H&H woodshop manager Dan Palmer and finish carpenter Jason Woods collaborated on the design of a custom shelving unit for a Portland family’s entry. The clients wanted a piece that could hold everything from shoes and coats to their two kids’ art supplies and toys. They also wanted it to have a bench so it’s easy to sit down and put shoes on before heading out the door.
The over 500 pound shelving unit is made of reclaimed Douglas Fir taken from old historic Portland homes. It is 84″ wide and 79″ high – big enough to suit the client’s needs and just small enough to fit through a standard door.
Dan sized the cubbies to fit baskets the client had acquired for easy, coordinated storage. Highly oxidized nail holes add visual interest to the piece.
The clients wanted a chalkboard included for the kids to draw on and for leaving little reminder notes. Dan built a frame around the chalkboard to keep chalk dust off of hanging coats and people’s backs when they are seated on the bench.
The piece is crafted using mostly simple butt joints, so to add a little more interest Dan used box joints – also called finger joints – on the leg assemblies.
Another interesting detail in this shelving unit are the tapered leg assemblies. To account for seasonal wood movement, Dan crafted the side pieces out of engineered ply substrate and covered it with veneers made from the same reclaimed Douglas Fir as the rest of the unit.
In the photo below you can see an piece with the different material layers. The side pieces look like solid panels but with the ability to expand and contract as seasonal temperature fluctuations dictate.
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