You can also view my gallery at Designs en Bois.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is a chainsaw really a fine woodworking tool?

The final episode in this mini-series, I use some unique methods to cut the legs for the cabinet because they were too thick to slice with my miter saw. I also work through the face frames, as well as attaching the acoustic fabric to the top section which will house some speakers. I have to say, this cabinet fully assembled pretty much took over my entire shop, so I was happy to move it on out. But in addition to doing a unique and non-traditional project, I also learned something very interesting with this job.

If you notice, the first episode of this series was entitled (somewhat tongue in cheek) "The Customer is Always Right". What I really meant by that title is that along almost every aspect of this project, I would have done it completely differently were I building it for myself. However, this client spent a great deal of time designing something very unique for a very specific purpose in his home. Adam King of the Woodworker's Journey recently sent out an email asking if we woodworkers would be interested in allowing our customers into the design process, and he got a fairly wide array of responses.  I have to say that I was skeptical of letting go of the design process on this project, and quietly second guessed many choices along the way.

However, in the end when the client came into my shop and saw his concept fully manifested right in front of his eyes, his reaction completely changed my mind on the subject.  He was so thrilled to see in real life what he had envisioned in his head months earlier, and his exuberance became infectious.  I think it's important as designers and woodworkers to step back once in a while and try to detach ourselves from our own personal preferences, and consider what our customers or the market at large may actually want to see.  After all, not everything in woodworking is black and white...well, except for my client's media cabinet!

Right click to download a high resolution version.


Vic Hubbard said...

That turned out very well. I plan on incorporating the technique/hardware you used for the speaker area in my console. Great work, Rob!

Jeff Branch said...

The chainsaw would only be a fine woodworking tool if it came from a place Lie Nielsen or Bad Axe Tool Works.

Nice job on the cabinet. What are you going to make next?

Rob Bois said...

My next project is another commission - round pedestals I built for a bridal shop. In this next short series I will be outlining my process for doing bent laminations, and will also be reviewing the new Carter AccuRight bandsaw circle cutting jig. After that, I will start the long-awaited tool chest, which applies a bit of a twist on the traditional designs you usually see. The design could easily be modified to render a unique chest of drawers, so I'm really looking forward to getting started on that.