. Some pieces are rather drab, but others, especially the ones that have been damaged by pest and water, can be spectacular.

Hook multiplier in use

A simple idea came to me upon seeing my girlfriend’s clotheshook overly crowed with scarves and coats. By expanding one hook into a column of smaller vertical hooks, we’d be able to free up some space.

Here’s what it turned into. The whole project took about an hour an half and I was able to put to use the most crooked but most visually appealing plank of apple tree wood (excuse the bad pictures, I could not get proper lighting).

Hook multiplier closeup