Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hing's Bed

This bed was designed by Hing Yeung, shoe designer by trade but designer of space and furniture on the side. Hing found me through Craigslist I think, I can't remember now for sure, and convinced me to build this bed for him, which required the drilling of some 2000 holes or so. It was by far the most challenging project I've taken on yet. One of the biggest challenges was figuring how to build it in such a way that it could be taken apart, since Hing's loft lacks a cargo elevator, and not show any fasteners. All of the fasteners (screws) are inside, and must be fastened while lying on one's back, reaching under the inner frame. Putting it together is hardly an exercise in elegance, but the finished product is pretty striking. It's now a part of Hing's incredible loft in downtown Long Beach.

Thanks to John Douglas, who took all of the pictures of me working on the bed, and Chad Cress, who took all of the really good pictures of the bed in Hing's loft.

More Stools

I had some downtime and built some more child step stools. I used two different approaches- the first one here is like the last, with hidden mortise and tenon joints. The second employed dovetail joints. The first one has some particularly incredible wood.

Rosewood Bed

This bed is notable because it's in rosewood, which I had previously never used before and which looks really gorgeous, and because it ended up in this incredible loft in Los Angeles. Also, I used a mortise and tenon on each corner, which really locked the whole thing together, made it easier to assemble, and relieved the metal brackets of some of the workload, I think.
Note Luke, my son and bed installation assistant extraordinaire, in the foreground.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Snack Tables

These are some snack/painting tables that I built for my son Luke's school. The top is plywood with birch veneer with solid birch around the edges, everything else is solid birch. They are oiled and coated with polyurathane. I lucked out on the tops- there is some really interesting grain. Luke was really disappointed that I didn't paint these bright colors, like the old tables that they replaced (as a side note, I'm pretty sure that the old tables were there when I went to this preschool). His teacher was thrilled though, and she bought clear table cloths so that the grain could be seen while the kids eat their snacks.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

More Storage Beds

For some reason, I've built a lot of beds, and specifically storage beds, over the past year. Maybe it's because there were no queen beds in the hey day of the danish modern movement. Maybe it's because that's what I started selling in the first place. Maybe it's because an expanding cost of living means more people are living in smaller homes and more in need of storage under their beds. Either way, here are a couple more that I've built over the past few months.
This bed was built for Mimi and Susan, who live in Oakland. They saw a bed like this one on Lush Pad ( and asked me to build one in a full, since their place is quite small. I didn't want to deal with shipping a bed to Oakland and they didn't want to deal with the shipping price, but then a free trip to Northern California thanks to my appearance on the Wheel of Fortune paved the way for a delivery stop in Oakland. This is the first time I used a dovetail joint on the drawers, and it turned out pretty stunning- this is undoubtedly the wave of the Pete Deeble future.
I built this bed for Nathan and his wife Mary, who heard about me from someone who had bought a bed off me about a year ago. This is nothing new design-wise but did feature some incredible, striking wood grain. Specifically, the headboard had the most captivating grain movement of any headboard I've used yet (sadly, I did not take a close-up), and the drawer on the right night stand (pictured above) had a great natural hole. Nathan and Mary use a very high mattress, so that influenced the final look in a different, cool way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bunk Beds

After months of talking about it, I finally built bunk beds for Luke and Graham. The lighter wood is maple, the dark wood is walnut. I'm really pleased with the way they turned out, except that the mattresses are higher than I thought, and essentially hide the headboard on the top bunk. Also, Jana hates the sheets that Luke picked out because she says they're too bright and loud (she liked them OK until she unwrapped them and, as she claims, they took on at least 2 new degrees of neon). She's probably right, but Luke's enthusiasm about the whole set up is pretty intense and nothing that I'd want to tamper with. I'm also a bit concerned with the fan being so close to Luke's head- maybe we'll take it out and put it in another room.

Step Stool

I built this step stool for my friend Oscar. It turned out really great! It's built from solid walnut, with a polyurethane finish.

Friday, July 23, 2010

2 New Bed Designs

This first bed was built for Soseh, a punk rocker in Silver Lake who shares a last name with a very notorious man. She asked me to build her a bed with a huge headboard and lots of knots and interesting grain pattern. I had dreamed up this design for the legs some time ago, and was waiting for an opportunity to put it to use, so I figured this was a good chance. I couldn't be happier with the way my leg design worked with the enormous headboard.
This second bed I built for my friend Josh, who recently accepted a senior pastor position at a church in New Mexico. Like Soseh, Josh gave me a lot of room- complete freedom in fact- to do what I wanted with the design. So I again used the leg design I had been sitting on and used a more typical headboard, but created some interest with the posts supporting it. I like that these posts echo the curve of the legs, bringing a certain cohesion to the design.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

booster seat

This is another booster seat that I built for Oscar. Oscar is the son of Vanessa and James, a really cool couple in Silver Lake that bought a storage bed from me. It's the same design as the teak booster seat elsewhere on this blog, except way better. This is solid walnut, with mortise and tenon joinery, and a clear coat that really makes the wood pop. This one was difficult to hand over because it just kicks so much ass. One of these days, I'm going to build 10 of these at once and drive them around to different boutiques because like I said before, they could be the next big thing I think.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Design

I finally finished building night stands for Jana and I, more than a year since I built the bed. I'm kind of glad I waited though, because this design is completely different from what I would have done a year ago. I think I was subconsciously inspired by James Krenov, since I've been reading "A Cabinetmakers Notebook," his seminal work on wood and all things zen. Since the cabinet was to sit 8 1/2 inches above the ground, I felt that the legs had to have a little more elegance, or interest anyway, since visually they comprise a big part of the piece. These softly curved legs is what I came up with.

I'm particularly happy with the pull on the drawers- it's gently indented on the top and bottom to give a nice grip for a thumb and forefinger. In the future I'll need to find a router bit that will do this shaping for me, but this time it came down to a chisel and a pipe wrapped in sandpaper and a lot of sweat and sore hands.

The wood has a lot of natural interest. I really like this knot on the top surface here.

I continued with my recent foray into mortise and tenon joinery with these- all joints are formed in this manner. I also took my first shot at dovetails on the drawers. I've got a few kinks to work out, but basically I'm really happy with the result.

I'm very pleased with the overall cohesion of the night stands and bed together.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marina Del Rey

I just got some pictures from Josh and Rafi, A.K.A. Form Los Angeles (see link in below post). They bought the bedroom set that I built a few months ago, and I was honored for it to be included in a condo in Marina Del Rey, right on the water, surrounded by really amazing pieces, all of which were much more expensive than my bed I'm sure. They also commissioned me to build a patio coffee table and a side table that they designed.
They initially wanted the coffee table to be built from teak, but that turned out to be too cost prohibitive. We settled on clear redwood with a clear oil finish and polyurethane. My friend Tom helped me with the polyurethane, which was enormously helpful. I'm not sure on the source of the design- I just copied a picture that Josh and Rafi provided. I'd have to say that it turned into a really good copy though.
The glass side table caused me much frustration, as mentioned in the below post. To make a long story short, the first piece of glass cracked, the second had holes drilled too small, and I ended up with just a couple hours to get the third piece of glass in place and get everything finished to meet the deadline. All of this resulted in a piece that was not everything I had hoped (likewise for Josh and Rafi) but it still looks pretty freaking hot.