The design process begins with an initial consultation at my shop, your house, or wherever is most convenient for you. The goal is for me to understand what you're looking for. Some people know exactly what they want and can even show me pictures. Some have only a vague idea of what they're looking for, and I then guide them through the design process, discussing the intended location and functionality of the piece, showing them examples of various styles and features, and exploring the many choices of materials.

There is no fee for the initial consultation. Depending on the scope of the design, there may be a design fee, which will be applied to thepurchase price if you choose to proceed with the project.

The following is an example of the project design process. It is intended to give you some insight into the evolution of a custom woodworkingproject. The project shown in this example is the Bell Arbor.

The client had been shopping around for an arbor and had been unable to find one that would work for him. He had found one on the internetthat he liked, shown here, but it was a few inches too wide for his location, and he wanted his arbor to have a gate.

He didn't know what he wanted the gate to look like, so I went through my library and showed him a few pictures. He settled on a modifiedversion of the gate in this picture.

I used these pictures and the measurements of the client's walkway to calculate the amount of wood required. Then I wrote up a quote, whichincluded a choice between fir and cedar (with cedar increasing the cost of materials by about 60%). The client chose cedar.

I purchased the materials and began work. The assembly is mostly butt joints which have been glued and screwed. Except for the eight screws that hold the top to the sides, which are left exposed to allow for dissassembly for transport, all the screw holes are concealed with cedar plugs. The slats on the gate fit into mortises in the gate frame, and the trellis on the side panel fits into grooves and mortises in the panel frame. Since the client was going to paint it I made no effort to color match the boards, clean up exposed glue or remove other imperfections that would be hidden by the paint.

On a more complicated project I would normally take pictures at various stages in the construction process and make them available to the client, but this project was relatively quick. Here is the finished product, still in the shop, before I dismantled it for delivery. You can click on this image to make it bigger.

Once the arbor was finished, I notified the client and arranged for delivery. He wasn't ready to intall it yet, but I assembled it for himand he later painted it and installed it. This picture shows the end result.

This is just one example of the custom woodworking process. Every project is unique. Please contact me if you haveany questions.