Gowanus Furniture Co.


Nov 11 2010 | 0 comments

The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful. Before we can adorn our houses with beautiful objects the walls must be stripped, and our lives must be stripped, and beautiful housekeeping and beautiful living be laid for a foundation: now, a taste for the beautiful is most cultivated out of doors, where there is no house and no housekeeper.

--H D Thoreau, Walden]]>

My apt is small and bikes tend to take up an inordinate amount of space. Too much stuff and too little room on the floor. So put your bike on the wall!

A friend of mine sent me a link to this (and I think it's super cool) and is looking for a way to get a bike on the wall. Lots of other ideas out there too. Not as fond of the others. So working on my take on the concept...

Similar to the credenza in the works and the wine rack, I like big pieces of wood with a live edge, so that's the key to this. Made out of cherry. As well as some copper inlay. Lovely!

Basic plan is two pieces, each about 16"w x 10"d, joined at a right angle with a through mortise and tenon (like this lovely piece). I'll then cut a small rounded channel along the top, and can rest the top tube of the bike in there... So it will be a sturdy upside-down "L" on the wall, with a groove that the bike rests in. There'll be room below to hang your helmet, messenger bag, stretchy logo-clad-jersey-thing, whatevs... The fact that the wood itself will be gorgeous is the key.

I could also make it to support the bike by the seat tube so it hangs vertically. That'd be interesting.

Over the weekend glued up the wood, next steps to plane and sand the pieces, cut the channel for the bike, cut the mortises and tenons, inlay the copper, glue it up, and give it a few coats of Danish oil... Done in 2 weeks?


A current project is a low table of sorts to hold cable boxes, DVD players, audio equipment, etc.  This is about the first part of the project.

The table is made of a cherry slab floating on a copper frame, with boxes suspended below to hold the components.  One side will serve as a place for books or a seating area, depending on the situation. Love cherry & copper together.

First thing was to get a big slab of wood.

After a little research, found Willard Brothers down in Trenton, and after a few emails, headed down on the train.  That place is amazing. Any sort of exotic wood you need - they got it, acres of it. My plan was to find the right piece and bring it back on the train. I did. But was a bit ridiculous. Subway turnstiles were tricky.

Next I needed some cherry veneer plywood to make the boxes and a piece of cherry lumber to extend the width of the slab to 20" or so.  Thankfully Rosenzweig's delivers.

The boxes are simple - pieces of the plywood glued up with biscuits, with some pieces of cherry attached to front and sanded flush. There are small openings at the base in the back for cords to pass through, and it is open at the top rear for cords to go up to the TV (and those openings aren't visible when viewed from the front).

Here is what will be the eventual design - just replace the Ikea stools with a frame made of 2" copper pipe. None of the wood is finished (note the bark is still on the slab and the boxes look pretty light). The large gap in the back of the boxes has since been filled in.

Next, to make the slab a bit wider, I ripped the live edge off the back of the slab, and an edge off of the lumber, and glued them both together, trying to match the grain.

Here it is - drying glue!  Neat-o.

Part II will be finishing the surface of the slab and inlaying some copper along the seam the length of the slab... ]]>

Walnut Lamp

Nov 04 2010 | 0 comments

[gfc - LFwgr - 16x26]:

A proper dining area needs proper lighting. In this case, that lighting comes from a rectangle made of walnut, with proportions of (nearly) 1:1.618, and twelve lightbulbs. The placement of the lights is based on the Golden Spiral.

So there are two identical spirals, but one is rotated 180deg - i.e. the lamp has 2-fold rotational symetery. The relative length of the cords is based on where they appear in the sequence, but the actual measured lengths are just eyeballed to look nice (not that I didn't try to calculate something...). The spirals start at the corners with shorter cords, and the cords get longer as the spirals continue towards the center. Timeless as in ancient, and "timeless" (for now) as in mid-century modern. Take your pick.

Cleverly attached to the ceiling with no visible fastener, yet still easy to remove.

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All this MCL stuff here is part of a previous project that started with the Media Rack and Kitchen Work Table in 2004, and ended with the Wine Rack in 2006. There were a few other pieces in between.

The Kitchen Work Table and Media Rack were personal projects since I couldn't find what I wanted, and the Wine Rack was the last project that sort of ushered in the current GFC aesthetic.  Learned that it is difficult to scale up when making them all by hand on one's roof.

All of the old content from www.manhattancleanline.com is now on here.]]>

Maple Pot Rack

Nov 04 2010 | 0 comments

[gfc - Mpr - 3x5]:

A pot rack made of maple (finished with Danish oil), and conduit (sanded to give it a matte finish). It's relatively inexpensive and quite effective, holds all that I need it to hold with room for more, and keeps my pots in the kitchen rather than on the living room floor. Not surprisingly, I had to bend the conduit slightly to make it work - as the wall is - surprise! - not straight.

Next time I'll be sure to pop the grain of the maple.

Many more ideas... Next up will be one out of walnut that will be a bit more refined (e.g. no exposed ends of conduit, some metal inlaid length of the walnut, as well metal flange washers where the conduit passes through the wood). Would also make a great gallery hanger system in a living room or bedroom... Hmmmm...

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Wine Rack

Nov 02 2010 | 0 comments

**From the old Manhattan Clean Line days...

First time working with a big piece of wood. So much sanding, so much planing. Danish oil, lemon oil, more sanding. Drilled all the holes with a handheld drill on my roof. Quite pleased with how it came out. I love the look of copper and cherry together. That is also the signature look up a number of upcoming Gowanus Furniture Co. pieces - all about copper inlaid in cherry. This piece to me though is a little too "Keebler Elf" - fond of it, but it could say more with less.

**Built summer 2006. Not for sale.

(aka Vino) [mcl - WRa - CC12]:

Is it too country for the city, or too city for the country? Neither! It's just fine for both. In this case, the copper and cherry pair beautifully, though it is also available as aluminum and birch. Each style has it's place, as some prefer Rioja and others Vouvray. Blending a modern sensibility with a warmer, more organic aesthetic, this wine rack lets you show your friends that your design sense has as much (if not more) finesse, balance, poise, and refinement as the Romanée-Conti you have in this rack. It takes cues from the likes of Bauhaus design, while infused with the likes of something a bit more mid-century and a bit more West Coast. This isn't a soulless piece of furniture that one would find in, say, an airport. This is something to live with. In vino veritas, and the truth is that you need something like this.

*Other arrangements available with other wood and metal combinations in a range of sizes. [starting at $299.00, $475.00 as shown]

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