Under Stair Storage

So your magical nephew has finally gone off to school. What’s a muggle to do with all that unused space under the stairs?

under stair storageunder stair storageunder stair storage

Design by Soraci Designs, lighting by Robbins Electric, installation by Greenleaf.

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New Dresser

The cobbler’s kid finally gets a new pair of shoes, as I’m finally getting around to building myself a new dresser, about ten years late.  It’s a patchwork thing, made up largely of leftover pieces from previous projects–a nice way to remember old clients.

All the plywood came from States Industries here in Eugene, including the walnut ApplePly; maple ApplePly; glossy white laminated ApplePly; and CoverPly, an ApplePly core with a thin, black PaperStone veneer.  The acrylic comes from 3form.  The bottom drawer front–the only bit of solid lumber–came from an old crate, made of some indeterminate wood, shipped from Africa to Eugene about 50-odd years ago.  Hardware is push-to-open Salice Futura.

ApplePly dresser


ApplePly dresserApplePly dresser

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North Portland Bungalow

A just-finished classic kitchen remodel for some long-time Portland clients.  We’ve been steadily working our way through this whole-house makeover–from bathrooms to entertainment center to built-in bookshelves to this kitchen–since January 2009.  It’s a treat for me to build long-term relationships that end up with great results and happy clients.

rth Portland bungalow kitchenrth Portland bungalow kitchenrth Portland bungalow kitchen

Some of the previous work:North Portland bungalow built-in bookcase & entertainment centerd bungalow built-in bookcase Portland bungalow vanity

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Every wonder what happens to the scrap wood I produce?  I do.  I respect the wood I use enough to make the most of what I can with it, but the odds and ends–too small for me to use, too nice to burn in the wood stove–still pile up.  So, a couple times a year, I haul a pile of lumber nubbins and plywood bits out to Thurston High which, despite being a public school in Oregon, still has a wood shop program.  With the plywood, the students learn to make boxes; with the wood, stuff like this:

Labounty 02 Labounty 04
















Nice work, future competitors!

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A new ApplePly laundry sink cabinet, along with a spacious top.  The top and cabinet faces are more ApplePly, laminated with Wilsonart Designer White.  Top also includes a handy access for the washer outlet box in the wall.  The push-to-open door hardware keeps the look sleek and mimics the push-to-opeApplePly laundryn dryer door.

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AWFS FairBack from the biannual Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers Fair, the cabinetmaking industry’s main convention.  I was one of a handful of 0ne-person shops in attendance, but it was good to meet and talk to hardware and materials suppliers.  A positive experience, though nothing Hunter Thompson says about Las Vegas is untrue.  Also, it was 110 degrees.

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The Home Office

Home Office Home OfficeA new home office in north Eugene for a couple of hard-working young professionals who knew exactly what they wanted.  The casework is FSC maple and includes custom file drawers.  The nearly 11′ long desktop and floating shelf are walnut while the peninsula is a double layer of 3/4″ ApplePly topped with laminate (Abet Laminati’s SEI Rosa Viola).  The nice aluminum and glass doors were fabricated by a company with lousy customer service.  All wood and plywood is from our friends at Tree Products.

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Retaining the Charm of a Classic 1940s-era Kitchen

The standard casework style in 1940s and 50s era Eugene homes was the 3/8″ lip overlaying face frames, built in place by a finish carpenter, usually employing painted 3/4″ plywood for slab doors and drawer fronts.  Nothing fancy, a nice look, and easy enough to build with a table saw and router.

After six or so decades, however, the galley kitchen of some Friendly Neighborhood clients was needing an update to its look and function.  The drawers, assembled with nails and no glue, were falling apart.  The doors were sagging.  The (approximately) fourth coat of brushed-on paint was giving way.

Refaced 3/8" lip overlay kitchen cabinet

So we replaced the doors, drawers, and hardware, swapping the slab-style doors with a nicer frame and panel detail and adding hidden euro hinges and undermount soft-close drawer guides.  Sagebrush Painting brushed the face frames and sprayed the fronts for a clean, consistent, updated look.  Beyond that, we replaced a missing upper door and added a full cabinet above the fridge.  With new fronts and hardware, it’s got all the functionality of a modern kitchen yet retains it’s original charm, all at a fraction of the cost of a full kitchen remodel.

/8" lip overlay kitchen cabinet

/8" lip overlay kitchen cabinet


Before, after 65-odd years of loving use:

Late 1940s 3/8" lip overlay kitchen


On a technical note, the Salice B series hinge is the only euro option I could find to achieve the 3/8″ overlay style.  Even with these, there’s no face frame mount option (unless you spend a bundle at Rockler), which, on old cabinets like these, requires flushing out the insides of the cabinets with the insides of the face frame.  Another note: for this application, boring cup inset is 14mm, a fact Salice keeps like a secret.  And bear in mind that, with this inset, you need at least 2 1/2″ wide stiles for frame and panel fronts.

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Updated Fireplace

updated mantle A couple of long-time clients were looking to update a rustic fireplace surround, which we managed pretty quickly by wrapping the existing knotty pine with 1/2″ Medex MDF. The face is a single U-shaped piece, which was a little tricky to execute–note the returns on both sides of the mantle legs–but eliminates any obvious joints that might be tempted to separate in the future. A new mantle of some unusual salvaged elm from Curly Burly. Paint by Jay Wiley of Sagebrush Painting. Note how Jay managed to turn the brass insert into a matte black insert. Who knew?updated mantle updated mantle

elm mantle

elm mantle


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Platform Bed

A new platform bed with lots of integrated storage, in rift-sawn white oak and walnut.  Another fine design by David Schmitz of engage:ARCHITECTURE.  Installation by Scott Hubbard.

Platform Bed

Platform Bed


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