Commissioned Woodworking Pieces
Below are a selection of some of the more interesting commissioned pieces designed and built by Monk Creek Woodworks. If you would like more information on commissioning a one-of-kind piece for your home, please visit our contact page to find out how you can get in touch with us.
Crafting the Table Top
This is a custom tree trunk coffee table made for an architect who had a long family history and a dead tree in his backyard. He cut a one foot piece out of the tree which was about 42” in diameter. This was brought to me and I was asked to “do something special with it”. He also brought a slab from a large branch to go with it. The result was a custom designed table top and base.
the tree trunk cross section was milled down while still wet and green, then secured and left in storage for about nine months to dry out. Split and cracks occurred as is almost always the issue with this cut of wood.
Once dried, butterfly joints were inserted on top and bottom across all of the major cracks, structurally strengthening the table top.
The next step was to create a written genealogy that could be placed on top of the tree’s growth rings. The rings were counted to a date estimated at 1812 and the genealogy was matched to the rings and printed on a clear medium, which was secured to the table top with an epoxy coating.
Designing the Base
The table base was built using white oak to match the table top. All joinery was carefully designed and executed by offsetting each joint by 5 degrees in both directions. This method creates additional stability since the more weight you place on this base, the stronger it gets!
This custom hickory mantle was commissioned to cover a brick fireplace which included a set of air circulation fans as well as other unique challenges. The piece was conceived and built from a sketch jointly made between myself and the customer.
The construction of this piece is complex. The lower panels are cut in linenfold fashion, the center sun burst pattern is made with radiating panels around a center “sun”. These panels were hand formed with a changing radius from steep at the center to more flat at the outer edges. The pattern was cut to accommodate the mantle shelf which is inserted and the upper portion remaining in proportion. The upper radius is made by putting strips in a cam box and hand planing them flat. These pieces, when stacked and glued, had to be flat on top and match the radius of the sunburst on the bottom.
This commissioned piece was designed and built after receiving an IBM mainframe computer storage disc from a customer wanting to present a retirement gift to an employee who had worked on these systems. The clock is milled from a solid piece of maple and the disc is imbedded in such a way to allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the wood.