How to Spot Wood Rot
I came across some "invisible" wood rot a few days ago and thought I'd show you how to spot it. This deteriorating deck railing looked good from a distance, but up close...
...you can see that there were divots and dents in the wood underneath the paint. It probably didn't look that way when it was installed!
Here are some more:
It still looks "okay" on the surface, but those cracks and sunken spots are a dead giveaway.
Look what happened when I squeezed the railing with my hand!
I just sank my fingernail into this one, and it crumbled away:
The trick is to pay attention to the shape of the wood underneath the paint. Look for sunken areas and cracks in the wood. Feel for soft spots.
This railing had gotten pretty bad. When I pulled off the top railing, I saw that the carpenter ants had already moved in, done their work, and then moved out again!
I took out all of the rotten stuff and replaced it with new treated lumber.
The repaired railing looks pretty much the same, but now it's not going to crumble away in your hand. We'll wait for the new treated wood to dry out, then paint it to match the rest of the deck.
This isn't the first railing we've replaced that was worse than it looked...
...and we love to do this kind of work, so if you suspect your railing has more damage than meets the eye, give us a call. We'll make it right!
I recently received a fun picture hanging challenge from one of my customers: hang this heavy wooden screen. This sounds easy, but the catch was that I couldn't attach any mounting hardware to the screen itself. No holes allowed!
My customer's first thought was to build a shelf to support it, but we were concerned that the screen might slide off the shelf. I played around with the idea, and after a few quick sketches, I had a working plan. Here's the basic design.
Those are the two long "U" brackets. I had to take the wood out in thin slices, then snap out the slices and clean up the inside of the brackets by hand.
Then I painted them in black lacquer to match the screen, and hung the whole thing in the hallway with care.
This screen is a really elegant addition to the room, and the brackets are a safe way to support it without drilling any holes in it.
If you have heavy artwork that you need hung securely, give us a call. We'll come up with a sturdy solution custom-tailored to your needs.
Mudroom Cubby Update
A few weeks ago I showed off these built-in mudroom cubbies which I built for one of my Asheville customers:
Well, this week they followed up to let me know that the cubbies were really working well for them, and they sent two great photos.
They've got a family of seven, so as you can see, there are plenty of raincoats and galoshes! I can't believe how much stuff they're able to store here and still have everything look ship-shape and tidy.
Mudroom cubbies like these are a classic element in British country homes, and now I can see why. They're truly practical, but totally stylish, even when they're full of stuff.
And did I mention that my customer was happy? Check out this five-star review which they left on Google!
Wow, what a nice guy, and a pleasure to work with.
If you need a good place to stash all of your hats and coats, why not get a tailor-made set of cubbies for your home? We'll make the project fun!
Custom Gallery Shelving in Asheville
Once the posts were set up, Ricardo added shelves at various levels. From this angle, you can see why Ricardo didn't want to make a lot of attachments to the wall: one wall was made of brick. He took a problem and turned it into a design opportunity.
The combination of black-pipe and wood reminds me of the custom kitchen hutch which I built last year:
Black pipe and wood look great together, and they can blend into almost any interior, from rustic to modern, However, the system can be trickier than it looks, because It can be hard to get all of the joints aligned "just so." Ricardo did a great job on this installation.
The empty shelves are already eye-catching, but they really come into focus when they're filled with art and sculpture.
If you're looking for a local Asheville craftsman to install a set of custom shelves, give us a call. We know how to do it well!
A Custom Kitchen Island in Asheville
I recently built a custom kitchen island with a butcher-block top for one of my Asheville customers, and I really like how it turned out. It's one of those pieces that would look great in any kitchen, and it can be built to any size. Take a look:
I outsourced the top to Forever Joint Tops, LLC and they did a good job. It's a mixture of several kinds of wood, and there's a lot of figure and contrast in the grain. Pictures don't really do it justice, but here's my best try at showing it off:
The island is divided along the middle to separate the open shelving from the other side, which serves as a seating area so that the island can double as a breakfast bar.
When I originally built the island, I brought the paneling all the way to the floor, which gave it an old-fashioned look like an upright piano.
Notice that beautiful wooden paneling. That's not bead-board. It's called "V-groove" paneling, and it has broader spaces between the lines for a chunkier look. It's more like ship-lap panels, only with vertical lines. It was so pretty that I was sorry to paint over it. Maybe my next project will have a natural finish.
I liked the old-fashioned look of the long panels, but I think my customer was right to ask me to bring up the bottom edge to meet the lower shelf. The extra space underneath means more legroom when you sit down to eat breakfast. That's why I love custom work: my clients often have great ideas, and collaborating to make something beautiful is part of the fun.
If you need a custom island to fit your Asheville kitchen, give me a call. As an experienced furniture maker, I can build it to your specifications, and even paint it to match your cabinets.
You can see more examples of my work on our kitchen islands page, or if you're ready to get in touch and share your own ideas, click this big orange button to...
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