Archive for August, 2015

My Client Did Not Know What A Furniture Tenon Is…

Friday, August 21st, 2015

LOOK—My First YouTube Video!

I just got a GoPro camera for my hike on Mount Whitney two weeks ago, and decided to create my first woodworking video. It has taken a bit of study to learn the functions of the GoPro, and how to use iMovie.

Picking a subject for a video can be a hurdle, as there are so many things I could video about my work. Ironically, to learn how to use the GoPro, iMovie, and how to create an interesting video, is found on YouTube.

A repair and restoration project is currently ‘on-the-bench.’ I decided the best approach to my first online video is to educate. I explained to the client why her dining chairs fell apart. She could not understand my verbal explanation between dowels and tenons. So enjoy my first video on tenons! This video turned out like my first piece of furniture, so…

Before And After Pictures Of A Dresser Make Over DIY

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

From time to time, I am presented with a project to alter the appearance of an existing furniture piece. The interior designer or client has a piece that is of good quality, has memories attached to it, and they want it spruced up to fit into their current updated home decor.

So was the case with a little girl’s Kermit the Frog dresser. The little girl was now a young woman, and wanted a more sophisticated looking dresser than the current lime green, with pink pull knobs.

The interior design firm Ramsey Engler Ltd. of Minneapolis, has worked with me on several projects over the years.

This time they needed to give an outdated, but well-made, dresser a major facelift.

First on the list was to create a toe-kick to lift it off the ground four inches. Ramsey Engler Ltd. then sent me a design pattern to ‘wrap’ the piece in. They wanted a white catalyzed varnish base, with a geometric motif pattern using a frisket film. This is something I learned watching the Hot Rod shows on TV.

The film comes in different widths with adhesive on one side. It is applied to the cured painted surface, now the artiste can draw a pattern onto the frisket film. Portions are cut out using an X-Acto knife, these sections are removed to receive the additional colors. In this case, metallic silver paint was applied. After this was dry, a glaze varnish was applied.

Below are the photos showing the dramatic results. An old piece made new.

before and after

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dresser lime greenradelow_final_dresser

It Was A True Honor To Create The Carving For This Beautiful Marquetry Headboard

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

As Ken Stover a marquetry buddy of mine,  was creating a beautiful marquetry masterpiece, he approached me to see if I would be interested in doing the carving for the border of his headboard. Ken and Ronelle had previously referred me to a neighbor of theirs to build and Italian carved fireplace mantel and were so impressed with the outcome they knew I would be the perfect craftsman to compliment Ken’s marquetry.

Both Ken and I were one of the first handful of students to graduate the American School of French Marquetry.

Ken wanted to create a special headboard for his wife Ronelle. Ken designed this with marquetry from a table’s top by Jean-Henry Riesener in 1771. The table is located in the Petit Trianon at Versailles. This table is featured in Pierre Ramond’s book: Masterpieces of Marquetry (volume III) page,77: ISBN 0-89236-595-1.

This is the pattern Ken used to make full scale drawings for a queen-sized bed. Ken executed the marquetry using the ‘painting in wood’ technique, using sawn veneers imported from France.

I was truly honored to be a part of the piece and thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration of working with Ken.

marquetry packets

Ken’s marquetry packet of headboard.

carving curl

Aaron’s carving on air dried lumber.

carving at bench

Aaron’s carving on work bench.


Ken’s finished marquetry masterpiece being framed with Aaron’s French walnut carving.