Project Gallery

You put a lot of blood sweat and tears into your work. Share your best projects with us and you might be featured in Woodworking Network. For print and web consideration, fill out the form below and upload your photos. Please tell us as much information about your work as you can.

Show us your work!

California West Greene & Greene Chair

This chair and footstool are a new design for us. The legs are solid cherry and feature the Blacker Leg Indent Detail from Charles Greene from 1907-09. The Cloud Lift Detail of side stretchers in Curly Maple create a stunning profile for the design. All the pieces are assembled with mortise and tenon joinery This design set the standard established by the brothers, Charles & Henry Greene. The leather is from Argentina and is a perfect match to the wood colours. Size: 40” high by36” wide and 42” deep.

Custom Crib

A full size custom built crib in Knotty Alder with carved carousel horse and family name in each end panel. The bed also has an infant and toddler height adjustment for the mattress. It was stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain and finished with Minwax Finishing wax.

Virtual Widget for Portal Engine

As developers convert websites from Portal Engine to MVC, Many have said there should be a way to allow front end developers to create virtual widgets in MVC, similar to Portal. That way, front end developers can work more independently, instead of relying on backend developers to build MVC widgets and push code changes.

Slideshow: Frank and Oak HQ gets a new look

Frank and Oak, a clothing retailer that prides itself on sustainability, looked to make eco-responsible choices when renovating its Montreal corporate headquarters. The company worked closely with Imperatori Design, an architectural firm based in Montreal, to strike a balance between maintaining the atmosphere of the original workspace and improving the quality of life for its employees. Imperatori’s design includes a main entrance and its adjacent showroom that introduces two zones. One is focused on social gatherings and the other zone - more quiet and relaxed - leads to the workspaces. Included is the creative workshop where designers are surrounded by textiles, sketches, and samples. De Gaspé, a local custom woodwork firm that has made sustainability a core value, played an instrumental role in the final results. The company executed the custom millwork and built-in cabinetry and bookshelves mostly using Russian plywood. The quality of their millwork is impeccable and they are masterful with millwork that integrates metal and wood,” says Chantal Ladrie, senior designer of Imperatori Design. “More importantly they are a local workshop and their work is very representative to the Montreal vibe in terms of design.” Frank and Oak turned to office furniture manufacturer Teknion of Toronto for seating, tables, desks and workstations. Frank and Oak's re-done space also includes Teknion privacy rooms.

A waving Stars and Stripes in walnut, sapele, and maple

Steve Guenzel is used to challenges. His company, Advanced Stair Systems supplies stairs and handrails for custom projects in the greater Philadelphia area. “We specialize in creating reproduction handrails using the Tangent Handrail Method and 3D modeling, which is an art and science unto itself,” he said. But he tackled a different kind of challenge when he started making flags that are made mostly of solid American hardwoods but look like they are flying in the breeze. “We have been making American hardwood flags for a few years now,” he said. “The original idea was a personal challenge to do better than a few that I saw on the internet. They make a stunning statement of beauty and patriotism.” His most recent project really stretched the limits since the flag is 6 feet long and 2 inches thick. “This particular flag is a lot larger than most flags we made previously and is 39”x 72” and 2” thick,” he said. “I had designed the waving profile a few years ago, and just had to modify a few things for the larger size. The stars are the greatest challenge, but I feel also they are the key element that had to have the right look to them. Getting the stars to a sharp point is difficult, and took a little trial and error, but in the end, I think we nailed it.” The stripes are 3 inches tall with the white stripes crafted of hard maple and the red stripes from sapele mahogany. For the star field, they chose black walnut, using hard maple again for the stars. “The stars are a little more than 2 inches point to point and ¾-inch thick, with care taken to align the grain correctly with the stripes,” he said. “They are cut out, and then inlayed into the walnut star field with a lot of precision, as any gaps or poor fits are extremely visible.” Gluing up the parts of the flag requires three stages, then the whole thing is planed to the finish thickness of 2 inches. The next step is what really makes the flag distinctive: carving the waves to make the flag look like it is flapping in the wind. “The machining of the wave and the final cutout of the flag is done on our 22-foot CNT Motion CNC router,” Guenzel said. “For this project we used Aspire CAM software to program the CNC and Autodesk Inventor for the 3D modeling to get the wave just right.” Guenzel says it is impressive seeing the flag take shape on the bed of the CNC. “Watching the CNC cut the wave is amazing and is surpassed only by the spraying of the first coats of clear coat on the flags, and watching the true colors just pop,” he said. “This stage almost brings you to tears.” For maximum effect, the flags use only the natural wood coloring. “Cutting the waves across the wood brings out an interesting grain pattern and lets the natural beauty of the wood come out,” he said. “No stains are used on our flags, as the genuine tones of the wood are incredible on their own.” This flag will be proudly displayed in the showroom at Advanced Stair Systems’ new shop north of Philadelphia. For more on the company, you can visit their website at advancedstairsystems.com.  

Image is everything: Photographing your work

As Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” For woodworkers, we usually get only one chance to show our work to potential clients through our website and social media; to art, craft, and museum show juries; and to judges like those in the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge. So, if you want to make a good first impression, make sure your photographs are as best as they can be. Quality of your photos can make or break the possibility of selling your work; getting accepted into craft shows; and winning awards. Of course, your first goal is to make beautiful and flawless woodwork, but your secondary goal should be to create stunning photos of it. Although hiring a professional photographer is usually the best way to go, it can be costly. You might have to move large pieces to their studio or pay extra for them to come to your dusty shop. Set up can be time consuming. Photography is an art, and the field has its experts, but with available books, classes, and YouTube videos, you can get a decent education on taking good photos. And investing in a good camera and light boxes can dramatically increase the quality of your photos. Start with basics Luckily, with today’s affordable digital cameras (and even high-quality smartphone cameras), you can take good pictures with reasonable effort, expense, and practice. Start with the basics: Be sure to carefully clean your work, as any dust will show up in your photos. Take your time and schedule a half day (at least) for photography. Be prepared to review test shots on your camera screen or PC. Adjust lighting as you go along. And while you’re set up, take a wide variety of shots so you can select the best ones later. Most cameras have a video mode, too, so take some short videos of opening doors and drawers, and move around the entire piece. Lastly, take a shot with you in the image, take a formal one and a fun, crazy one. Don’t use them for jury or award submission; you can be disqualified if you include your face or name in the shot. But fun shots are great for your website and marketing collateral. Here are some more specific tips: Camera Start with a digital device, either an SLR camera (Single Lens Reflex – where you see through the actual lens); a compact camera; or a smartphone. Next, connect it to a stable tripod, preferably with a remote control, as even pushing the shutter trigger can shake the camera and blur the image. I use my timer when shooting with my SLR and voice control with my smartphone. (My wife sometimes hears me yelling, “Cheese, cheese, cheese!” in my shop during a shoot.) Background There are two types of product shots: 1) studio with a white or neutral background; and 2) in-situ (“on site" or "in position,”) i.e., in a bedroom for a dresser or a hallway for a console. Although in-situ shots can help give your work context, sometimes the surrounding background can take away from the piece. Avoid outdoor settings or piles of sawdust. Although they can be creative and great for your website, they are usually distracting for show or award applications. Unless the work requires an in-situ shot to explain the function of the piece, or it’s installed, it’s best to shoot in a studio or your shop with a full background. Note: some publications like or require in-situ shots, so if time and funds allow, do both. Studio backgrounds are typically created with a “seamless” (a large wide roll of paper) or fabric backdrop hung and curved down and under the work. Fabric drops are usually left wrinkled as it is hard to get them smooth. Fabric often comes with a molted print to help diffuse the look of the wrinkles, although sometimes patterns can be distracting. I like to use a white backdrop because I can create a dramatic transitional shadow (a white to black gradient) by hanging a light-blocking panel above the work. A piece can also be digitally cut out and then I can create the background in Photoshop. For larger work, limited space, and shooting in a shop, you can use bed sheets and/or white foamcore as a backdrop. You can overexpose these irregular backgrounds with additional lighting focused only on them, so they will appear smooth and all white. Don’t fret about dirt smudges or seams. When you calibrate exposure time, start with the lights off. When taking shots, turn on the background lights and it will appear bright, smooth, and white. Using a shallow depth of field (wide lens aperture) will also put these imperfect backgrounds out of focus, which helps smooth them out. If you don’t have a clean backdrop, you can also use a shallow depth of field, and set something consistent behind your work, like stacked wood or your row of hanging tools. Place your work as far away from the background as possible and keep the attention on the piece. Many smartphones have an automatic setting (live focus) or filter for this blurred background effect, and it works great. Composition Depending on the size of your work, capturing an entire piece can be a challenge. Start with a straight-on, overall shot, then take ¾ views from both sides and above. Follow up with more angles and details, with drawers or tops open, half open, etc. Include details, too, especially of any fine craftsmanship that can’t be seen in an overall shot, including fine joinery and inlay. When you present your images on your website or in a jury/award application, consider how they will look as a grouping. Make sure the backgrounds are all the same, too. Lighting Most cameras have an auto white balance feature that keeps this step simple. The camera will calibrate on a white surface, then adjust and compensate for warm (yellow) or cold (blue) lighting. Light temperature can later be adjusted in post-production too. A good intro lighting set includes a backdrop hanging rod system, and two side and one overhead soft box lights, all on adjustable tripods. I can set up my entire lighting system in 10 minutes. Start by turning off all surrounding room lights and block out any window light, if possible. Next, I place my two soft light boxes on either side of the piece, pointing at a 45-degree angle toward the work, and lift them high enough to point downward, also at about 45-degrees. It’s important to use soft lighting and pay attention to shadows and reflections, which will be exaggerated in the photo. Your eye won’t be able to see this in real time, and reflection and glare can ruin a shot. Be sure to carefully review the image on the camera screen or better yet on a PC or tablet. To help with glare, sometimes I shoot through a black wall of fabric or I place a frosted shower curtain in front of the lights to soften the white reflections on glossy finished pieces. I also place white foam core on the floor just out of the camera frame tilted toward the work to reflect ambient light and fill in shadowed areas. I use another single light, 45 degrees off the back, to accent the back edge, a technique called rim glow. Good lighting is critical and can be time consuming. Look for hot spots, dark shadows, reflections, and glare, and move your lights around to soften them out. Take lots of pictures. File saving and post-processing Be sure to save your pictures in the largest file format that you can. High-end cameras allow you to save in multiple formats such as RAW, TIFF, and/or JPEG. (JPEG is a condensed format that contains all the information needed for editing, but each time you save a JPEG, you lose information, so avoid resizing and saving multiple edited versions.) Work in larger formats and then save smaller files for your website and submission to juries or judges. You never know, they might ask for a larger file for the cover of a magazine. Knowing how to edit images in a software program like Photoshop is a good skill to have, but if you are not accomplished at it, avoid it or use it very sparingly. Judges frown upon touched-up images, especially ones that are poorly cut and pasted on a fake gradient background. Don’t do this. Really. Don’t. With a little practice, patience, and a few tools (new tools!) you can show your work off with high-quality images that will make you stand out from the crowd and even might get your work on the cover of a magazine or win you the grand prize.  

Chainsaw mastery: Artist carves tree into gigantic human hand

WALES, U.K. - British artist Simon O'Rourke has used a chainsaw to carve trees into just about everything - lions, angels, dragons, knights, dogs, Batman, gigantic human hands... he's done all of them.
 
His recent sculpture, titled the Giant Hand of Vyrnwy, measures 50 feet tall and was carved from what was formerly the tallest tree in Wales.
 
"I found out through a friend that the tallest tree in Wales had been storm damaged and was due to be felled, and that Natural Resource Wales who were in charge of the site, were going to commission an artist to carve the tree," he says on his website. "I searched the internet for the right person to talk to, and on finding them, I got permission to submit a design."
 
"I began researching the area and found the area of woodland that contained the tree was known as the Giants of Vyrnwy. This got me thinking and I decided on a giant hand, symbolizing the giants, and the tree’s last attempt to reach for the sky."
 
The project was tough, he writes.
 
"(A) scaffold was needed to make it safe to work on, and the terrain was such a difficult one that it took two days to erect the scaffold!" 
 
"Six days of intense work followed using chainsaws and grinders. I needed to add two pieces for the thumb and little finger, as the tree wasn’t wide enough to form the whole hand."
 
After he finished carving, he coated the sculpture in tung oil.
 
O'Rourke has built up quite a reputation in England. He began as an illustrator of children's books before becoming a tree surgeon. Now he supports himself through his tree carving business, charging upwards of $10,000 for a life-size human figure carving. He has nearly 8,500 followers on Instagram and his work has been featured in numerous publications.

Custom Fireplace

This one of a kind accent wall fireplace is puzzled together with live edge cutoffs from trees throughout Nashville, TN area. Three species of wood were used including pine, cedar, and oak. In order to keep the full character of each weathered slab no finish was used on the wood and the painted white mantle adds a clean contrast.