Continuation of product placement

As promised some shots of the writing desk in location at my house. Now that it is out of the shop I can focus in on a dining table top I am working on for a past client that I have been lucky enough to have built two other pieces of furniture for. After I get through with the dining table it’s on to some outdoor furniture built from mesquite for a new client. It was nice to build something for myself in which there were no plans or preconceived ideas in which I had to follow. Coloring outside of the lines has always been my strong suit. Go figure.







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Shameless self promotion

This piece if I had to classify it would be considered a writing desk or a secretary. The wood is all sycamore except the back of the cabinet. The tree was cut down off the banks of mill creek in Bellville texas. It was blessed with all of the attributes that sends chills up a furniture builders back. It has fiddleback,spalted, and just overall exhibits incredible color. The idea was creating a fluid piece that resembles a tree holding the top and then growing through it to create the cabinet. Between the joint of the boards that make up the  top I inlaid a bowtie from some especially figured fiddleback sycamore from the same tree. The back was made from a pallet that I deconstructed before it could be thrown into a dumpster at one of our jobs. It’s incredible the hardwood that they build pallets out of and this particular pallet had some fine specimens of white oak. The pictures were taken in my shop in obviously not the best light I will post new pictures when it is placed inside my house. Finished with deft oil and hand rubbed.

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
Oscar Wilde

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Dirty Deeds

Today we had our dirt contractor digging/jack hammering two trenches through our very rocky terrain from the power pole and the bunk house and the power pole and the house. The purpose of the trench is to bring power from the pole to the buildings underground.

The backhoe hooked and pulled these huge rocks out of its way while digging the trench.

It’s hard to really get the scale of just how big this rock was but it’s safe to say it was larger than a Volkswagen bug.

The sheer weight of this rock lifted the backhoe in the air which is not an easy task considering the weight of the backhoe.

Watching these guys work you get the sense that they could feed you green peas one pea at a time and not drop one. We are blessed in our business to work with some talented sub contractors.


Pics of the actual jack hammering to follow……….

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Sun of a gun

The first step in installing the solar panels was to first mount the tracks to the roof via the clips. The clips were attached to the standing seam so as not to make any penetrations in the roof.

Then the panels were attached to the awaiting tracks.

photovoltaic  array in all its beauty

The installers were wearing their fall arrest gear.

approximately 30 panels 32″ x 5′ were installed.

If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.
William Blake

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Just a trim around the ears please

Pic of window before trim sequence is started.

We always build wood jambs instead of using sheet rock returns because:

1) It’s the classic way of trimming a window and your usually safe using a method that has been time-tested. Classy never goes out of style.

2) It holds up much better to use and abuse than sheet rock returns. Why you ask do sheet rock returns get used?

a) Cheaper

b) Faster

c) Minimalist approach

Pic of sheet rock return below:


No I’m sorry that’s a pic of dog poop. My humble attempt at humor. “The opinions expressed here are solely mine and not necessarily shared by Artisan Builders.”


Pic of a  jamb built and awaiting installation

The window and door material consist of clear white pine

1×6- used for jambs

1×4-used for casing

1×12- used for casing between windows

1×6- used for base

The windows  were set close enough to the floor that we were able to integrate the baseboard so that it served as not only as the base but also the bottom casing for the window.

Usually we try to keep plugs and switches out of trim and keep them in the wall but sometimes creative houses require creative solutions.

Finished ceiling:

Sample cove that will run the entire length of the building it will not only house the down lights but also some up lights as well as most likely the transformers for cable lights.

It’s always wise to see the colors you choose in the actual rooms you have picked them for so that you can get an idea how the natural light in each room affects the color and how the same color in the morning light can look completely different in the evening.

potential exterior colors.

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Walk softly and carry a huge jack

Since my last post a great deal of progress has been made. Below is a pic of the bunk house with v-joint installed on ceiling. As well as sheet rock installed and floated awaiting final sanding and texture.

Pic of sheet rock behind truss closing the dead space that is created by some future cabinetry.

Pic of v-joint installed in living room/ kitchen.

We had our steel fabricator make some custom columns to hold up our roof as it spans from building to building over our entry porch. The top flange is attached to the beam by galvanized carriage bolts with a flange mimicking the angle on the opposite side of the beam.

The column is steel tubing with a galvanized culvert that is suspended off of the pipe. Giving it somewhat of a floating appeal.

Installation of the columns are very labor intensive but the finished product is worth it.

Pic of the juncture where column meets beam.

Since we had the beams supported this entire time by temporary supports the use of the jack was essential in removing the weight from the roof so that we could remove the temporary and install the final columns.

Drilling the thick beam required a long bit that was drilled from both sides to connect in the middle since there was metal on both sides it made drilling from one side not possible.

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Fireside chats

Installation of our fireplace insert begins below:


After spotting the center of the pipe a homemade compass gives us our cutt line.


The basic rule for the height of a chimney flue is that the top needs to be at least two feet above the highest point on the roof within 10′ of the flue.


The flexible vent below is the make-up air kit which provides outside air to maximize the drafting potential of the fireplace. Especially important in this house because it is so air tight it will really benefit from this feature.


We sprayed expanding foam back around the vent after install.

When we cut through the roof deck I was impressed when I saw that the icynene that was sprayed against the 2×6 v-joint had actually worked its way as it expanded through into the 1/16″ crack in between the tongue and groove.


View from the top.


Side stair.

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