Archive for June, 2011

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 14) – The Audio/Video Guys Do Their Thing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by johnwiggers

With the custom furniture now installed in JLT’s office it’s time for the Audio/Video guys to do their thing.

This image was shown in the previous post. Although the woodwork to the right looks like an architectural panel designed to complement the furniture in the room, it’s actually a built-in closet with doors to conceal storage.

The lower door provides access to a hidden safe, while the large upper door has shelves for storage plus a built-in rack mount system for holding the audio/video components.

Although it’s difficult to see from this photo, there are multiple slots in the ceiling of the cabinet to allow for ventilation of components.

A veritable plethora of tools, components and wires….

The motorized TV lift mechanism needs to be interfaced with the Savant control, using cables that have already been prewired through the walls.

The flat screen TV is mounted into the lift basket, and secured on the adjustable mounts. (The finger prints that resulted from lifting the TV are optional).

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 15) – Accessories

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Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 13) – Another Road Trip !

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by johnwiggers

With the jobsite now ready to receive our work, it’s time for another road trip.

The truck is ready to load.

Kevin wrapping pieces in protective tissue, then blankets.

The truck’s almost loaded. Time to gather the tools.

The office appears as a blank canvas – ready to receive our work.

Installation starts with the credenza, in the far corner of the room.

The cantilevered top fits perfectly between the wall and the window.

Kevin assembles the desk, while Heath works on the motorized TV cabinet.

There’s a reason for the cabinet angle – to be explained in a subsequent post.

The lift basket showing built-in mounts to receive the flat screen TV.

The Scotch Bar: Closed

The Scotch Bar: Open

Executive Desk and Credenza.

JLT especially loved the detail on the inlaid wood grommet.

Desk, Credenza, Scotch Bar, and Television Cabinet.

Although this looks like an architectural wall panel, it’s actually a built-in closet. This cabinet will be shown in greater detail after the audio-video guys are finished doing their work.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 14) – The Audio/Video Guys Do Their Thing

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 12) – The Renovation Work is Finally Done

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by johnwiggers

Although our custom furniture work is now completed the delivery schedule for installation has been postponed due to unexpected delays in the renovation work being done in JLT’s office. Finally we received word that the back-ordered LED fixtures have arrived and been installed, so the site is now ready to receive our work.

As you can see from the design and placement of the ceiling and lighting fixtures, this delay has been more than worthwhile. (After all, proper lighting is critical to effectively displaying the woodwork in the room, as well as the artwork that will follow later).

The desk and credenza will be installed in the far corner of the space. (The warmth of the lighting is already more than apparent).

The motorized TV cabinet will be installed immediately to the left of the glass.

The built-in closet will be fitted into the niche space in the far right corner.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 13) – Another Road Trip!

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 11) – The Furniture’s Done – Now We Wait

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by johnwiggers

The previous post describes how the renovation work in JLT’s office is nearing completion. Although our custom furniture work for this space is now done, the site is not yet ready to receive the delivery – apparently because of a delay with the installation of the custom lighting system. At this stage it’s better not to install the furniture while guys with ladders are still moving around. We also need to coordinate with JLT’s audio/video guy, because once we schedule our road trip we want to make sure that everything runs as seamlessly as possible. Unnecessary delays can end up being costly. Meanwhile, I’m posting more images of the finished furniture pieces.

This is the finished credenza top.

The inlaid grommet in the credenza top.

The drawer pedestal for the desk, complete with the inlaid handles and locking mechanism.

The desk top, featuring over 200 inlays of mother-of-pearl.

This is a detail view of the desk top, showing the custom wood grommet and mother-of-pearl inlays.

A detail view of the Scotch Bar, showing faux ivory inlays and satin nickel handle.

The Scotch Bar interior is now fitted with a pull out tray, drawer, mirror back, glass shelf and LED lighting. All that’s missing is the black granite top that will be set over the drawer and tray.

This is the accessory drawer, which will be handy for storing coasters and other miscellaneous items.

This pull-out tray can be used as a surface for pouring scotch or mixing drinks.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 12) – The Renovation Work is Finally Done

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 10) – The Renovation Nears Completion

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by johnwiggers

With the custom furniture work almost done, it’s time to check in with the General Contractor to see how the work in JLT’s office is progressing.

As you can see the walls are now finished and ready to receive wallpaper. The carpeting is installed as well.

The desk and credenza will be installed in the far corner.

Although the ceiling grid is done most of the tiles have been left out pending installation of the custom lighting system.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 11) – The Furniture’s Done – Now We Wait

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 9) – The Finishing Process

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by johnwiggers

When it comes to wood finishing the most critical part of the process is sanding and preparation. Doing this properly requires a great deal of care and patience, but seeing the end results makes the added effort totally worthwhile.

At various stages in the previous posts it was apparent that a great deal of sanding work was already being done during the actual woodwork.

The desk top in particular required considerable filing and sanding while fitting the mother-of-pearl.

Since East Indian Rosewood is a naturally oily wood, it is necessary to wet and brush the pores to remove excess build ups. Once the wood has thoroughly dried the fine sanding work can begin.

Starting with 120 grit sandpaper, the sanding progresses through ever finer stages until a 240 is used to remove marks left by the coarser papers.

After the sanding work is done multiple coats of protective finish can be applied. In his book “Sam Maloof – Woodworker” the late Sam Maloof provided a detailed recipe for his unique finish that combines tung oil, linseed oil and shredded bee’s wax. (Be forewarned that it will take a great deal of trial, error and experimentation to find the appropriate ratios between the oils and the wax. Everyone will have to find their own balance that works best for them.)

320 grit sandpaper is used between coats to progressively smooth the finish.

This is a view of the finished desk top.

A detail view of the desk top showing mother-of-pearl inlays.

This is the main exterior shell of the pop-up cabinet.

Check out the faux ivory inlays on the split shell of the Scotch Bar. These inlays literally “pop” in contrast with the Rosewood.

A detail view of the dovetailed drawer boxes.

This is the credenza top, showing one of the inlaid custom wood grommets we made. I challenged Kevin to find a piece of Rosewood that would match up with the pattern of the top, and then to cut it in such a way that it would align as closely as possible with the existing grain. As you can see: he nailed it (figuratively).

The base of the Scotch Bar will take a little longer to complete, since multiple applications of vinegar and iron solution are needed to sufficiently darken the wood. This mixture is one of the traditional ways of ebonizing wood, and time must be allowed for the wood to progressively darken.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – (Part 10) – The Renovation Nears Completion

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 8) – Hardware

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by johnwiggers

The previous post was focussed on the woodworking aspect of the motorized T.V. cabinet being made for JLT’s office. Today’s post will showcase some of the cool hardware and technology that’s also being integrated into this project.

This is the keyboard tray that will be mounted to the underside of the desk. Made by Accuride, this unit has integrated wire management and holds a keyboard and mouse, along with added storage for pens, pencils, and DVDs.

This satin nickel pull will be the focal point of the Scotch Bar. Since wood is the predominant material being used on the custom furniture we are making, it felt prudent to introduce other materials and textures as well.


JLT liked the idea of using simple, yet substantial, metal pulls for opening the drawers and doors. After tremendous research and experimentation we finally found the perfect balance with these satin nickel pulls, designed by Adam Laws of Australia.

The photo above shows the custom pull-out/rotating mechanism that will be the heart and soul of all the electronics going into JLT’s office. In addition to the audio and video components, this rack mount system will also house all of the lighting controls as well as a state-of-the-art Savant home automation system.

What is a Savant system?

Let’s just say that if James Bond had an office, he would be getting “Q” to trick it out with a Savant.

This video will explain it better.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 9) – The Finishing Process