Bailey and Son Woodworking give ‘Mr. Homeowner’ a place he can call his own.


Bailey & Son Woodworking

Thonotosassa, FL

Project: Paneled study with coffered ceiling.

Year Established: 1980

# of Employees: 2

Shop Size: 2,000 square feet

Specialty: Paneled rooms, libraries, dens, mantles, wall units, bookcases, hidden rooms.

Project Notes: The centerpiece of this project is the custom-built gun case designed to safely display 13 guns horizontally in double layers.

A former Design Portfolio award winner, as well as an Honorable Mention winner last year, Thonotasassa, FL-based Bailey and Son Woodworking returns again this year with the judges’ pick for top Architectural Millwork project.

As Bailey and Son has built its reputation specializing in paneled rooms in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, it comes as no surprise that this year’s winner is a custom-built paneled study with a coffered ceiling. Kent Bailey says that he and his son Wesley have found a niche in making rooms for men; the women choose the design for the rest of the house, while the man often gets one room of his own.

Bailey explains, ”It’s ‘Mr. Homeowner’s’ room. We go into these houses that have more than 20,000 square feet and ‘Mrs. Homeowner’ has the whole house. Generally ‘Mr. Homeowner,’ if he’s lucky, gets one room, and that’s our room.”

These rooms often include elements such as ornate mantels, extensive bookshelves, gun cabinets, home security systems and even hidden rooms. Having done high-profile work in the homes of upscale clients like Transcontinental Title Co. CEO Bill Baumgart, Amalie Oil Co. COO Rick Barkett, former Tampa Bay Devil Rays owner Vince Naoli and real estate magnate Eddie

DeBartolo, the Baileys were the logical choice when Riviera Pools owner Bill Molter wanted a den built in his elegant New Port Richey home overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Molter is an avid sportsman who loves hunting and fishing and owns an impressive gun collection, part of which he wished to display. Bailey and Son took the owner’s initial design and worked patiently over 12 weeks to produce the ultimate “man’s room,” complete with fishing rods, hunting bow and arrows, stuffed fish and deer heads. “Just walking into this room is a testosterone rush,” says Bailey.

Cherry hardwood and veneer plywood was used throughout the 20-foot by 14-foot room. The carcasses were fully rabbeted and constructed entirely of 3/4-inch cherry plywood. Mouldings were produced in-house, except for egg and dart mouldings and capitals from Enkeboll. All drawer glides used were Blum undermount. On the ends of the bookcases, next to a wall, is a 1/2-inch by 1-1/4-inch rabbeted built-in scribe strip. All of the cabinets in the project were scribed to the walls and set without the use of any trim strips.

According to Bailey, drawings were produced with Visual CAD software. Larger mouldings were produced on a Williams and Hussey single-head moulder using knives ground specifically for this project by Charles G.G. Schmidt & Co., while other mouldings were made on a 3-hp Jet shaper with Jet stockfeeder or routers.

The fluted columns were cut with a Fien plunge router equipped with a Micro-fence. The dovetails for the drawers were cut on a Leigh jig, which allowed varied widths of the tails for a hand-cut appearance, while retaining machine accuracy. Finally, Sherwin-Williams stain and lacquer finish were field-applied using AccuSpray equipment.

One of the challenges faced on this project was that the building, although new, had shifted somewhat during the years it took to build the house. As a result, the wall behind the desk was crooked. Bailey solved this problem by floating the wall and shimming it into place.

Additionally, the owner had an idea for a custom gun cabinet that would display several of his guns horizontally in order to showcase their beauty. After considerable trial-and-error, a solution was found. By alternating the direction the guns lay, Bailey was able to put two layers of weapons in the case without obscuring the view of any. The cabinet features safety glass and locking doors, while the locking, felt-lined drawers below display pistols and knives.

With another winning entry, Bailey says he appreciates the awards he has received. Working on these expensive projects, which often involve suggested modifications of the original plan, requires that the client have “serious trust” in the builder. “With the awards from CWB behind you,” Bailey notes, “it is part of establishing the credibility and trust” that he says is necessary to achieve success in the custom woodworking field.

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