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Project Information

This red oak mission style hutch, with dove tail drawers, glass doors, and real forged copper hardware started my mission collection for my turn of the century home I rehabbed.

It is 6-foot wide,-7 foot tall and 24 inches deep. I found the plan in a wood working magazine, and modified it considerably. I merely used it as a guide- and custom built and modified it to my specs. The formal dining room I designed and built this hutch for- I had to restore, build, and match all the original cove , refinish the hard wood floors ,rewire, repair, the ceiling, which-,all the plaster was falling down, or had cracked and left the lathe exposed. The windows were inoperable so I had to repair those also.

The previous owners had torn down the trim,cove, baseboard and lights with the intention of refinishing and restoring. This of course is a huge undertaking and they soon lost interest and just moved all the trim out to the garage with no doors and left it lay in a pile. The wires remained exposed in the ceiling until I bought it. They simply used a extension cord and old floor lamp for light. they did that for about 3 years.

What a mess.

I digress.

I wanted a signature piece to set the tone for all the mission furniture I planed on building for my home. It did. This piece although had its challenges was probably more difficult because of its size and difficulty working on alone and moving around my shop. I had it on furniture carts to ease the moving of it.

It's finished the hutch using my 12 step mission staining process.

It's a bold piece that catches your attention when you enter the room.

Dusty

Gallery

Comments

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Thats what makes a great craftsman. You see something but none of the specs work for your particular theme/location, whatever … so, you make them your own. I've only made one piece that was actually mine and no one wanted it. I either saw a picture and altered it or I found a table or chair and traced the leg onto a piece of plywood and took it from there. ( Magazine Table to be posted in a few days )
 

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Another astonishing piece of craftsmanship. Walking into your home must be like walking into a museum of Mission furniture.
 

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Obi,

Thank you.

What I find more often than not is the plans you find in print ,either don't fit my needs, aren't practical, not my style, or require building techniques that either I don't like, or have the tools or methods to build. Often, I found them to be inadequate, inefficient or really lacking in functionality. I also have found many times - there are mistakes in these plans or poor details. Perhaps, I am being unfair or the only one who's experienced this. I am fussy yes, but over all that has been my experience.

Dusty
 

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Thank you Dick.

I'm humbled.

On the lighter side waling into my home is more like walking into a
"dust" collector, that dark mission furniture sure finds the dust.

Having two basset hounds, and my shop attached doesn't help either. With the long floppy ears my basset hounds have they make a great shop mop. They are truly my shop hounds.

Dusty
 

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I just love the pictures of your house…always some treasure in the background!
 

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Hey Dusty.
Maybe you should build a MIssion Style dust collector for your homes interior, LOL, but kind of serious.
 

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I have two Dick, there names are Jack and Maddie, my bassets.

:)

Dusty
 

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I purchased a plan for an outdoor bench from one of the companies that advertises a lot and the color picture on the outside of the package didn't match the plans inside the package. The also state on their plans that it is only for your personal use and you are not able to sell anything that you made with the plans. I called them up and they said if you don't want the plan just send it back.

So i'm drawing my own. using pictures of the original or restorations of the bench.
 

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well no wonder Rick and I have such troubles with following plans - it's the PLANS' fault.

this is amazing. I continually am awed by the skills you LumberJocks have and how beautiful the art and pieces of furniture are. I can't imagine tackling such a huge job.
 

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Karson,

Been there "DO " that. I share your frustrations.

Dusty
 

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Debbie,
Never say never, stick with it and I know soon your skills and day will come to build bigger and more challenging projects. DON'T GIVE UP….. Or let it overwhelm you… you have to walk before you run….. I know I never thought I could do it either. I still start each project with "all I have to do is be a little bit smarter than the wood" and I will be able to do this. Then I just go and do it, when I make a mistake … and I make a lot of them, I don't give up or get mad or frustrated I get challenged. I still think the only difference between you and I is I have had more time to learn how o cover up my mistakes.

That's it.

You can do it I know you can !
Dusty
 

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Debbie:

I agree with Dusty. As you want to make something try to learn a new skill so that when you get to the larger projects that require many different skills, you are ready.

You are trying dado's now. Then maybe the next project is mortise and tenon, Then dovetails. If you want to side skirt the mortise and tenon you can try loose tenons, where you make a mortise in both pieces and you put a seperate piece of wood in each tenon. There is a tool called "beadlock" made by Beal. And you make the mortises with a drill bit and you use his tenon material to glue into your mortises. So you don't need a $200.00 mortise machine just a drill and their jig. Practice, destroy some wood so that you get comftorable before you tackle the real project.

I read a note by someone that he said he was going to learn hand cut dovetails in 30 days. Every night he would cut one piece of wood. He would circle what he found wrong and he would date it. He would then cut 2" off each board and put the practice piece on the shelf. Next night he'd do it again and try not to make the same mistakes. He did that for 30 days and became very proficient in that skill. So practice, make your box out of pine, make it bigger than you want so you can cut the mistakes out. and go at it again on a smaller piece now.
 

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ah gee thanks Dusty and Karson.

tomorrow is an "almost free" day so my plan is to "DESTROY SOME WOOD" mwhahaha
I have some ideas… and tomorrow is the day to try them out. I'm really looking forward to it.
"Oh wood-- I'm back!!" :)

thanks again for the support and for the advice re: practicing. Hopefully I can post a pix of something by the end of the day tomorrow
 

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Debbie, I think everytime I make something, be it carving, furniture or whatever. I feel just like a beginner, especially when carving, because with mother natures wood, it's never the same, just like a snowflake.
 

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Karson,

I agree with you and would like to add to that thinking. My real growth,as a woodworker,,came when I could do a couple of things. One was to laugh at myself and my mistakes. Two, when I got to the point I could and would, not only take criticism but welcomed it- and was able to at end of every project- step back with one question. That was,-"if I would do this again….." then I would make notes and enter it on my job log, - daily journal and any related plans to the project I was working on. Once I got by the "I'm too embarrassed to ask questions stage and later the "I can do this and don't need any advice" and really did open myself up to new ways of doing things and suggestions of others. I found, if I just listened and gave each suggestion a fair consideration more times than not - what they had to offer,I could use in one form or another to improve my project.

I found the best "off "switch I had in my shop sometimes is my lips.

I once was told by a wise oh woodworker (20 years younger than me), there are no mistakes in woodworking merely an opportunity to improve or alter a design.

I can't tell you how many times I have been humbled by a piece of wood.

Humility is a good thing.

I didn't say it comes easy.

Dusty
 

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Over the years I have facilitated many, many workshops and have gathered many, many, many feedback forms. It never failed that 2% of the feedback was bizarre criticisms, another 2% was the meaningless pats on the back and the other 96% was constructive feedback . (pauses to check the math..)

The saying was, around the office that you disregard the top and bottom 2% because they simply weren't helpful. Fortunately, I came to realize that the bottom 2% was definitely helpful - it may have been written poorly and it may have been a trivial issue but it was still a way that I could improve my presentations.

After this realization, I usually mentally sorted out the bottom 2% and took a moment to laugh or cry at the comments and then I sat down and analyzed what the participants were really saying. I would then decide whether each comment could be used to improve future workshops, even if it would only help 1 individual out of the entire group.

My workshops became stronger and stronger - 2% at a time.
 

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Aren't having workshops fun. I remember one that we were having for some first level managers, and one of the VP's of Texas came to the meeting. I don't know why. But everyone was falling asleep. My boss told me to wake everyone up.

So I started grilling the VP about all of the subject matter that we were covering. Every one sat up, eyes "WIDE OPEN" and being very quiet. After that presentation my boss came up to me and said "I hope that you never work for him!" But we had a good working relationship over the years.

But learn from the comments of others, and try to read in to them the words that are not said, maybe because they don't know what to say or how to say it. When someone is working on a computer terminal doing a new process. Watch their face, watch they body movements, you might find out more than what they say.

Some people are so used to crap in what they buy that they would accept that a dovetail is missing one of its pins. So it's upon you to build the quality into your projects so that other people will come to improve upon their perception of what is right.

When I moved to Delaware, I didn't know that this was redneck territory. One of my son's teachers pulled her own tooth the other day. My son has made a friend and I was over at his friends house the other day. His father is starting to make some wood projects to sell. He was showing me the pie safe that he was making. I almost had to wipe the tears from my eyes. One spot he said "Oh, the router got away from me there!", And he had a big blob of wood putty to fill it in. It looked like 5% of the project was wood putty. I hope that this is his learning phase. My wife told him about my workshop and lumber stash and I think he almost wet his pants.

I've offered to help him to rewire and setup his shop. I invited him to the woodworking club meeting. So 2% improvement at a time. They just demolished a mobile home at the end of our street. 2% at a time. It all improvement.
 

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Karson Karson Karson, ther eis a big difference between Red Neck and Hill Billy, sounds mor elike Hill Billy to me…That being said, Dusty you are an inspiration, I look forward to seeing more of your pieces.
 

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I'm still laughing at the "grilling the VP". TOO funny - and a good strategy. I am going to remember that one.

Cultures are very interesting, aren't they? Sounds like this one is about relying on one's own resources and about functionality. Nothin' wrong with that.

Sometimes I'll listen to a decorating show (briefly) and I cringe at the message drilled into the viewer: you HAVE to use this material and hang this in such a way, and you HAVE to have this and that, and if you don't, you just aren't decorating properly. Why do we have so much focus on "ooh ahhh"? No wonder people are so stressed and living in debt.

Now, this thought process doesn't mean that one shouldn't care about workmanship, especially if the piece is more than about functionality. That's a whole other story. My daughter teaches high school and 95% of the class couldn't care about the quality of work that they produce. She was just showing me last night the final projects that the students turned in. A couple were beautifully put together, several pages long, and all documented properly. Another one (this is a final project remember) was 1/2 page in length and one of the pictures they had used from the internet printed out all black and you couldn't even see what it was supposed to be.

(shaking my head)
 

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Great point Debbie.

You gave me a great idea and topic I have been thinking about. I think I will explore in my next blog entry.

Dusty
 
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