Songbird Music Box


This box was designed and built in an effort to make a musical instrument in the form of a simple box.  It houses a Sankyo 72 note music box movement and also provides storage for memorbilia.  The movement plays Canon in D in three distinct parts.   The winder is located in the base of the box and there is a switch inside the box that allows the movement to be activated.

In the construction of this box I utilized a variety of materials which are period-appropriate for an Art Deco era piece.  These include Gaboon Ebony, Amboyna and Quilted Maple Burls, Mahogany, Shagreen (stingray leather) and Elephant Ivory (Pre-ban).  I hand cut the veneer for the Songbird Marquetry which is seen on all four sides of the box.  The approximate size of the box is 17″ x 11.5″ and 7″ tall.

The material selection was very important in maximizing the resonance of the movement and the box.  If the wood species used are too hard or too soft the sound is poor.  I found the best sound enhancement by using maple for the majority of the box.  The removable glass top over the movement not only protects it, but also enhances the sound.  The small brass legs which elevate the box off a solid surface aid in the sound quality and the resonance as well.   The box is finished with four coats of lacquer.

Posted in Boxes, Inlay, Marquetry, Marquetry Flat-work, Uncategorized | Tagged as:

Orchid Box


This box was built as a wedding gift for a very good friend of mine who also happens to be a skilled woodworker.  The top has white Orchid marquetry on a black background.  The materials used in the construction of the box include Gaboon Ebony, Amboyna and Quilted Maple veneer and solids.  There is a small amount of (Pre-Ban) Elephant Ivory which alternates with the Ebony as an accent band around the marquetry panel.  All of the Ebony molding was designed and cut by myself and used to give the piece a unique and dramatic appearance.  The dimensions of the box are approximately 22″ x 16″ x 8″ high.  It is finished in Lacquer.

Posted in Boxes, Floral, Inlay, Marquetry

Dressing Table


This Woman’s Dressing Table (Vanity) was completed in 2011.  It is my original design and utilized only period appropriate materials and construction techniques.  The piece required approximately 900 hours to fabricate.  It received a First Place in Traditional Woodworking Furniture category in the 2011, Design in Wood Exhibition in San Diego, California.

Mahogany solids were veneered with custom, hand cut, Amboyna burl.  Amboyna solids were also used in the segmented legs.  These pieces were turned on the lathe and can be seen near the top of each leg.  The legs also utilized Rosewood and Ebony.  All black accents on the cabinet are solid Gaboon Ebony.  The Ebony was used on the door and drawer facings and required bent lamination to achieve the curves.  The inside of the cabinet is veneered with quilted Maple.  The cream colored cabinet door and drawer facings are covered with Shagreen leather.  There is also a considerable amount of Pre-Ban elephant ivory used.  This can be seen in the alternating Ebony and Ivory accents on much of the piece.  The mirror stand and the four accent pieces around the mirror are fabricated of cold rolled brass, which was then nickel plated.  The brass was cut on a water jet unit and final milling and finishing was done by hand.  The mirror frame also includes Ebony segments.

The cabinet is approximately 22″ deep by 54″ wide.  The cabinet is finished with conversion varnish.    There are a total of four drawers, two in the center section and one on each side cabinet.  The side cabinets also have two larger doors for storage.  The center of the cabinet has a large central compartment which is accessed by lifting the door lid.  The cabinet was designed to be broken down into a number of component parts for ease of finishing and transport.

Posted in Cabinetry, Show Projects

Orchid Tables

These tables were fabricated with the use of Marquetry technique for the inlay of the tops.  The flowers, stems and leaves represent Phalaenopsis Orchids.  All three tables share similar, but not identical tops.  They vary in size, veneer colors, background woods and overall design and construction.

The Orange Orchid table was in the 2007 Design In Wood Ehibition.  It received the Vendors’ Choice award and was placed on the Perpetual Trophy at that competition.  The table is featured in the December 2007 edition of WOODWORK Magazine, Page 50.  This table was designed to be a display piece in a large space or foyer.  The curved uprights were constructed with the used of a vacuum press, bending poplar and mahogany veneer and solids.  They are attached to the base by way of a screw retained Mortise and Tenon joint.

The Breakfast Table has bleached white anigre flowers, a walnut background, macassar ebony border and tulip wood inlay.  The base is a four sided, convex, vacuum bent lamination with macassar ebony veneer as well as walnut solids.  The table is 48″ round and seats four.

The final table in the series is a 36″ round coffee table.  It has bleached white anigre veneer flower petals on a Pommele Sepele background.  The base is constructed with mahogany solids.

All three tables have Art Deco design cues. They breakdown into multiple component parts for ease of finishing and transport.  Each required approximately 400 hours to design and fabricate.  They are have an extremely durable conversion varnish finish.  The tables are intended for daily use.

Posted in Floral, Inlay, Publications, Show Projects, Uncategorized

Secretary with bent lamination face

This piece was constructed with various veneers, bending Poplar and Mahogany solids.  I used Parquetry (a geometric pattern created as a result of different wood grains, colors and species) on the front and sides of the cabinet to give interest to an otherwise plain design.  This parquetry consists of flat sawn Mahogany, Mahogany crotch, as well as Walnut and Madrone burls.

The face was bent in four separate laminations over the poplar banding board.  The entire form was placed into the vacuum press with the facing veneer (Parquetry) bent and glued simultaneously with the other laminations.  I used a urea resin glue which holds the curve of the form once set.  Glue setup was expedited with the use of a heating blanket.  In spite of this, the laminated facing remained in the press for 10 hours to insure minimal distortion or spring-back.

Once out of the press, the facing was sanded and the final dimensions of the doors cut from the facing.  An ultra thin kerf blade was used to separate the lamination into right and left handed doors.  These doors are large and heavy.  I secured them to the cabinet with stainless steel piano hinges, which are 48″ long.

Inside the cabinet I used Mahogany solids which were fluted on my Shaper to provide a pattern reminiscent of the Art Deco style.   I fluted all the door and drawer facings as well as the light box located on the inside, top, of the cabinet.  The drawers all have heavy duty ball bearing glides for smooth operation.  It is finished in a satin Lacquer.

Posted in Cabinetry, Parquetry, Uncategorized

Archer Marquetry Panel

This small panel is approximately 10″ x 12″.  It is a stylized ancient archer and gazelle.  It consists of a number of types of veneer on a maple background.  I designed and fabricated it while enrolled in my first Marquetry class with Paul Schurch in 2001.  The photos here show the various stages of construction from design to fabrication.  The veneer thickness is approximately 20 thousandanths of an inch.  For this reason, sanding and finishing have to be done extremely carefully.

Posted in Inlay, Marquetry, Marquetry Flat-work

Decorative Marquetry Panel

This is a large stylized Art Deco marquetry panel. It features two peacocks, a central palm tree, an abstract leaf background, mountains and a rising sun. It is approximately 4′ x 6′ in size and was constructed with a number of wood species including:  Sapele, dyed Poplar, Maple burl and curly Anigre. In addition I used copper, brass and pewter metals in the inlay.

The panel was completed in 2004 and was entered in the Design In Wood Ehibition that same year. This was my first entry in a woodworking competion. There were a number of excellent marquetry pieces in that show.  I competed against my mentor and friend, Paul Schurch, who taught me the technique of marquetry. He had urged me to enter the competition in spite of my reluctance.  I was very pleased with my Third Place ribbon behind Paul’s First and Second place awards.

One of the challenges I faced in this project was to find an adhesive that worked equally well with both metal and wood, which have very different physical characteristics.  It took considerable trial and error to find something that would work.  Another challenge was the magnitude of the project with the hundreds of pieces of inlay.  I estimate the time spent on the design and construction of this piece to be approximately 450 hours.

The panel is displayed as a center piece in a room of my home which I designed and built from the ground up.  The room was featured on HGTV – Look What I Did.  You can view the short video clip from that show here on this website.

Posted in Floral, Inlay, Marquetry, Marquetry Flat-work, Show Projects, Uncategorized

Club Chair(s)


These chairs were designed to be extremely comfortable, while reflecting the style and proportions of the Art Deco era.  I built a total of four chairs.   The fabric is a bold floral, with a repeating pattern which would have been appropriate to that time period.   The front and side of the chair arms are accented with Mahogany, which has been shaped in a repetitive pattern. There are small adjustable mahogany legs on the front of the chair.  These pieces are the only visible wood on the chairs.  The wood is finished with multiple coats of pre-catalyzed Lacquer.  I constructed the frames primarily with Poplar.  They are extremely sturdy and built to last for years.  The chairs were professionally upholstered.

Posted in Chairs


From HGTV’s “Look What I Did”:

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Liquor Cabinet

Dimensions: Approximately 72” Tall, 48” Wide, 24” Deep

Primary Wood Species: Walnut – Straight grain and burl, Macassar Ebony, Quilted Maple, Anigre (bleached), Poplar – both dyed and ebonized

Other Materials: Onyx, Olive knuckle hinges, Low voltage lighting


Publication:  Woodshop News, September 2009.  Page 51

This cabinet was designed in the style of pieces which were commonly seen in high end residences and apartments of the 20’s and 30’s, primarily in Europe.  Liquor cabinets or small bars were in vogue before the traditional “wet bar” was seen in residential spaces. The cabinets were intended to store various liquors, glasses and serving implements.  They were large enough to allow the preparation of drinks at the cabinet.  With the advent of Prohibition in the US, these cabinets were uncommon in the States.  Many of the better examples can be seen in furniture design from France, England and Italy.  This piece uses traditional hard woods and veneers, both in flat surface adornment and for Marquetry. Continue reading

Posted in Cabinetry, Floral, Inlay, Marquetry, Marquetry Flat-work, Publications, Show Projects