Zebrawood and wenge console table

strohm 005.jpg

Playful design  to display some small sculptures. The African sculptures on either side inspired the choice of the African hardwoods.

strohm 028.jpg strohm 009.jpg

Posted by ronpaci at 4:21 PM

Stand for an antique tray

November 2005

This project was for an antique dealer who had a nice brass and mahogany tray, but no stand; without one, it was hard to sell

I started with a block of mahogany, intending to get all the parts from the same piece of material.

The legs and stretcher parts were cut on the bandsaw and shaped by hand. I had several ways in mind to put the stretcher together, I chose the experimental: Four parts, each tenoned into the leg, and again into a block in the center. The curved stretcher parts shown here are waiting for the tenons to be cut on the ends.

There were not that many pieces, but controlling them was a project in itself.

Posted by ronpaci at 5:02 PM

No termites

Spring 1999

Craftspeople are always experimenting with new materials. During the late '90s tables and chairs of steel, and even handbags made of stainless steel mesh began to show up at the craft fairs. So when a client, at that time, asked me to restore a wooden tabletop I suggested replacing it with one of steel. The new top mounted on the existing Italian designer base.



When plate steel is manufactured a thick oxide surface called millscale results. The plates are dark and smooth, like those used to cover holes in city streets under repair. The millscale can be removed by noisy grinding, leaving a shiny silver surface.

I made a plywood pattern with an irregular edge and turned it over to my local welding shop then cut that shape out of steel plate.

I intended the top to look like a sand dollar, hence the slots. After a day of annoying the neighborhood with continuous grinding, I had a pattern on the steel. Over most of the surface I made a 'thoughtfully' random pattern. That is framed by a border of radiating straight lines. A couple coats of poly provided the finish.

Posted by ronpaci at 1:46 PM

Cherry dining table

Solid cherry tabletop with classically stylized cherry and walnut base.


Architecture and table design by Bruce Preston of Washington, D.C.


The beam between the legs is solid walnut three inches thick.

(about 1994)

Posted by ronpaci at 11:07 PM

She wanted 'something French'


The veneer on front is Carpathian elm burl with an ebony border; on the legs sapele mahogany, on top pomele mahogany bordered with satinwood.

May 1995


Inspiration for this project was from a small cabinet by Charles Cressent, one of the great eighteenth century French cabinetmakers. It resides in a museum in Lisbon.

Posted by ronpaci at 10:48 PM

Pair of mahogany demilunes

Built as companion pieces to an existing sideboard, each cabinet has a drawer above the pair of curved doors below.
The veneer was layed using the original method of hot hide glue and a special veneering hammer. String inlay is satinwood and ebony. The tops are solid mahogany with veneered edges.

The pair went beside the fireplace.

The original sideboard was on the opposite wall.

Posted by ronpaci at 8:34 PM

upholstered sectional couch

The project was to duplicate a very comfortable couch, but build it to break down into small enough components that could be carried down a narrow stairway.

The upholstery was done by Craig Andes and his father of Marshall, Va. Craig on the right, myself left.

The frame is one-inch thick poplar with dovetailed joinery. The rounded corners are stack laminated bending plywood and the back bolts to the seat sections.
I thought the woodworking was out of control until I saw what Craig and his father were up to with the springs. Each spring is hand tied eight ways.

Here's the original:

Posted by ronpaci at 7:38 PM

Classic painted cabinet

This painted cabinet with flat panel doors matches the style of a larger built-in bookcase on the other side of the room.

Posted by ronpaci at 8:21 PM

Base cabinet for buddha sculpture

Solid walnut base cabinet for a bronze buddha from Thailand. Doors have push latches and thin solid walnut panels. One shelf on the inside.

Posted by ronpaci at 6:40 PM

Craftsman style radiator covers

Oak radiator covers under construction.

Posted by ronpaci at 8:51 PM